2017 F Dalonte Brown of Bowsher High School has committed to the University of Miami (OH) according to multiple reports. Brown was previously committed to the University of Tennessee-Martin before reopening his recruitment a few short months ago.
On Saturday night Toledo St. Johns made the 5 minute bus ride over to Rogers in an interleague contest between two talented squads. While Rogers might be the most talented team in the City League, they looked inferior to St. Johns for most of the night.
St. Johns got things rolling early with stellar point guard play from senior Harrison Riggs who put on a clinic throughout the night with his ability to score and distribute the basketball. He, along with backcourt mate junior Houston King were special and were too much for Rogers to handle. King is molding into a high quality recruit at the mid-major level and certainly looked the part on this particular night.
Rogers was able to offset the early St. Johns attack thanks in large part to the play of junior forward Christian Smith who took his matchup on this night with highly touted St. Johns forward Vincent Williams personally. Smith was fantastic displaying his inside-outside game and scoring in a plethora of ways. He in large part was one of the only bright spots for Rogers in this outing, along with the play of freshman Ketaan Wyatt and Caleb Smith who more than held their own against arguably one of the best teams in the state of Ohio.
What especially stood out in this game was how beautifully St. Johns ran their offensive sets. Led by the aforementioned Riggs, the Titans ran their offense to perfection time and again. Late in the first half they would put full court pressure on the Rams leading to multiple turnovers and easy buckets, highlighted by a Vince Williams breakaway dunk.
The second half was more of the same as St. Johns put this game out of reach with their starters sitting the final period of play. The Titans are playing a very high quality brand of basketball heading into the final stretch of the season.
St. Johns would go on to win this one over Rogers by a final score of 84-59. Houston King and Harrison Riggs would finish with 15 points each to lead the Titans; while Christian Smith would lead Rogers with 17 points.
On Thursday night Waite hosted Rogers in City League action on what was Senior Night for the home Indians. The game originally scheduled for Friday night was moved to the night before ahead of the big boxing match of Toledo’s own Robert Easter Jr. taking place downtown at the Huntington Center.
From the opening tip it was Waite who looked the most ready to play and compete and that would be the theme for the majority of this ballgame. The combination inside for Waite of Ronnie Sanders and Keyshawn Leach was the difference early as they handled business in the paint with their energy and activity on the glass. They would open up to a 7-0 lead early and use that to carry a 13-9 lead after the 1st.
Waite’s leading scorer and the 2nd leading scorer in the City League, junior point guard Carl Banks, would go scoreless in the opening period, but would have 6 points in the second as Waite continued to hold onto its slight advantage. Vonte Middleton was the only Rogers player that could put the ball in the basket, and Waite would lead 25-19 at the half.
The second half would open to some sloppy play by both sides as turnovers plagued any up and down pace either side looked to play with. Both would shake off the hectic start and settle down into a more efficient style of play. Vonte Middleton and Dru Pettigrew would carry the burden of the scoring for Rogers in the quarter, each having 10 points at the quarter’s conclusion as Waite still clung to a slight 36-33 lead.
The scoring would pick up a little more in the final period for both sides. The talented backcourt of Mohammed Elmajzoub and Carl Banks would do the bulk of the damage for Waite, knocking down consecutive three pointers at one critical point in the fourth. Their play would balance out the scoring run by Rogers, spearheaded by senior guard TQ Belcher who had a string of six straight points. Waite would get some clutch free throws from Dominique Booth down the stretch that would all but seal it for the home team on Senior Night.
Waite would win by a final score of 58-48, with Carl Banks leading the way with 18 points followed by Keyshawn Leach with 14. Rogers was led by Vonte Middleton and Dru Pettigrew who finished with 12 points apiece in the loss.
2018 G Delano Smith of Toledo Christian High School has had as good of a season as anyone in the city as he has led his team to an undefeated conference record (11-0) to this point. His leadership, awareness, scoring ability, and joy playing the game have him in the running for Player of the Year in the TAAC. Below are his junior season highlights:
Freshman Zeb Jackson of Maumee Valley Country Day High School is regarded as one of the top prospects in Ohio in his respective class and arguably the top in NW Ohio. Needless to say the hype has been around him for years now as he makes his way through his first season of varsity basketball. Thus far he hasn’t disappointed one bit, leading the TAAC in scoring and guiding his team to a successful campaign to this point. Jackson was instrumental in his team’s close conference contest on the road at league leading Toledo Christian, dropping 23 points and dishing out a number of dimes along the way. Below are highlights from that contest as the talented freshman put his whole game on display:
The annual MLK Classic was held this past Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Start High School in Toledo. As usual, multiple talented teams from the city and neighboring cities participated in what was once again a successful event. Below are results from Monday’s lineup of games:
*Hazel Park (MI) defeated the host Start 76-68 in the nightcap. Junior guard Carl Bow Jr. finished with 19 points for Hazel Park. He currently holds an offer from St. Peters and has other D1 interest, including from Central Michigan who had an assistant coach in the gym to watch him.
*Cleveland Benedictine defeated Scott 74-49. Marlon Moore and Chris Jefferson led the Benedictine charge, Jefferson finishing with a team high 14 points. Mikey Mitchell led Scott with an impressive 20 point performance.
*Waite defeated Perrysburg 51-47 in the first game of the afternoon in a physical back and forth contest. Mohammed Elmajzoub led Waite with 15 points, followed by Carl Banks with 9 points in the hard fought victory.
In a game pairing two of the better programs in the TRAC, it was Whitmer who would come out on top defeating Lima Senior 63-54, in front of an energized home crowd.
This game was highlighted by a matchup of talented guards in Lima’s senior guard Jarius Ward, and Whitmer’s senior guard Derrick Rayford Jr. Both play with energy, passion, and swagger, and the game would start off with just that as Rayford would lead the Whitmer charge early and often, getting the first 7 points for his team. Ward would do similar things for Lima, finishing the first quarter with 8 points of his own, as Lima Senior and Whitmer would be locked at 14-14.
Both offenses would struggle for much of the second period, credit to Lima Senior’s active and effective 1-3-1 zone defense and full court pressure. Most of the damage would be done in Lima’s offensive favor by junior point guard BJ Miller who got numerous big buckets to keep his team ahead. Heading into the half Lima Senior would hold a 26-18 advantage.
The scoring and the pace of the game would pick up to begin the second half as the nearly everyone got involved on either side in one way or another. Whitmer senior guard Avion Franklin began to get hot from the perimeter to pull his team closer, while teammate and football standout Nick Witcher controlled the paint. Ward, Jaleel King, and the aforementioned Miller would continue to pace Lima Senior and keep them ahead, 41-36 going into the final quarter of the game.
Derrick Rayford would get himself involved again offensively for Whitmer, and that combined with the continued offense from Avion Franklin would allow them to take the lead early in the fourth. Lima Senior’s offense would stall for much of the remaining game as they struggled to put the ball in the basket. Meanwhile, Rayford and Co. pushed the ball in transition, and iced the game at the foul line. Whitmer would secure a big conference win, 63-54, over the visiting Lima Senior Spartans.
Derrick Rayford Jr. would lead Whitmer and all scorers with 24 points, followed by Avion Franklin’s 16 points in the win. Lima Senior was led by Jarius Ward’s 17 points in the losing effort.