Toledo St. John’s Gets Big Road Win In Lima

On Tuesday night, Toledo St. John’s Jesuit traveled south to Lima for an always fun date with Lima Senior. While both teams are generally young and inexperienced at the Varsity level, there is no denying the talent for either team. It wasn’t always pretty in the TRAC showdown, but in the end, it would be Toledo St. John’s who would come out on top with a 44-32 win. Here is who stood out:

2023 PG CJ Hornbeak (Toledo St. John’s) – having seen him throughout his 4 years at the Varsity level, our fandom of his game and ability has probably shown through throughout the years. He somehow is left off of lists of the state’s top available talents, and plenty are wondering how. Brings good size at a true 6’2″ and a strong mature build to the lead guard position. As previously mentioned, he is going on 3+ years of Varsity experience, and when all is said and done will have had one of the more decorated careers in program history. Had plenty of reasons in this game in particular to get frustrated, with Lima Senior’s patented on-ball pressure, some calls not going his way, and some unfortunate bounces of the ball, ultimately fighting through that to score 8 of his game-high 15 points in the final quarter of play. Naturally unselfish, he gets others involved, and doesn’t force things offensively when he certainly could. Strong with the ball in his hands, can handle pressure, sees the floor. Is a calming presence for his team, controls tempo, brings leadership. Can shoot it with more consistency than ever from the perimeter, can score off the catch or the bounce with consistency in the mid-range, and has the strength to score through contact at the rim. Gets down and defends on defense, has active hands, and helps others. Should contend for Player of the Year in the conference and is a worthy scholarship-level talent at the next level.

2026 PG Amari Addy (Lima Senior) – the freshmen impressed on this night with his ability to provide quality minutes for his team on both ends of the floor. Is quick but doesn’t get too sped up. Has a tight handle on the ball, capable of creating for himself and others on offense. Competes defensively and brought energy to the floor for his team. Will be fun to watch his development going forward. Could be the next stud point guard to come out of Lima Senior in a long line of big-time talents.

2024 G Jaylen Murphy (Toledo St. John’s) – known for his ability to shoot it from the outside, Murphy impressed not in that area, but in his attitude and ability to impact the game in other ways when the ball won’t go down for him. Caused numerous turnovers defensively with his length, getting deflections, and creating transition opportunities. Found ways to be active at the rim and create scoring chances without doing so from deep. Encouraged teammates, brought energy, and grit to the floor in a game where it was needed.

2025 G/F Je’Kel Cotton (Lima Senior) – his upside and potential are easy to see, standing around 6’5″ with a long frame, and bounce to go with it. Can shoot it at a high clip from the outside and does most of his damage around the perimeter for now, but with continued development and growth can develop quite the threat inside-out. Was active defensively around the rim, challenging shots, and bringing good activity on that end of the floor. Reportedly has already picked up an offer from Bowling Green, has a chance to mold into a highly sought-after recruit at that level down the road.

2026 G/F Race Kowalczyk (Toledo St. John’s) – didn’t play a ton of minutes, but the freshman did enough to spark interest and show that he can hang and contribute on the floor at this level. Looks comfortable, played within himself, and does his role for his team. Brings good size to the floor at 6’5″ and has the early makings of a promising prospect in the coming years.

Others who stood out: Joseph Taylor (Toledo St. John’s), Brandon Moore (Lima Senior), Jagger Hutchins (Lima Senior), Marquez Frazier (Toledo St. John’s).

New Video: Bradford’s Parker Davidson Drops 30 Points In Home Opener

On Friday night, Ansonia traveled to Bradford in an early season rivalry game in front of a near-capacity gymnasium. Bradford would take control of the game from the start, culminating into an eventual 58-46 victory in their home opener. Parker Davidson put on a show for Bradford, finishing with a game-high 30 points in the win. The unsigned senior is one of the top talents in West Central Ohio, game highlights of his performance are below:

Second Fort Loramie Summer Shootout Recap

On Monday morning and throughout the afternoon, Fort Loramie and Houston schools helped to host the second Fort Loramie Shootout of the summer. While the first edition a few weeks ago brought in plenty of teams and talent, this one did just the same and more. Here is who stood out:

2023 G/F Parker Davidson (Bradford) – The 6’2″ Davidson has garnered attention throughout his local community and the immediate surrounding areas, but beyond that, he has managed to fly a bit below the radar. On Monday afternoon Davidson put together an outing that was nothing short of impressive, dominating, and leading his team to a blowout win. His ability to flat out score the basketball is what really stands out, as the lefty has a pure stroke, and a knack for putting the ball in the basket. Beyond his ability to score it, he displayed tremendous court awareness, seeing the floor, and delivering pretty passes that are both on-time and on-target. Has quick hands, anticipates, and has smarts on the defensive side of the floor to create turnovers, leading to easy scores for his team. Averaged more than 28 ppg. last season as a junior, and should have a breakout season on the horizon as a senior. He’s worth the price of admission this winter if you get out to see him. Should hopefully garner more attention from fans and college coaches alike in the coming months, he deserves it.

2024 PG Brooks Laukhuf (Wayne Trace) – Highly skilled, and with plenty of Varsity experience already, Laukhuf has to be considered one of the better point guards in Northwest Ohio, regardless of class. Has grown since our last viewing of him, now standing around 6’2,” he has the size to go with game that should ultimately translate into a scholarship at the next level. Can score it, but picks his spots efficiently. He’s strong with the basketball, can handle pressure, plays with his head up, and is an extension of his head coach. Uses his length and size on defense to his advantage, he’s not shy to get down, defend, and move his feet. Comes from a winning program, and plays with a confidence and swagger as such. Probably more athletic than he gets credit for, he can push the ball with pace, has an explosive first step, and can stop on a dime to create for himself or others. Doesn’t play with perhaps the flare of his counterparts, but wins, and is fundamentally sound. A name to familiarize yourself with if you haven’t already.

Others who stood out: Justin Finkbine (Tri-Village), Kyle Stoller (Wayne Trace).

Fort Loramie Summer Shootout Recap

On Saturday morning and early afternoon Fort Loramie hosted their annual Summer Shootout, just one of the multiple events they have run so well over the past few years. With over 20 teams participating from across the state, the competition and different varieties of basketball played is always unique. Here is who stood out from who we were able to see on Saturday:

2024 G Wes Enis (Miami East) – really played some good basketball in multiple viewings in this event, Enis is young, and still figuring things out, Has a very bright future ahead, and his confidence in himself should only continue to grow. Doesn’t rush things with the ball in his hands on offense, able to handle it, makes good decisions. Able to squeeze through the defense, absorb contact, and get to the rim where he can finish with either hand. Has a sweet lefty stroke from the perimeter where he can knock down shots consistently. Moves his feet well defensively, has good lateral quickness, and is fundamentally sound on that end of the floor. The son of former local standout NFL player Curtis Enis. He has the makings early on of a quality prospect to play at the next level someday.

2023 G Caleb Maurer (Fort Loramie) – will have the opportunity to have a very special senior season in a few months, Maurer and his teammates have a lot of success ahead. A high level athlete, Maurer has serious bounce, twitch, and quickness out on the floor. Has a quick release from the outside to go with a pretty stroke, he can attack the rim with force and finish with authority. Sees the floor well, gets teammates involved, and makes good reads with the ball in his hands. Capable of locking down opponents on the defensive side of the court, creates turnovers, and can be tough to handle in transition. Will have plenty of schools interested in his services at the next level, and should be a strong candidate to win Player of the Year in his conference this winter.

2024 PG Jacob Roeth (Miami East) – the other part of Miami East’s young, talented backcourt duo, Roeth impressed with his effort, energy, and ability to never stop moving on the court. Tough, competes, encourages teammates, and always seems to find his way around the ball. Can shoot it from three effectively, moves the ball, and isn’t afraid to be active around the basket at his position. Gets into it on defense, pressures the ball, and plays with active hands. Going to be someone to keep an eye on in the future, as he and his team should see continued success in the coming years.

2023 SG Jadyn Mescher (Marion Local) – played a key role in his team’s success and tournament run last year, Mescher will have a chance to fill the void left by a handful of seniors who have since departed. Plays strong with the basketball, has good size on the perimeter, and can really shoot it from there at a high clip. Can pass it, has a smooth feel to his game, and quietly goes about his business on the floor. Will be one of the better seniors in the always competitive MAC this upcoming season.

DIV District Semifinals – Wapakoneta Recap

On Tuesday night a pair of Division IV District Semifinals was hosted by Wapakoneta High School. The first game featured St. Henry going up against Marion Local in a meeting of familiar conference foes. While it took a little time for the offenses to get going, Marion Local would have too much size, and too many athletes for St. Henry, taking the first game of the night by a final score of 56-43. Here is who stood out in this one:

2024 C Jack Knapke (Marion Local) – Following in the foot steps of brother Luke, who starred at the University of Toledo, Jack certainly has a bright future of his own. Standing around 6’8″ with a thick, strong build, Knapke bullied anyone who was thrown his way on Tuesday night down low. Runs the floor well, and is active on the glass on both ends. Scores it consistently, and cleans up around the rim on offense. Will need to continue to develop an array of moves on the low block, and improve his footwork, but the young big man has to be considered one of the top post prospects in Ohio in his class. Plays with passion, can be a vocal leader, and was far and away the best player on the floor. Makes his presence felt defensively with his strength, and ability to contest shots. Finished with a game-high 23 points on this night.

2022 PG Brady Ronnebaum (Marion Local) – smart and skilled lead guard, who does a nice job of managing the floor for his team. Picks his spots to score it, but makes sure to get teammates involved. Capable of pushing the pace in transition, he also does a sound job of being solid with the basketball and valuing possessions. Competes, plays quick, but not in a hurry. Brings activity to the defensive side of the floor. Key piece to their success thus far.

Others who stood out: Seth Heitkamp (St. Henry), Bennett Gels (St. Henry), Tate Hess (Marion Local).

In the second game of the night, Lima Perry matched up with Spencerville in a game that promised to bring intensity to the floor, and that it did. Spencerville would take an advantage early in this one with shot-making, and energy, but Perry would make their runs to get themselves back in this one when it counted. Just as Perry would get close in the final quarter, Spencerville would come right back led by stellar play from their standout junior backcourt, ultimately sealing the game, and advancing 50-43, to face Marion Local in the District Final. Here is who stood out:

2023 G Dylan Smith (Spencerville) – he may not look the part, but Smith can really go, and had his fingerprints all over this game. He is an extension of his coach on offense, understanding what they want to do, and making good decisions. Has a good handle, capable of beating pressure off the dribble. Smith is quick, and doesn’t require much space to get to the rim where he does the bulk of his damage. High energy, steady, and trusts his teammates. Made big plays as needed, finishing with 20 points in the win on this night. Doesn’t do anything to ‘wow’ you, but there is no denying he can play.

2023 G Josh Henline (Spencerville) – had a defender draped over him all night long, but managed to not let the frustration get to him, and still contributed in a major way. Pretty polished and skilled as a prospect, Henline does a lot of the little things to impact winning. Has a smooth demeanor, confident, and is a fun watch on the court. Really gets after it defensively, moves his feet, and puts pressure on the ball. Shoots it well from the outside with a nice looking shot, and doesn’t get deterred if it’s not his night offensively, as was the case tonight. Will be interesting to see what attention he can garner on the AAU circuit this spring and summer, but for now is a key reason his team continues to find success.

2022 G/F Ryan Yingst (Lima Perry) – brought fire and tenacity to the court for his team when they really struggled to find that, especially early on. Isn’t afraid to be physical, and doesn’t back down from opponents regardless of what end of the floor it’s on. Scored it well around the basket, and made his presence felt in transition. Signed to play baseball at Tiffin University in the future, but left it all on the floor in his final game on the basketball court.

Others who stood out: Terry Riley (Lima Perry), Bubby Knight (Lima Perry), Carter Sudhoff (Spencerville).

DII Sectional Finals – Ada District Recap

On Friday night, Lima Senior High School played host to a pair of DII Sectional Finals in the Ada District. In the first game of the night, Celina and St. Marys Memorial added another chapter to their rivalry game (having just played a few days prior in the regular season). While Celina would show some fight and grit, St. Marys would take full control of this one, and come away with a 52-28 win. With the win they advance to the District Semifinals at Ohio Northern University, with a date against the winner of the night’s next game. Here is who stood out in this one:

2023 C Austin Parks (St. Marys Memorial) – having seen the recent Ohio State commit about two months prior, it is quite remarkable to see how his game continues to develop at quite a high rate. Parks was a load in the paint on both ends of the floor, and must be accounted for on nearly every possession. Was very active on both the offensive and defensive glass, throwing his size and strength around to corral rebounds. Capable of finishing at the rim through contact, and with greater consistency when he has the chance. Not at all afraid to bring physicality to the floor, the big man is truly a force when he’s on the court. Displayed the ability to consistently knock down shots in the mid-range, adding another wrinkle to his already growing game. Really impresses with his ability to see the floor, and pass the basketball, making him a real threat with the ball in his hands. Finished with an 18 point, 10 rebound, and 5 assist performance in the Sectional Final win on this night. Looks the part of a national Top 150 recruit.

2024 G/F Evan Angstmann (St. Marys Memorial) – his season probably has been overshadowed by the aforementioned Parks, but he also has a bright future in the game if he wants it. Equipped with good height already around 6’5″, he has the length and ability to cause problems for opponents in more ways than one. He can really shoot it from the outside, capitalizing on most open looks that he gets, but can also slash to the rim and make plays in that area as well. Does a lot of the little things well, and doesn’t shy away from the moment. Seems to really just be scratching the surface on his potential, someone you should be hearing more about in the future.

Others who stood out: Josh Rasawehr (Celina), Braylon Gabes (Celina).

In the second Sectional Final of the night, Van Wert and Wauseon would take the floor, with the winner advancing to a District Semifinal date next week with St. Marys Memorial. It would be Wauseon who would take control early, but relinquish their lead late to Van Wert who would force overtime. In the extra period, Wauseon would make enough plays down the stretch to come away with the win, 56-53, keeping their season alive. Here is who stood out in this one:

2022 G Jonas Tester (Wauseon) – the undeniable best player on the floor in this game, Tester took control early, virtually stuffing the stat sheet for his team in the process. The senior was very active, making his presence felt everywhere on the floor. Savvy and quick in his ability to get to the basket offensively, he also has a very smooth mid-range game to go with it. Can handle the ball well, and do so in pressure situations. Gets teammates involved, keeps the ball moving, and has good basketball smarts. Was isolated on the low block on offense on numerous occasions, winning those matchups, and came through with timely buckets down the stretch when his team needed them most. Leads by example, and made it clear with his play that his time in high school basketball wouldn’t be ending on this night. A high-quality small school college prospect at the next level.

2023 G/F Aidan Pratt (Van Wert) – one of the best athletes in the Western Buckeye League, Pratt had that on full display on Friday night. He has good size and length, and has a solid inside-out game offensively. Impressed with his ability to get on the defensive glass and push the ball up the floor in transition, doing so on multiple occasions aiding his team in their comeback efforts. Just as he does as the QB on the football team, he saw the floor well here and made plays getting teammates involved. Brings a competitive edge, and confidence to the court. Saw his season end on this night, but will be back next year. Will have the chance to play football at the next level, but otherwise could probably do so for his ability on the basketball floor as well.

Others who stood out: Garett Gunter (Van Wert), Landon Hines (Wauseon).

DII Sectional Semifinals – Millbury District Recap

On Tuesday night, the OHSAA Boys Basketball Tournament got rolling throughout the Northwest Ohio region. In Toledo at Bowsher High School, a pair of Division II Sectional Semifinals took place. The first game featured Port Clinton vs. Maumee, and in the end it would be Port Clinton who would escape with a 39-37 win, to advance to a Sectional Final on Friday evening against Clyde. Here is who stood out in this first game:

2023 F Adam Thorbahn (Port Clinton) – in a tough, gritty, grind it out kind of game, it was Thorbahn who stood out, and stood up for his team on this night. Was very active throughout, mainly in the paint, on both ends of the floor. Showed the ability to finish around the rim, score through contact, and do so with urgency. Has good strength, making him tough to handle, especially down on the low block. Rebounds the ball well, gets the ball up the floor, and isn’t afraid to get physical defensively. Finished with a game-high 16 points in the win for his team, making many key plays down the stretch to allow them to advance.

2022 F Cole Graetz (Maumee) – in what would ultimately be his final high school game, Graetz went out battling, and providing tremendous hustle and energy. Has good hands, uses his body well while primarily playing against bigger opponents in the post. Deceptively athletic, plays hard, isn’t afraid to get on the floor for lose balls. Was a key piece in the continued improvement for the Maumee basketball program.

Others who stood out: Kyle Arndt (Maumee), Tyler Webb (Port Clinton).

In the second game of the night at Bowsher High School, Fostoria vs. Scott took to the floor in a game that promised to be competitive and highly contested. The game was very much a back and forth affair, especially in the second half, with Fostoria ultimately making plays down the stretch, and riding their senior leader to a 46-44 win over Scott; they advance to a Sectional Final against Toledo Central Catholic on Friday night. Here is who stood out in this one:

2022 G/F Lakai Robinson (Fostoria) – one thing that makes tournament time so special is the opportunity for young fellas to make a name for themselves (if they haven’t done so already), and Robinson did exactly that with a bit of a coming out party in this game. The 6’5″ long, athletic wing delivered time and time again for his team in critical moments. Converted nearly every opportunity he got around the rim, many times doing so with creativity and flash. Has a pretty good handle, and displayed as much in multiple coast to coast buckets here. Capable of knocking down shots from the outside, but spent most of his time getting into the paint. Robinson is quick, and has plenty of bounce. Contested and rejected numerous shots at the basket from opponents, fought for rebounds, and was strong with the basketball. Should seriously be on the radar of area JUCO programs, the cliché applies here, in that he has a very ‘high ceiling.’

2023 G/F Romel Hightower (Scott) – While it was the aforementioned Robinson that stole the show in many ways, Hightower may have had himself just as impactful of a night for his team. Finishing with a tough, and hard-earned 19 points, Hightower battled on the glass all night, on both ends of the floor. Got multiple easy buckets off of offensive rebounds, finished through contact, and brought consistent effort that was nice to see. Handled the ball well, can create for himself or others off of the dribble. A well known talent in the area for quite some time, he has a chance to have a big spring/summer on the AAU circuit, and should be considered a front-runner for City League Player of the Year in Toledo next season.

2024 G Machi Johnson (Fostoria) – the ‘Robin’ to his teammate Robinson’s ‘Batman’ in this game, Johnson displayed game, and skill of a promising young college prospect. Has solid size from the backcourt standing around 6′, he has a mature frame, and mature composure to go with it. Solid with the ball in his hands, he can be a load offensively on straight-line drives getting to the cup. Can score with creativity, and uses his offhand well. Sees the floor, makes good decisions, and plays with some swagger. Has patience, and plays a poised brand of ball for his age. Offered a lot to like on this night, and is certainly a name to remember going forward.

Others who stood out: Jordan Ferguson (Fostoria), Daryl Barnett (Scott).