On Saturday night at Toledo St. Johns High School the home Titans hosted the Rogers Rams out of the City League in their home opener. While this was a special night for this reason, it was made even more special as they dedicated the new court in the name of current and legendary Coach Ed Heintschel. There certainly was plenty of emotion and buzz in the gym throughout the night, but there was still a game to play between two talented squads.
St. Johns made it clear that senior standout Vince Williams was going to be the primary playmaker on this night, running virtually everything offensively through him, as they should. Tonight the Virginia Commonwealth recruit more than delivered. Williams was dynamite all night and got things going early in the paint for St. Johns. The Rams started off a little slower, but they were able to fight off the Titan’s initial push to keep it close in the first quarter. Both teams were without their starting point guards, with both having to sit out because of the transfer rules, and for Rogers this only added to their challenge on this night. Ketaan Wyatt made his coaching debut for Rogers and as you might expect had his kids playing fast and aggressive defensively, something that paid dividends early on. They were led by sophomore big man Da’Sean Nelson, who proved how promising he is as a prospect with his length and ability to score it around the rim. An early seven points from him and some timely scoring from senior guard Josh Ellis had them in the game after the 1st quarter, only trailing 14-19.
The second quarter was all Vince Williams and St. Johns, as during one stretch Williams came through for a string of eight straight points to really distance the Titans. While he was doing the bulk of the damage scoring the ball and owning the paint, St. Johns got some great play from fellow senior Houston King, and the backcourt of Dimitri Mitsopoulos, and Payton Moyer. The tandem did their jobs on this night, distributing the ball, handling the pressure from the defensive, and knocking down open shots. They along with King were a huge part of the offensive outburst tonight and will play a big role moving forward. Rogers would struggle to score the ball, and the previously mentioned Nelson would be sidelined with an ankle injury. His absence on the floor was noticeable, as he brought the energy for the Rams when he was out there. Ellis and fellow senior Christian Smith would try and do their part keeping the game within reach, and they would trail St. Johns 26-39 at the half. Vince Williams would head to the locker room at the break with 22 points already.
In the third quarter the story of this game would remain the same, with Houston King really getting hot for St. Johns and Williams continuing his dominance inside. Mitsopoulos and Moyer would continue to do their part as well and the Titans would really begin to pull away. The Rams would look to Josh Ellis to carry the scoring load, but their depleted roster would become apparent and they would struggle for much of the remaining portion of the game.
The final quarter would see more of the same for the Titans, as they would remain dialed in on both sides of the ball. Rogers would have some nice possessions and Christian Smith had a positive few minutes, but the game was all but over at that point. The duo of Houston King and Vince Williams would just be too much. St. Johns would go on to defeat Rogers by a final score of 89-52.
Vincent Williams would finish with 33 points in the winning effort, also eclipsing the 1,000 mark for his Titan career late in the 3rd quarter. One of the more dominant performances you may see in Northwest Ohio all year.
Houston King really got rolling as the game went on and finished with a very efficient 25 points in the win for St. Johns. He picked his spots really well and made some good decisions, while shooting it at a high clip from deep.
Rogers would be led by Josh Ellis’ tough 20 point effort. His effort was nonstop from start to finish and he showed plenty of heart on this night. Christian Smith would be held in check for most of the night, finishing with 12 points in the losing effort.