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).