2019 G Ryan Roth of Findlay High School has committed to Capital University. Roth has been performing and in particular shooting the basketball at as an impressive rate as anyone in Northwest Ohio at this point in the season, and should be able to compete for playing time as a freshman next season at the DIII school located in suburban Columbus.
On Tuesday night Toledo Central Catholic traveled to Findlay in what was expected to be a quality battle in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference; the game lived up to the hype and more.
In the first quarter Findlay got out to a hot start, moving the ball, and knocking down shots from the outside, while Central Catholic struggled to get into the flow of the game. Ryan Roth, Findlay’s senior point guard put on a shooting display on this night, as he does just about every night, including 8 points in the first stanza.
Central Catholic would come out with better energy and focus in the second quarter, led by Jonzell Norrils at the lead guard position, who was finding teammates all over the floor, on his way to 5 assists in the half. Fred Overton would come off the bench for the Irish and provide them with a great lift in this quarter, which would take a 28-24 lead over Findlay in the halftime break.
The third quarter would be played at a slower scoring pace, with Findlay standout sophomore AJ Adams getting more involved on the offensive end. Adams was special on this night as he has been all season to this point, scoring inside-out, and protecting the rim on the defensive end. Norrils would continue to lead the Central Catholic charge, complimented by junior backcourt mate Cameron Awls who showed his ability to make plays from out on the wing. The score would be tied 34-34 after the third quarter.
In the fourth and final quarter the pace of play would pick up, as both teams began to put the ball in the basket at an efficient rate. Senior guard RJ Nunn would make his mark in this quarter for Findlay, scoring in a variety of ways, with Adams, and Roth getting involved as well. As the quarter wound down, Findlay held a 51-48 edge with :20 seconds on the clock. Central Catholic would get some buckets in the final seconds, and send Findlay to the foul line where they could close out the game, however they would not be able to do it there.
On Central Catholic’s final possession, off of a missed Findlay free throw, Kendal Marshall would bury a three pointer with Central Catholic trailing at the time, thus giving them the 54-53 lead with 2.4 seconds left. Many in the gym felt the game was over, but it was not.
Findlay would inbound it under the basket to the aforementioned AJ Adams with the length of the court to go, and he would make the catch, take one dribble across halfcourt, and heave a desperation three pointer that would find the net as the buzzer sounded, sending the home crowd into a frenzy. Findlay would defeat Central Catholic by a final score of 56-54.
AJ Adams would lead Findlay and all scorers with 23 points in the win, followed by Ryan Roth with 19 points. Central Catholic would be led by Jonzell Norrils with 12 points in the tough loss.
On Friday night Rogers High School played host to Toledo St. Johns as both programs opened up their 2018-2019 seasons.
Both teams entered the game having changed rosters either expected or unexpectedly due to transfer, graduation, and injuries. Among those is the transfer of junior guard Caleb Smith, who left Rogers at the end of the school year to head to St. Johns. He was in attendance but didn’t play in this one because of his having to sit out the first 11 games per OHSAA rules.
The game got off to an ugly start for both squads, as youth and inexperience certainly took over. Two teams who historically tend to put points on the board struggled to do so, resulting in a St. Johns lead of 9-7 after the 1st quarter. Their senior guard Payton Moyer by far has the most experience on the roster, and provided the bulk of the offense for them early in this one.
Erratic play and empty possessions would be had on multiple occasions throughout the 2nd quarter, but freshman guard Nate Houston would provide Rogers with a needed lift, and leave his mark on this contest with his ability to provide a steady, calming presence, as well as stretch the floor with his ability to shoot it. St. Johns would still cling to a lead at the halftime break though, holding a 22-19 advantage.
The pace of play would pick up in the 2nd half as is usually the case in games of this variety, and the standout pair of juniors for Rogers, Ketaan ‘Keewee’ Wyatt, and Da’Sean Nelson would both amp up their aggressiveness on both ends of the floor. Rogers would begin to mix things up on the defensive end, and give St. Johns problems with their length and athleticism. Rogers would lead St. Johns 31-27 after the 3rd, in large part because of contributions from Wyatt and Nelson.
The final quarter would be a back and forth affair, with St. Johns’ junior guard Dimitri Mitsopoulos making things happen on both ends for the Titans. His toughness and fire that contribute to his success on the football field would hold true on the hardwood on this night. A frantic finish would see Rogers take and keep the lead through the final minutes of play, as they would go on to defeat St. Johns by a final score of 47-38.
Da’Sean Nelson would lead Rogers with 13 points, followed by Ketaan Wyatt with 11 points, and Nate Houston with 9 points. Payton Moyer would lead St. Johns in the losing effort with a hard-earned 16 points.
2020 G Zeb Jackson of Maumee Valley Country Day High School has committed to the University of Michigan. Jackson chose the Wolverines over offers from Ohio State, Michigan State, and Butler, among others. Jackson is the most highly rated prospect to come out of Toledo since Marc Loving, and the highest rated out of Northwest Ohio since current Michigan point guard Xavier Simpson.
2019 F Jackson ‘Jackie’ Harris of Toledo St. Francis High School has received an offer from Oakland University, located in suburban Detroit. This is Harris’ first D1 offer. A little more than a month ago he gave a verbal commitment to Cedarville University, making his recruitment something to follow closely in the coming weeks and months. Harris’ skill set and talent is undeniable.
2019 G Payton Moyer of Toledo St. Johns High School has received an offer from Malone University according to source. Malone is a DII program located in the Canton, Ohio area. Moyer has been a part of the successes for St. Johns the past few seasons while excelling in his role on those talented Titan teams; this year that role will be much greater.
Cardinal Stritch High School in suburban Toledo is one of the more talented squads you’ll find in Northwest Ohio, especially at a school of its size. That talent has been turning into scholarship offers for a number of their student-athletes.
Most recently: 2019 PG Jordan Burton has received an offer from Notre Dame College, located in suburban Cleveland; and 2020 G Joey Holifield has received an offer from Bowling Green State University.