Hidden Gems Spring Showcase

The annual Hidden Gems Spring Showcase is set to take place on Sunday, March 15th, once again at Thomas Worthington High School in suburban Columbus. The Boys portion of the Showcase is set to run from approximately 1:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m.

While many events across the state advertise and promote the attendance of college coaches for student-athletes to compete in front of, very few if any, have done a better job of that than the Hidden Gems Showcase over the years. Registration and more information can be found here: https://www.leaguelineup.com/miscinfo.asp?menuid=35&url=hiddengems

Below are Highlights from the Hidden Gems Showcase this past Fall:

Division I District Semifinal – Toledo 1


On Tuesday night, Savage Arena on the campus of the University of Toledo played host to a pair of Division I District Semifinals. In the first game of the night Start defeated Findlay 53-36 to advance to the District Final on Saturday night. Here is who stood:

2020 G Tavaz ‘TJ’ Showers (Start) – The most impressive performance of the night came from Showers, who can create offense and put up points in a hurry, and did so here. He was so impressive knocking down shots from the perimeter, off the catch and off the bounce, on his way to a 28 point effort including 8 three-pointers. Reads screens well, can attack the basket and finish, and has a consistent and reliable release from the outside. Really plays hard and competes, has fun, and leads his team. Locks in defensively and buys into the gameplan on that end of the floor.

2021 G/F AJ Adams (Findlay) – One of the most promising prospects in Northwest Ohio, and showed why that is the case, even in the losing effort. Adams was very active in the paint and in the mid-range, scoring in a plethora of ways and through numerous defenders. Becoming more and more polished as a scorer, and that was evident on Tuesday. Rebounded the basketball on both ends of the floor utilizing his strength and length. Has the ability to guard multiple positions on defense, on the block and out on the perimeter as well. Adams finished with 15 points in the loss, and has a promising AAU season ahead.

2022 PG Max Roth (Findlay) – His game continues to grow with each viewing of him. Is a true extension of the head coach, even at his young age. Able to score in a variety of ways. Can trust him with the ball in his hands, shares it well, and plays with an edge from the lead guard position. Likes to get out and run, makes good decisions with the basketball.

2020 G Adrian Michael (Start) – Looked the part of what makes him special as an unsigned senior prospect with his ability to defend, knock down shots from the outside, and run in transition. Saw his confidence grow throughout as he knocked down open looks from the outside. Makes hustle plays, creates turnovers, and starts the break leading to easy scores. Defensively is so quick, smart, can put pressure on the ball, and speed up the offense. Was a key piece in his team moving on.

In the second game of the night on Tuesday, Sylvania Northview used a complete effort to knock off Toledo Central Catholic and advance, by a final score of 58-52. Here is who stood out:

2020 PG Cameron Awls (Toledo Central Catholic) – The senior has no reason to hang his head, even in the loss in this one, as he showed resiliency and toughness throughout this contest. It wasn’t perfect play on his or his team’s part, and it wasn’t always pretty, but the grit, and ability to keep pushing until the final buzzer was evident. Awls did a nice job of attacking the rim on offense throughout the night, creating opportunities for himself and others. Defensively he did his part to slow down a talented opposing backcourt. Headed to play for Defiance College next season.

2022 F Sean Craig (Sylvania Northview) – Craig was nothing short of phenomenal on this night. He seemed to be everywhere, on both ends of the floor, and seemingly made his presence felt on every trip down the floor. Scored it with high-efficiency around the rim, around the mid-range, and nearly out to the perimeter. Played with strength and confidence, finishing through contact and refusing to be denied on offense. Used his length to anchor their defense, altering shots, cleaning the glass, and communicating on that end of the floor. Delivered a performance that truly looked the part of a DI prospect in the future, finishing with 22 points and 11 rebounds in the win.

2020 F Dominique Cole (Toledo Central Catholic) – In what ended up being his final high school game, Cole left it all out there, delivering solid play for his team on the block all night long. Can score over either shoulder, comfortable on either block, has some finesse to his low post game. Capable shooting the basketball from the outside and displayed that on multiple trips. Didn’t force things if it wasn’t there. Ran the floor and rebounded well. Sees the floor, provided strong help defense, good athlete at his size.

Division IV Sectional – Bluffton University


On Wednesday night, the Sectional semifinals for the Division IV – Elida District took place at the Sommer Center on the campus of Bluffton University. The first game of the night resulted in Crestview defeating Leipsic by a final score of 64-55, advancing to play Delphos St. John’s on Friday night. Here is who stood out:

2021 F Kalen Etzler (Crestview) – The Ohio State commit put together a high-quality outing, showing why he has loads of potential, and is the best prospect in all of Northwest Ohio. Etzler impressed with his ability to make plays at his size (6’8″) off the dribble, with the ball in his hands. He was able to get to the rim at-will, finding teammates, and picking his spots. Has a soft and smooth stroke from the perimeter where he is a consistent scoring threat. Held it down in the paint on the defensive end, altering shots, cleaning the glass, and disrupting offensive sets with his length and activity. Clean and efficient night from him, as he finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists in the win.

2022 G Mason Brandt (Leipsic) – Aside from Etzler, Brandt had the best night of anyone in the pair of games at Bluffton. Delivered big shots and made plays time and again when his team really needed them. Brought a toughness, and contagious fight to the floor. Shot it really well from the outside, finished around the rim, and proved he can get his in the mid-range as well. Isn’t afraid to get down defensively, and will scrap for rebounds and loose balls. High understanding of what’s going on out on the court. Was relied on heavily, and the sophomore delivered, finishing with 20 points.

2023 PG Gavin Etzler (Crestview) – Still very young, and shows his youth throughout the course of the game, but the potential is clearly there, and the experience as a Varsity starter as a freshman will serve him well. Handled the ball well for the most part, while facing a great deal of defensive pressure. Was patient setting up sets, and understands spacing. Can shoot the three ball with great consistency with a quick release and compact stroke. Needs to continue to grow both physically and in his play, but the future is certainly bright.

2021 F Carson Kreischer (Crestview) – Was a bully in the paint, scoring through contact and finishing at a high clip around the rim in a physical game. Competes at a high-level, runs the floor well, and rebounds his area. Not shy from contact on the defensive end, where his size and strength are a great asset. Won’t ‘wow’ you, but very, very solid.

In the second game of the night Ada led from start to finish in a defeat of Fort Jennings by a score of 62-55, advancing to play Columbus Grove on Friday night. Here is who stood out:

2021 PG Brandon Hull (Ada) – Hull was impressive in his ability to score it and distribute the basketball to teammates. Delivered assists in a multitude of ways, putting zip on the basketball, and passing open teammates. Compact in size, but can get low and find his way in the paint to put pressure on the defense. Efficient scoring the ball at the rim, capable scorer from the outside. Solid defensively, where he likes to gamble and create turnovers. Finished with 21 points and 7 assists on the night.

2022 G Nick Trentman (Fort Jennings) – Was one of the constant bright spots for his team, and delivered when they needed him most. Puts pressure on the defense with his scoring ability and his fearless play. Can shoot the three with consistency, and is capable in the mid-range. Moves the basketball, picks his spots, and provides consistency. Was active on defense, leaving it all on the floor.

2020 G Phil Coulson (Ada) – Scrappy, hard-nosed, plays with an edge. Impressed with his ability to put the ball in the basket from all over the floor and doing so in a variety of ways. Runs hard off of screens to get open. Brings energy on defense, takes things personal. Skilled, solid, and was a major key in his team’s victory on this night. Finished with 18 points.

Recruiting Notes – 2/19

  • 2020 F Nate Brighton of Evergreen High School is currently receiving interest from Defiance, Trine, and Hiram, among other college programs. Brighton is currently in the middle of a stellar senior season.


  • 2021 G/F AJ Adams of Findlay High School currently holds an offer from the University of Findlay, along with interest from Bowling Green, Chattanooga, and Ashland. Adams is one of the more promising prospects in all of Northwest Ohio.