Recap of Midwest Classic

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On Saturday and Sunday at Defiance College the annual Midwest Classic took place as part of the Ohio Youth Basketball tour. In the gym for much of Saturday’s pool play, here is who stood out:

2020 G Cameron Awls (Toledo Central Catholic/Ohio Celtics) – One could argue that Awls was the best player in the gym on Saturday and you wouldn’t hear any complaints here. He was exceptional running the show for his Ohio Celtics team as a play-maker and a leader. Throughout the day he displayed a high level of court vision, while delivering some next level passes to teammates, all the while picking his spots to score it. Has a smooth feel to his game, excels in transition, and is one of the more active and quality defenders from his guard position that you’ll find in the area.

2022 PG Jordan Kynard (Rogers/Ohio Celtics) – While his Bates Fundamentals circuit team was off for the weekend, Kynard suited up for the Ohio Celtics. He did a nice job of taking care of the basketball, made good decisions off of ball screens, and had some crafty finishes around the rim. His outside shot wasn’t falling, but every time he puts it up it has a chance to go in. Stood out while he was on the court processing and playing a step ahead of many others.

2021 F Kallen Brown (Ayersville/Ohio Reign) – He did a lot of the little things on Saturday and was solid while his team struggled at times. Has a good physical build, and isn’t afraid to bang around in the post. Rebounds well in his area, fills space, and is capable of knocking down jump shots. Needs to continue to develop, but with two years of Varsity basketball ahead of him he has a chance to do some nice things moving forward.

2020 G Devyn Jones (Cardinal Stritch/Ohio Celtics) – Jones is far from an unknown prospect, but has been stuck behind some pretty talented individuals at St. Johns for a few years now. Transferring over to Cardinal Stritch he should have a chance to really show what he can do as he did Saturday for his team. He really used his length and athleticism to his benefit, especially on the defensive end of the floor, converting turnovers into easy opportunities. Really scored it well off the bounce and in transition with great consistency, and is more than capable of scoring it from the perimeter. He has a chance to have a special season, thriving out on the wing for his new team.

2022 G/F Jack Suelzer (Bowling Green/Great Lakes Gold) – He made it known from the time he stepped on the floor that he was there to play and had his fingerprints all over a solid win for his team. Showed he’s a capable scorer from all three levels, and always seems to find his way around the basketball. Capable ball handler, fights in the post for rebounds. Going to keep an eye on him going forward.

2020 F Nate Brighton (Evergreen/Ohio Celtics) – This young man probably hasn’t received the publicity over the past few years that he should, but he is certainly one of the better inside-out post prospects around, and showed it on Saturday. He plays hard, flying all over the floor for rebounds and loose balls. Runs the floor, passes out of the post well, and finishes around the rim. Can turn and face up, and can handle the ball a bit too. Really bodies up and is strong in the post on the defensive end. Does all the little things that contribute to winning basketball.

Others who stood out: DJ Alexander (Toledo St. Johns/Ohio Celtics), Tareem Warren (Start/Ohio Reign).

Coaching Legend Retires

Coach Ed Heintschel of Toledo St. Johns Jesuit High School has retired after 40 years on the sidelines for the Titans. He finishes with more than 700 coaching wins, and with placing dozens of former players at the next level. He will go down in history as one of the finest Boys Basketball coaches in OHSAA history. Replacing him will be his more than capable assistant Mike Schoen who is one of the best basketball minds in all of Northwest Ohio.

C2K Classic Recap

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On Saturday and Sunday the 2nd annual C2K Classic took place in Lima, as numerous teams primarily from NW Ohio as well as Michigan competed for a tournament championship. I was there on Saturday morning for pool play to take a look at numerous talents from Northwest Ohio. Here is who stood out:

2020 C/F Dominique Cole (Toledo Central Catholic/All-Ohio Gold) – He followed up on a very good showing the prior weekend in Fort Wayne with arguably an even better showing this weekend in Lima. Cole continues to develop with a noticeably improved feel in the post out onto the perimeter. He is scoring at a highly efficient level, from the low block to the elbow, and out to three point range where he has proven he must be accounted for. Fundamentally sound on the defensive end, he’s rebounding well as he always has, and runs the floor with an improved pace. Has had a tremendous Spring thus far.

2022 PG Nereon Grier (Start/Hopson Elite) – On a morning where the majority of his team looked pretty sluggish, Grier proved ready to go from the jump. Did a really nice job of orchestrating things on the offensive end as he found teammates, found his way into the paint, and competed at a high level. While a bit undersized, he uses his quickness and instincts to make plays on the defensive end of the floor. Sees the floor well and his decision making continues to improve and develop.

2020 G Adrian Michael (Start/All-Ohio Gold) – While he won’t ‘wow’ with his brand of basketball, Michael is rock solid in the backcourt. He consistently makes winning plays. Doesn’t turn the ball over, shoots it at a high clip from the perimeter, is hard to find in transition, and is an elite defender from his guard position. His effort and intensity make him a tremendous asset to any squad. Has put together back to back good weekends of basketball.

2020 G Javante Hayward (Rogers/Hopson Elite) – If he played for any other team in Toledo’s City League, more people would without a doubt know more about this scrappy, hard-nosed guard. His Rogers team is filled with talent, and therefore attention paid to him probably isn’t what it should be. This weekend with his Hopson Elite team Hayward’s aggressiveness was easy to see. He came out instantly looking to push the pace offensively and got downhill looking to score it or create for others. Made things happen and plays with a grit and swagger that you like to see from someone at his position.

2020 G David Walker (Maumee/Hopson Elite) – Has garnered some attention for his play throughout the high school season, but he clearly thrives in the AAU environment, playing freely and with a sense of urgency. Walker can score it and do so quickly when he gets rolling and on Saturday morning he showed just that. Crafty around the rim, and has a nice mid-range game. Led his team in scoring during their morning session.

2021 PG Cam’ron Gaston (Rossford/All-Ohio Respect) – Played above his age at the 17U level, and proved as he does time and again he’s a heart over height guard, who regardless of stature has a big game. Doesn’t shy from contact, tight handle, pushes the pace, gets to the rim, and can score it in bunches. Really competes and plays with an edge to his game.

2020 PG Jonzell Norrils (Toledo Central Catholic/All-Ohio Gold) – Norrils is one of the best two sport athletes in Northwest Ohio as he excels on the football field as well, where he has garnered the most attention from college coaches. With that said he is clearly a scholarship worthy talent on the basketball court too. Has a tremendous burst and build, Norrils is a true point guard that you love to watch lead a team. He communicates, has a high basketball IQ, and plays with a refreshing joy when he’s on the floor. Capable scorer from all three levels, gets to the rim and finishes well, efficient in the mid-range, and a consistent scorer from the perimeter. High level defender, using his strength and lateral quickness. Sets up teammates and understands where they are most comfortable. Can create off the dribble where he really has a good handle.

Others who stood out: Dashad Floyd (Start/Hopson Elite), Curtis Jackson (Rogers/Hopson Elite), AJ Adams (Findlay/C2K Elite), Da’Sean Nelson (Rogers/All-Ohio Gold), Caleb Smith (Rogers/All-Ohio Gold), Jackson Sizemore (Perrysburg/All-Ohio Gold), Mason Loeffler (Evergreen/All-Ohio Gold), Colin Nutter (Old Fort/Hopson Elite), Joey Holifield (Cardinal Stritch/All-Ohio Gold).

New Video From Spiece Run N Slam

The Bill Hensley Run N Slam hosted at the Spiece Fieldhouse in Fort Wayne,  Indiana among other places went down last weekend with multiple talents from Northwest Ohio displaying their game, video from some of those performances are below:

*2020 G Joey Holifield of Cardinal Stritch High School and All-Ohio Gold AAU

 

*2020 F Da’Sean Nelson of Rogers High School and All-Ohio Gold AAU

 

*2020 G Caleb Smith of Rogers High School and All-Ohio Gold AAU