Division IV Regional Semifinal

On Tuesday night, Van Wert High School played host to the Division IV Regional Semifinals, featuring Columbus Grove vs. Carey, and Antwerp vs. New Bremen. In the first game of the night, Columbus Grove and Carey took to the floor, as Carey held the lead and momentum early. However, it would be Columbus Grove that would come out with the 48-45 win, to advance to the Division IV Regional Final, where they will face New Bremen, who upset Antwerp in the second game of the night. Only being in attendance for the first game on Tuesday, here is who stood out:

2021 G Blake Reynolds (Columbus Grove) – The senior did most of his damage on the glass early in this one, but picked things up offensively, especially down the stretch for his team. Was stronger, and bigger than the opponent, causing matchup problems, and getting deep into the lane when he wanted. Has good court vision, plays within the flow of the offense. Brings effort, toughness, and a motor to the floor that aid in winning basketball. Locked in on the defensive side of the floor, understands positioning, and was very involved on the defensive glass. Finished with 17 points, in front of multiple area college coaches in the win.

2021 G Cade Crawford (Carey) – Crawford was the best player on the floor for much of this game, possessing a confidence, and edge that allowed his team to take control of this game early on. Made a big impact on defense, and created multiple turnovers, that led to easy ones on the other end. Has good athleticism, a good handle, and is creative on the offensive end of the floor. Got to the paint as he wanted, and delivered a tremendous showing in his final game, finishing with 17 points.

2021 F Ian Yeater (Carey) – A big body, who can step out and knock down shots, Yeater came through with timely buckets for his team. Plays hard, isn’t afraid to bang down low, and is willing to work on both ends of the floor. Complimented his teammates well, doesn’t need things ran through him to make a difference. Inspired effort from the senior in his final game.

Others who stood out: Tayt Birnesser (Columbus Grove), Trey Sautter (Columbus Grove), Bryce Conti (Carey).

Division II Spencerville District Semifinals

On Wednesday night, Spencerville High School played host to a pair of Division II District Semifinal games featuring, Defiance vs. Lima Shawnee, and Wauseon vs. St. Marys.

In the first game of the night between two Western Buckeye League foes, it would be Lima Shawnee who would come out on top, after starting the game in a sluggish manner. They would defeat Defiance by a final score of 56-38.

In the second game of the night, St. Marys took control early against Wauseon, and never really looked back, in an impressive outing from them. St. Marys would advance by a score of 58-43, to face Lima Shawnee in a Division II District Final on Saturday night.

The pair of games on Wednesday was not without a good deal of talent taking the floor. Here is who stood out:

2021 G/F George Mangas (Lima Shawnee) – Northwest Ohio’s top available senior got off to a bit of a slow start, but did an impressive job of not forcing things, and ultimately letting the game come to him offensively. Was locked in on defense, and active on the glass. Showed his high IQ throughout the contest, finding his way open on offense, and creating turnovers on defense. Scored it well around the rim, with strength and creativity. Finished with a game-high, but quiet 23 points in the win.

2023 PF Cayden Zachrich (Defiance) – The sophomore impressed on Wednesday night with his maturity, and steadiness out on the floor. Fundamentally sound, and skilled, he has good size in the post. Capable of stepping out and knocking down shots from the perimeter, he possesses a nice jump-hook, and finishes around the rim. Is strong with the basketball, seeks out rebounds, and has a good feel for the game. Dialed in on defense, he has length to be effective contesting shots, and moves his feet well. Good, young post prospect to follow going forward, led his team with 12 points.

2022 PG Brady Wheeler (Lima Shawnee) – Initiated a lot of what they did offensively on Wednesday, sees the floor well, plays with his head up, and is creative distributing the basketball. Really shot it well from three in this game, can’t give him much space on the outside. Competes, and digs in on defense. Tough, heady point guard that can play at the next level.

2023 C Austin Parks (St. Marys) – Continues to develop with more experience and confidence. Was dominant down on the left block, scoring it with every paint touch. Playing more off of instinct, Parks finished everything he got around the rim. Passes it really well out of the post, finding open teammates, and seeing the floor. Anchors the paint on defense, moves well, and altered and/or rejected multiple shots around the rim. Can’t be many better prospect in his class, at his position, in all of Ohio. Currently already holds an offer from Ohio University.

2022 G Jonas Tester (Wauseon) – Led his team with 17 points in the losing effort, but was clearly relied upon and willing to carry the load. Can score it in a multitude of ways, at the rim using either hand, in the mid-range, on out to the perimeter. Plays with a maturity and confidence, works hard on both ends of the floor, and has a real toughness about him. Doesn’t get deterred when things don’t go right, stays composed, doesn’t do much talking, and let’s his game speak for itself. Has all the makings of a guy who could really garner some attention from the college level this spring and summer.

2021 G LeTrey Williams (St. Marys) – Was the key to their fast start on Wednesday night, pulling up from deep, and knocking down multiple shots. Brings some flare and swagger to the court, likes to compete, and is confident in his abilities. Can make plays off the dribble, was patient, and distributed the ball well in this one. Scrappy defender, with quickness, and a knack for the ball. Finished the night with 15 points in the win.

Others who stood out: Jadin Davis (St. Marys), Connar Penrod (Wauseon), Jace Turner (St. Marys).

Division I Toledo District Semifinals

On Tuesday night, a pair of Division I Semifinals in the the Toledo District took place at the host, Sullivan Center at Toledo Central Catholic High School.

In the first game of the night, Toledo St. Francis would get out to a hot start, with timely baskets, and defensive stops. They would control things for much of the first half, leading at halftime. After the break, Findlay would clamp down defensively, and utilize their offensive weapons, ultimately defeating Toledo St. Francis by a final score of 53-44.

Similar to the game prior, Anthony Wayne would jump out on top of Toledo St. John’s early in this one, getting into a good rhythm offensively, and taking advantage of turnovers. However, after the halftime break, Toledo St. John’s would put together a tremendous effort on defense, and combine that with their senior leadership, on their way to defeating Anthony Wayne 59-41.

There was plenty of talent on display, in both games on Tuesday night. Here is who stood out:

2022 PG Max Roth (Findlay) – His offensive output in the first half is what allowed his team to keep it close. The junior was creating space with the dribble, and knocking down shots from all over the court. Has to be accounted for in transition, can really push the ball up the floor. Brings physicality to the guard position, competes, and was locked in for this one. Roth finished with a game-high 19 points, with 14 of them coming in the first half.

2021 G/F AJ Adams (Findlay) – While it took him a bit to get going in the scoring column, Adams did a tremendous job of finding others, and moving the basketball. Tallied 6 assists in this game, and really did a nice job of letting things come to him offensively. So tough to check in the mid-range, and around the rim, Adams is a nice mix of strength and athleticism that makes him tough to handle. Was active defensively, protects the rim, and used his length to cause problems for the opponent. Finished with 14 points in his team’s win.

2022 PG Steven McCoy (Toledo St. Francis) – When he gets going and has his mind made up on offense, he can be a very difficult matchup, as was the case on this night. Compact guard, who has great strength, and doesn’t shy away from contact. Has a tight handle, sound understanding, and brings energy to the floor. Knocked down shots from the outside with consistency, and was effective getting downhill, taking the ball to the basket. His lateral quickness makes him a solid defender, and he is more than willing to get down in a stance. Had 13 points in the loss for his team.

2021 C Cli’Ron Hornbeak (Toledo St. Francis) – The big man continues to progress in his development, and showed it in this one. Patrols the paint on defense, contesting everything around the rim. Ran the floor well, is strong with the basketball, and sees things develop offensively. Very hard to stop when he gets his back to the basket, can get into his bag of moves on the low block. Has a soft touch, and good feet. Could continue to improve finishing around the rim, but the Kent State recruit ended his High School career with a solid showing, even in the loss.

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2021 F Jaedyn McKinstry (Toledo St. John’s) – The Bowling Green State University football recruit continues to get it done on the basketball floor. Tremendous build, and athleticism make him tough to handle on both ends of the floor. Can knock down the three with consistency, and is hard to check around the rim. Had a pair of impressive transition dunks, to go along with an overall solid showing in this one for his team, and had 13 points for the night.

2021 G Brady Lichtenberg (Toledo St. John’s) – Tough, scrappy, makes plays, and is a winner. You already know his future is on the football field, but he flat out gets the job done on the basketball court. Comes through for his team, makes timely plays, is efficient, and is the kind of kid you want on your team. Big time competitor. Recently named First Team All-TRAC, one could argue his basketball talent has been underappreciated over the years. Had a team-high 14 points in the win.

2021 G/F Garret Pike (Anthony Wayne) – Was his team’s most consistent threat on offense in this game. Picked his spots scoring the ball, and did so with efficiency. Shot it well from the outside, and is savvy in the mid-range on into the rim. Competes, was active on the glass, and was the leader of his team in more ways than one on Tuesday. Ended the night with 15 points in the loss.

Others who stood out: CJ Hornbeak (Toledo St. John’s), Fiesal Crumby (Toledo St. Francis), Dylan Ankney (Findlay), Thomas Zsiros (Toledo St. John’s), Evan Ruhe (Anthony Wayne).

Division IV Sectional – Lima Perry Gets By Spencerville

On Friday night Spencerville traveled to Lima Perry for an intriguing game in Division IV Sectional play, in the Wapakoneta District. Thanks to some impressive shot-making early, Lima Perry would eventually get by Spencerville by a final score of 69-62. With the win, Lima Perry advances to play St. Henry in a District Semifinal game in Wapakoneta. Here is who stood out in this one:

2023 G Josh Henline (Spencerville) – Probably not a household name around Northwest Ohio as it pertains to talented prospects in his class, but he needs to be. Henline can do a little bit of everything for you out on the floor, and looks good doing so. Has a sweet stroke from the outside, where he can knock down shots coming off of screens in either direction. He has a good feel, and can really pass the basketball, putting it on target, and where teammates can make plays. For his position and age, he has good size around 6’1″, and is strong with the ball in his hands. Talks and is active on defense. Good body language, and brings a lot to like to the court. Should be a name you hear more and more about going forward. Has the making of a scholarship level prospect.

2022 G Brayden ‘Bubby’ Knight (Lima Perry) – The lefty was pouring in shots from everywhere in this one it seemed, on his way to a game-high 26 points. A quick prospect with speed, who can get down the floor in a hurry with the ball in his hands. Has the ability to create for others. Brings good energy, and activity to both ends of the floor. Doesn’t get too high or low throughout the course of a game. Recently named Conference Player of the Year, and it’s easy to see why. Capable of taking this Perry team on a memorable tournament run.

2021 G/F Dalton Prichard (Spencerville) – The senior delivered a big time performance in what would be his last High School game. Was active and working hard on the glass on both ends of the floor. Knocked down timely shots when his team needed them throughout. Scored it through contact in the paint, shot it well from the outside, and was efficient doing so. Got others involved, provided leadership, and was a big reason Spencerville was in this game throughout much of the night. Finished with 24 points in the loss.

Others who stood out: Will Knight (Lima Perry), Jefferey Simpson (Lima Perry), Dylan Smith (Spencerville).