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).

Division II Sectional – Rogers Outlasts Maumee

On Tuesday night, Rogers High School hosted Maumee for Sectional play in the Division II – Millbury District. While it wasn’t pretty, and offense came at a premium, Rogers would control the game for most of the way, defeating Maumee 44-35. With the win, Rogers advances to play at Rossford on Friday night. Here is who stood out:

2023 G Jaden Walker (Maumee) – While his team struggled to find offense for most of the game, Walker was consistent putting points on the board. He was active early on, scoring it around the rim, and proved able to knock down open looks from the perimeter as well. Played with a competitive edge, and willingness to compete. Solid with the ball in his hands, getting his team into their sets. Improved as a decision-maker, and looks comfortable on the floor as a sophomore. Rebounds well, and is effective when dialed in defensively. Should have a nice spring and summer ahead.

2022 F Jevon Hudspeth (Rogers) – Not known as one of their top offensive options, Hudspeth led his team in scoring on this night cleaning things up around the rim, and being active on the glass. Has a good frame, with length that can effect games on both ends of the floor. Gave extra effort, made hustle plays, and has a sound motor.

2022 G/F Cole Graetz (Maumee) – Brings a lot to like to the floor, with good size, hustle, and deceptive athleticism. Effective flashing into the lane, and scoring around the rim with creativity. Has a nice feel for things, doesn’t try to do too much. Competes on the glass, capable defender, who can get into passing lanes, and create turnovers. Should be a key piece to this Maumee team’s foundation going forward.

Others who stood out: Jordan Kynard (Rogers), Josiah Holland (Rogers), Reed Geiger (Maumee).

Toledo St. John’s Bounces Back In Big Win

On Friday night Toledo St. John’s traveled south to Lima to face Lima Senior in a game that would have big implications in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference race. In an impressive showing on both ends of the floor, and virtually from start to finish, Toledo St. John’s would leave Lima with a 63-41 win. (Assuming St. John’s takes care of Clay on Saturday afternoon, they will get a share of the TRAC title along with Lima Senior, and Findlay). Here is who stood out on Friday night:

2022 PG Kennedy Vaughn (Toledo St. John’s) – The guard came off the bench early in this one, and left his fingerprints all over the rest of this game. Handled the defensive pressure of a scrappy Lima Senior bunch with great patience, poise, and sound ball-handling. Picked his spots offensively, able to get downhill, and converting when he did so. Moved the basketball, putting pressure on the defense, and getting others involved. Was arguably just as impressive on the defensive side of the floor on this night, constantly being in good position, moving his feet, anticipating, and being active. Finished this game with 15 points, in a really good showing from him.

2022 PG Khalil Luster (Lima Senior) – Got off to a quick start in this one being aggressive offensively, but could have done more of that throughout. Used his quickness, burst, and tight handle to break down the defense, push the pace, and move the basketball. Needs to be more selfish at times, as one of his team’s best threats offensively, but showed why he’s one of the best point guards around, even in the loss.

2021 F Jaedyn McKinstry (Toledo St. John’s) – Set the tone for his team early in this one, was active in the paint and on the glass. Shot the ball well from the outside where he has a consistent stroke. Brings high-level length, and athleticism to the floor. If he wasn’t headed to play football at Bowling Green, he probably could have landed himself a scholarship to play basketball at the next level.

2021 G Brady Lichtenberg (Toledo St. John’s) – Played well on Wednesday night, but upped that performance with his play on Friday. Was locked in from the start, playing with great emotion, and leadership. Brough great energy, and effort every trip down the floor. Knocked down shots from the perimeter, and converted around the rim. Used great smarts, positioning, and activity to be a difference-maker on defense. Big time competitor. Finished with 16 points in this one.

Others who stood out: CJ Hornbeak (Toledo St. John’s), Anthony Mosley (Lima Senior), Jareon Mayo (Lima Senior), Justyn Toler (Toledo St. John’s).

The JV game was highly-competitive game that featured multiple young, talented, future prospects. Keep an eye out for these three names, as all three have bright futures ahead:

2024 G Sincere Horrison-Shurelds (Lima Senior)

2024 G Joseph Taylor (Toledo St. John’s)

2023 F Mitchell Michalak (Toledo St. John’s)

Findlay Edges Toledo St. John’s

On Wednesday night, Toledo St. John’s traveled south to Findlay for a Three Rivers Athletic Conference showdown that was originally scheduled for Monday, but postponed due to weather. In a highly-anticipated game, featuring two of the area’s hottest teams, it would be Findlay that would edge St. John’s by a final score of 49-48. Here is who stood out:

2023 PG CJ Hornbeak (Toledo St. John’s) – Becoming more clearly one of the top prospects in Northwest Ohio regardless of class, Hornbeak has all the makings of a young Division 1 college basketball prospect. Plays with good pace and feel, has the developing basketball IQ you want in a point guard at his age. Physically mature, has good size and build. Shot the three on this night with great consistency with his feet set. Can get to the rim, probes the defense off the bounce, keeps his head up, and makes plays for others. Has a tight handle, and can deal with ball pressure with relative ease. Definitely willing to get down and defend, moves his feet, and can put pressure on the ball. Bright, bright future ahead.

2021 G/F AJ Adams (Findlay) – Adams was the best player on the floor on this night, although he had to deal with foul trouble in this one. Such a tough matchup for the defense, Adams is hard to check, as he can score and impact things offensively in so many ways. Getting more comfortable scoring it off the bounce, really active in the painted area. Playing with good efficiency, doesn’t force things, makes the most of what the defense gives him. Has a quick first step, and flashes his athleticism throughout the course of a game. Brings good length on defense, can guard multiple positions, and has to be accounted for on the glass. Going to be one of the top picks for Three Rivers Athletic Conference Player of the Year. The senior’s recruitment is still open, as he is without a doubt one of the top two available seniors in Northwest Ohio.

2021 G Brady Lichtenberg (Toledo St. John’s) – The standout quarterback headed to play football at Cincinnati has long been a special talent on the basketball floor, and proved so again in this one. Brings a lot of the intangibles and leadership to the floor that produce winning basketball. Always plays hard, competes on both ends, and gets others involves. Shot it well from the perimeter, which is nothing new, tough, not afraid of contact. Has had a great career of High School basketball, and will play a key role in how far this team goes in March.

2022 PG Max Roth (Findlay) – One of the better point guards in his class in Northwest Ohio, Roth was big in stretches on this night, including one where he knocked down two huge threes on consecutive possessions in the 4th quarter. Plays an explosive brand of basketball, can be hard to check defensively, and makes his presence felt all over the floor.

2022 F Brock Makrancy (Findlay) – Was huge in helping Findlay set the tone early in this game, with 8 points in the 1st quarter. Has good size on the perimeter, doesn’t need much space to knock down shots, and can do so going either direction off of screens. Stretches the floor with the aforementioned size and ability to shoot it. Active defensively and on the glass, where more times than not he has the advantage in his matchup.

Others who stood out: Jaedyn McKinstry (Toledo St. John’s), Justin Roth (Findlay), Thomas Zsiros (Toledo St. John’s).