Posted On: 12/5/17 6:00 AM
Heading into the first full week of high school basketball, we’re taking a look at the top games in Ohio.
The battle for bragging rights in Pickerington headlines this week’s slate, but there are a pair of other games, including a Division III headliner.
The Wellington School, one of the most talented Division III teams in Central Ohio, welcome in a tough Division I opponent. Dane Goodwin and Max Martz will open their season tonight, with a Regional Championship as a realistic goal.
Goodwin enters the season as the most decorated player in the state and preseason favorite by many for the Ohio Mr. Basketball award. The Notre Dame commit will have some of the offensive load taken off him by his emerging counterpart, Martz, a 6’5” junior wing. Those two alone will make for a high-powered offensive machine this season. Sophomore Max Mollman and freshman Kobe Buford are also players to watch for UA.
Wellington notched their first victory of the season against Maumee Valley by a score of 63-54. Air Force commit Solomon Pierre-Louis and unsigned 6’5” guard Bob Faller make up a duo of wings in their own right. Expect those two to lead the way as scorers. Senior point guard Guy Schmidt and shooting specialist Dallas Patrick (2019) join them in the backcourt. Noah Berry (2018), a 6’7” forward, will need to control the painted area if the Jaguars are going to overcome UA’s offensive firepower.
Likely the two best teams in Central Ohio giving us an early season rivalry matchup on Friday night. Pickerington Central will be without North Carolina commit Jeremiah Francis for another game. Pickerington North will look to avenge their loss in the season opener against Dayton Wayne and last season’s loss against Pick Central in the Regional Finals.
A part of Pick North’s height advantage is out to start the season, as 6’10” forward/center Ross Ryan (2018) is still recovering. Regardless, they’ll look to exploit matchups for Jerome Hunter and Elijah McNamara, who are signed with Indiana and Miami (OH) respectively. They’ll need defense from senior guards Dondre Palmer, Ty Wiley, and Corey Baker, as Pick Central has a strong rotation of perimeter players.
In Francis’ absence, expect junior Javohn Garcia and sophomore Josiah Fulcher to have much more responsibility. Even 6’0” junior Jaidon Lipscomb will need to knock down jumpers off the bench for them to stay close. Adrian Nelson, Juan Elmore, and Coleton Landis will need to compete on the boards too.
Folks should get their tickets now if they plan on finding their way into this one.
The Jaguars are featured in their second signature game of the weekend, this one against a fellow Division III opponent.
Harvest Prep is led by Taylor (IN) commit CJ Penha (2018), a 6’6” versatile wing who will likely play all five positions as a senior. Facing off with Berry on the boards could be this game’s X-factor. The backcourt of junior Soul Hines and sophomore CJ Anthony is a strongpoint for Harvest Prep. Anthony is the point guard of the future. The 6’0” lead guard is mature decision-maker who can score inside and out. Wellington looks like the more complete ball club with their rotation of aforementioned talent.