Marquee Matchups: Week 3 in Northeast Ohio

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Posted On: 12/11/17 11:32 AM

We’re entering week three in the Ohio high school basketball season. All that means is another strong slate of games around the state, so let’s get into it with this week’s version of Marquee Matchups.

Dec. 14: St. Ignatius at Cleveland Heights

Ignatius is off to a 2-0 start this season despite graduating a collegiate level front-court. This week will be a real test for them as their game against Cleveland Heights is sandwiched between Cornerstone Christian and Solon. Meanwhile, Cleveland Heights has also come out the gates strong, winning their first three games.

This one will feature Cleveland Heights’ experience against a disciplined Ignatius team. Cleveland Heights’ Yahel Hill already has two 30 point games in the early going. Yet, Ignatius may need to worry more about 6’4” forward Tyreke Smith, an All American on the football field whose strength is a game-changer for the Tigers inside.

Dec. 15: Shaker Heights at Mentor

Mentor is 2-0 and they’re still working in their football players after their run in the state playoffs. Shaker Heights has an identical 2-0 record coming into play.

Shaker is led by their athletic perimeter talent in Fairmont State commit Dale Bonner and unsigned 6’6” wing Christian Guess. On the other side, Mentor has a well-balanced team with seniors Tadas Tatarunas, Caden Kryz, Shane Zalba, and Matt Koski.

Dec. 15: Cleveland Central Catholic vs. Benedictine

Cleveland Central Catholic has spent some time off since their opening win over Cornerstone Christian at the Great Lakes Classic. They’re 1-0 coming into a rivalry game against a 1-1 Benedictine team. Benedictine’s one loss came in a 89-83 thriller against Garfield Heights this past weekend.

CCC’s pair of lockdown defenders, Dyshawn Jackson and Delshawn Jackson, will have their hands full with Benedictine’s Davin Zeigler and Andy Barba. On paper, Benedictine has an advantage in the post with Mario Caywood, Bryan Washington Jr., and Anthony Maxie. Yet, CCC is known for throwing teams off their game with pressure in the backcourt and relentless hustle.

Dec. 16: St. Ignatius at Solon

Just two days removed from a tough game at Cleveland Heights, we’ll see what Ignatius has left in the tank for Solon.

The Comets have absolutely dominated in their first three games to open the season and could end up being a real challenger to Garfield Heights because of their guard play. West Liberty commit Sincere Carry is averaging 23.7 points to start the year, to go along with Fairmont State commit Michael Bekelja’s 22.3, and Trent Williams’ 14.

Dec. 17: Stow at St. Vincent-St. Mary

Early in the season, St. Vincent-St. Mary looks to be the best Northeast Ohio Division II team, despite graduating two Division I players in the backcourt. They’re currently 2-1 after wins against VASJ and Trotwood last week. Stow has only played one game thus far, a 22-point beat down against Barberton.

This game will be a contrast of strengths, as Stow’s has a pair of versatile 6’8” forwards in Ohio University commit Mason McMurray and junior Evan Bainbridge. STVM is a guard-oriented team, led by freshman Seth Wilson and senior Scott Walter. They’re accompanied by Darius Cone and Chris Painter at the guard spot. The Irish will likely need strong defensive nights from 6’5” forward Keyshawn Jones and 6’2” hybrid Lunden McDay on Sunday.