Posted On: 12/18/17 6:01 AM
Early season jitters are no longer an excuse, as conference play has begun around the state. Just before holiday tournaments start next week, we’re going to take a look at the top week four games in each state region.
We have another strong series of games in Northeast Ohio, including a highlight reel waiting to happen on Wednesday.
Tuesday night in Lakewood will be a matchup of talented undefeated teams. Brush has excelled in the early season despite the injury of the center John Hugley. They still have a strong group of upperclassmen with DJ Dial, Andre Harris, Dorian Grayer, Tahj Benton and Tyler Williams. They’ll need to stop St. Edward’s strong sophomore class of Montorie Foster and Devontae Blanton. St. Eds has ran through their early season tests against Lakewood, Beachwood, Cornerstone Christian, and Padua, winning those games by an average of 24 points. They’ve been dealing with an injury of their own in Grant Huffman.
Another matchup of undefeated teams on Wednesday night. On the basis of high-level talent, this might be the most anticipated game of the season in Northeast Ohio. On the Shaker sideline you have Fairmont State commit Dale Bonner, Kevin Bishop and Christian Guess, an unsigned wing who went for 57 points against Mentor on Friday. Garfield Heights carries their own 50-point scorer in freshman Meechie Johnson. The Bulldogs also have Alonzo Gaffney, Alex Heath, Taj’mal Toney, Donovan Forte, and Jesse Laster. The Bulldogs have been pegged by many as the Division I State Tournament representative from NEO this season, but this will be a second very real test against an experienced group.
Cleveland Heights will likely be included in every week’s Marquee Matchups because of their difficult schedule. The Tigers went 1-1 last week, with a loss against Ignatius and close victory over Lutheran East. This conference game against Maple Heights is another difficult one, as point guard Alfonse Hale is a tough matchup for Yahel Hill. Marcus Kimme and Key’shawn Ford are two other prospects to watch on this 4-0 Maple team.
A deep and offensively potent Mentor team is 3-1 entering the week, averaging 93.3 points per game. Senior Matt Koski has led the way for Mentor this season, averaging just a tick under 20 points per game. They’ll need to tighten up their defense against Solon’s brilliant backcourt of Sincere Carry, Michael Bekelja, and Trent Williams.