Posted On: 03/24/18 5:01 PM
The Division IV season came to a close in exciting form as Marion Local upset Cornerstone Christian in double overtime. Tyler Mescher, calmly delivered the game-winning free throws with 2.6 second left to give the Flyers a 52-51 win.
— Prep Hoops Ohio (@PrepHoopsOH) March 24, 2018
Throughout the three D-IV games this weekend, there were five players who clearly stood above the rest. Together, they make up the First Team All Tournament for this division.
*MVP* Nathan Bruns – 33 PTS (46%), 21 REB, 6 AST
Mike Bothwell – 45 PTS (60%), 11 REB, 4 AST
Tyler Mescher – 35 PTS (54%), 15 REB, 2 AST
Kendall Saunders – 22 PTS (73 %), 20 REB, 0 AST, 4 BLK
Drew Johnson – 24 PTS (69%), 4 REB, 1 AST, 3/3 on 3-pointers
Nathan Bruns (2019), 6’6” W/F, Marion Local
Bruns had a championship effort down the stretch for the Flyers against CCA. The two-sport star does a lot of things on both ends. He rebounds with the best of ‘em because of his long reach, strong hands, leaping ability, and effort. Bruns also facilitated their offense as a secondary ball-handler in the press-breaker and/or at the top of the key when they swung it around.
Mostly though, Bruns is the D-IV MVP because of crucial shots late. He swished home a pair of needed 3-pointers, including a game-tying one from the corner at the end of the first overtime. He didn’t shoot a high percentage and needs to work on his touch inside, but many of his spinning hooks just barely rimmed out. Bruns can also defend all five positions and gave Bothwell problems on the perimeter.
Division II and NAIA programs should make him a priority. The D-I quarterback prospect prefers basketball and would like to stay close to Marion for college.
Mike Bothwell (2018), 6’3” G, Cornerstone Christian
Bothwell claimed the superlative as the best off-the-dribble 3-point shooter in the state this weekend. His shifty handle allows him to get a clean look at the rim pretty much whenever. Unfortunately for CCA, he was the only player able to create offense against Marion Local’s defense. Some contested left-handed jumpers and elusive finishes kept them in it for 40 minutes.
Tyler Mescher (2018), 6’1” F/C, Marion Local
The senior work horse was the one you saw in that video with the game-winning free throws. He led the team in scoring this weekend, most of which came on face-up jumpers or tough layups. He jumps straight into the torso of taller forwards and gets rid of the ball very quickly once he catches. Mescher constantly moves, energizing them with his effort and vocal leadership.
Kendall Saunders (2018), 6’5” F, Cornerstone Christian
Although Saunders wasn’t a consistent factor in the championship game, he was the top pure forward prospect in the D-IV Final Four. He punished a small Hiland team inside on Thursday and had a couple powerful finishes today too. He’s capable of shooting the jumper but didn’t look to do so this weekend.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Canadian exchange student does in the coming months, whether it be a Canadian university, prep school, or a D-II/NAIA American opportunity.
Drew Johnson (2018), 6’6” W, Pandora-Gilboa
The only player to earn this honor despite playing one game. The Huntington signee dropped 19 points in their first half against Marion Local before going cold after half. He finished up his high school career shooting the 3 at a high level. He’ll provide efficient scoring at the next level. Johnson surprised us with his mid-range post moves, as we thought he was more one-dimensional than that.