Saturday in Columbus: Top Performers

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Posted On: 03/4/18 5:00 AM

Grandview Heights and Bishop Hartley are separated by about 20 minutes. So, luckily, we were able to check out those schools take on Johnstown-Monroe and Centennial respectively. Johnstown took down Grandview Heights while Hartley handled Centennial.

From freshmen to seniors, there was plenty of talent on the floor. So, let’s get into some evaluations on what we saw during the two sectional games.

Jake Lusk (2021), 6’3” W, Johnstown

Lusk played with the urgency and toughness of an upperclassmen in a loud environment on the road. In particular, a fourth quarter offensive rebound that he ripped away from an opposing forward was representative of his determination to win. Also, Lusk showed skill as a mid-range scorer with step-backs and other crafty moves.

Owen Hazelbaker (2019), 6’6” F, Johnstown

Hazelbaker appears to be a nice D-II/NAIA prospect at this time. He’s a burly 6’6” forward who can release his jumper when there’s space available. He’s most effective in the paint and we would’ve liked to see him embrace that more aggressively.

The defensive end is where Hazelbaker truly shined. He communicated with teammates and even detailed plays before they came. Meaning, Hazelbaker was so prepared for Grandview Heights that he was beating the opposing to their spots by four steps and telling his guards which screens to look out for.

Carson Carter (2018), 6’3” G, Johnstown

Carter clearly didn’t want to end his high school career on Saturday night. Similar to Lusk, Carter did everything in his power to win every play and loose ball. He handled the primary ball-handler role and set a patient pace. Carter scored a couple terrific layups in transition also. Defensively, he was flying in for weak-side rebounds and blocks. His intangibles are enough that a local D-III might want to take a chance on him.

Luke Lachey (2020), 6’7” F, Grandview Heights

Lachey turned it on in the fourth quarter for Grandview Heights, but it was too late. Although his 11 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks impressed, they needed Lachey to be a bit more aggressive. He was effective as a face-up scorer when he attacked. His first step is okay and he’s a threat to release the jumper, one of the most promising pieces of his game. Being consistently aggressive on both ends and asserting his size are things we’ll look for in the summer from Lachey. Division I upside as a prospect.

Myles Martinez (2019), 6’6” W/F, Centennial

Martinez is a super sleeper in Columbus’s 2019 class, but we really like him as a D-III prospect. He’s pretty skilled and could be a dynamic mid-range scorer if he packs on some muscle. Martinez already has a smooth package of moves around the elbow but is too shy. His pump fake is especially effective in creating space. Despite his height, Martinez’s defensive fit is on the perimeter.

Morgan Safford (2019), 6’4” G, Bishop Hartley

Safford’s athleticism and open court playmaking ability was the difference for Hartley last night. He posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, often securing a defensive rebound and pushing the break with timely passes way up the court. His precision and feel while going full speed was impressive.

We fully expect Safford to receive multiple Division I offers this summer. His only question mark is the jumper, I guess. However, his stroke is pure and that’s really nit-picking, as he’s not a bad shooter by any means.

Payton Collins (2019), 6’7” F/C, Bishop Hartley

Collins just bullies opponents for positioning on rebounds. He’s not a vertical athlete, but he’s a surefire eight rebounds a night because of his strength and positioning. Collins finished with 20 points, which speaks to his touch around the basket. Hitting catch-and-shoot jumpers and defending at a high level will determine if Collins grabs scholarships this grassroots season. Otherwise, he’ll round out as a terrific D-III player.