Posted On: 05/30/18 5:56 PM
As you’ll see below, the 16U teams rank in a more traditional order than Ohio’s 17U teams. That’s not for the sake of saving face or any of that. It simply is what it is.
C2K asserted themselves atop Ohio’s 16U class as soon as they took the floor in Grand Rapids at the Storm Classic. Back in April, they won the championship by beating The Family twice, All Ohio Rebels, and everyone else in their way. They’ve posted a 5-3 record on the UAA circuit. Between Zeb Jackson, Matt Allocco, and VonCameron Davis, this group has totaled nine scholarship offers in the past two months. Mo Njie and Luka Eller are the top front-line in the state.
All Ohio Red isn’t far behind C2K whatsoever. The guard-heavy group is 7-5 in the E16 Challenge, including a win over Alabama Fusion. Red also had a comparable finish with C2K at the Run N’ Slam, winning just one less game and being eliminated in the same round on Sunday. Their best non-circuit weekend was a semifinalist finish at the Pitt Jam Fest.
Although they’ve only played a dozen games, OBC’s 16U team has racked up quality wins against Louisville Magic, Team Carroll, and others. Ohio’s adidas Gold affiliate is .500 on the circuit. They secured the no. 3 spot after reaching the semifinals at the adidas Gauntlet Qualifier in Chicago last weekend.
Why is there a non-shoe team in the top tier? Well, this Pumas team has only lost one game all spring, according to our records. They recently beat All Ohio Red on their way to the Super 16 Championship. Even more recently, they swept the field at the Memorial Day weekend event at Spiece. Pumas Black can also put the inaugural Mid Ohio Classic trophy on their shelf. And they got snubbed at the Bearcat Classic, where they left Cincinnati undefeated despite being somehow placed in the Silver Bracket.
The no. 4 spot for a non-shoe team — who isn’t even the most talented team on paper in their own program — is one heck of an accomplishment. However, here’s a better question about Mid Ohio Pumas Black: Why aren’t they no. 1 in the state?
We have to nit-pick in this rankings exercise; it comes with the territory. Our small gripe is with their schedule. If they hypothetically would’ve played in the Run N’ Slam or last weekend’s adidas event in Chicago against national competition, their ceiling would’ve been no. 1. Or maybe we’re just wrong and this is the best team in Ohio.
Although most of Nova’s players come from Central Ohio, it turns out that Indianapolis is where they’re most comfortable playing. Nova has gathered first place finishes at the Circle City Hoopfest and adidas Gauntlet Silver Session II this spring. They’re also very liable to move up into the top four after July, as they’ve played most weekends short-handed because of injury.
The Rebels have moved under the All Ohio umbrella this season. But that’s the only real big picture change to be noted, as this collection of NEO talent is still playing high octane pressure basketball while Garvin Clarke orchestrates the offense. Newcomer Amarion Dickerson (2021) has plugged some holes while Sandusky point guard Tahj Staveskie is still coming back from injury.
The primary reason Gold is behind the Rebels is a head-to-head loss at the Nike Cup. Otherwise, their records are very comparable. Also, Gold is playing better ball lately. They won the C2K Classic, against a talented pool of competition, to go along with a first place finish at the MYBA Spring Showdown in April.
Moving forward, TNBA Ohio is 26-4 after beating up on in-state tournaments. Their best win is against TNBA Ohio 17U, which ranks as no. 9 in the state in their age group. They were co-champs at the Showdown in Massillon while playing in the 17U division. TNBA Ohio also won the Solon Cage Classic outright.
All Ohio Cleveland has been slightly up and down. But when they’re on, this new All Ohio affiliate can really go. Most impressively, they started out the season with a championship at the Nike Cup. They also stole the show at the Dru Joyce Classic in Akron and the TNBA Memorial Classic last weekend.
Let’s do one sentence on each team in Tier 3.