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Posted On: 06/22/18 9:11 AM
If the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference gives us the same type of action in 2018 that we got in 2017, then area fans should be in for a treat. Taft, Hughes and Woodward all finished within two games of each other with the Senators re-capturing the crown. But with a new season comes new story lines and in the case of the CMAC, new additions to the conference. Here are some summer story lines for the CMAC.
Two New Programs
This year the CMAC adds two new schools into the family with the additions of Gamble Montessori and Riverview East. East is coming off an 8-10 season and a 1st round loss to the eventual D-III state champs in Deer Park. Gamble loss in the sectional finals to Ripley-Union in the D-IV playoffs to finish the season 12-10 overall. But the Gators come into the conference with a ton of talent, so do not be surprised if they finish in the top four of league.
Lots to Replace in Clifton
Big Red enjoyed an outstanding last season finishing with a 24-4 and finishing within one game of reaching Columbus and the D-II Final Four. But they lose all 5 starters and 65ppg from last year’s team, that’s a lot of production to replace. Not only could those guys put the ball in the bucket, but they also all have versatile skill sets and did an outstanding job of running Coach Wyant offense. Can guys like G AB Harouna (2019) and G/W Tyon Thompson (2019) step up their production and leadership and keep the Hughes train rolling?
Another Possible Bulldog Legend?
It only took two seasons for 2018 graduate Terry Durham to put his name amongst some of the greats to play at Woodward. But with him moving on to Triton (IL), it’s time for a new player to take over the mantle and that player will be incoming freshman G Paul McMillan IV. Son of former Woodward HC Paul McMillan III, young P-Mac has been making noise nationally at various camps and AAU tournaments over the years. Back in May playing for U17 All-Ohio Cincinnati McMillan was named MVP of the Midwest Future Stars Tournament, as an 8th grader! This on the legs of what many consider an outstanding performance at Under Armour Next Combine in Chicago. He is the best freshman in the state.
Along with the before mentioned McMillan, there is some pretty good underclassmen talent that will be major contributors within the CMAC. First off is G Dre Lewis (2021), a teammate of McMillan who can flat out shoot the basketball. He had 5 double figure scoring games last season and made some big shots in the Bulldogs victory over Taft in the playoffs back in March.
Next is class of 2021 G/W Cameron McKenzie who did not get much time on varsity due to the talent that Hughes possessed. But this young man could be Big Red’s leading scorer next season. Playing for D. Miller Elite, where he is also a teammate of Paul McMillan IV, McKenzie can score the ball from all three levels but is very good from the mid-range area. And at 6’2 has really good size and can shoot easily over smaller defenders.
2021 G Kaden Warner transferring from North College Hill to Gamble back in April was a huge addition for Coach Roberto Allen. Warner had a good varsity season for the Trojans and scored a season-high 27 in their loss to Madeira in the D-III playoffs. Warner competes hard on both ends and create shots for himself and his teammates as well. Playing up with the BTC Trojans during the AAU season, Warner has shown that he truly is one of the top young players in Cincinnati.
And of course, there is 2021 G Jakada Stone who was the 3rd leading scorer for the Aiken Falcons at 13ppg while leading the team in assist per game at 3.6, which was good enough for 6th in the conference. He, combined with the before mentioned Kaden Warner, make up one of the better 16U backcourts in the state despite playing up in age.