Unknowns and Undervalued

Posted On: 01/28/19 1:02 PM

Welcome to The Week That Was, a recap of the past week’s best individual showings and OHSAA matchups.

We’ve made Volume 1 free to the public for a specific purpose: your feedback is important to us! In order for this article to be as inclusive as possible to every corner of Ohio, emails, direct messages, and replies from the public would be involved. Let us know when someone goes for 30 points in your city or wins a game on a buzzer beater. On Monday, send us your favorite matchups of the week! We will do our best to accommodate all deserving games and performances. 

Then, each Monday, your one-stop wrap-around the Buckeye State will look like this: 

Top prospect: Javohn Garcia (2019), 6’3” PG, Pickerington Central

Four wins, 77 points, and two Division I scholarship offers — Garcia is the obvious choice for this week’s Top Prospect. Toledo and James Madison extended their respective offer following the Trotwood game, where Pick Central surgically picked apart the Rams in their backyard. Garcia posted 32 points, four rebounds, five assists, and five steals at that Flyin’ to the Hoop performance.

Similar to last year when Jeremiah Francis went down, Garcia has raised his level of play now that Pick Central unexpectedly lost key pieces — Springfield transfers Sam Towns and JaJuan “Jay” Rodgers. Garcia is the state’s top unsigned senior guard prospect.


Top Performances

CJ Anthony: Monday afternoon, the junior guard shut-down all expectations of their game against Middletown Madison becoming a regular season Division III barn-burner. Scored 23 points in the first half including several 3-pointers and a dunk in transition. Harvest Prep won 79-56.

Jackie Harris: Toledo St. Francis’s Oakland commit had 19 points and 18 rebounds in less than three quarters against Fremont Ross on Tuesday. Then, despite the loss, Harris posted 26 and 15 Friday at Lima Senior.

Quentin Richardson: Richardson, a speedy junior lead guard, scored a career-high 38 points as Holy Name took down Bay, our no. 9 team in Division II.

Darren Rubin: Speaking of junior guards pulling off the upset, Rubin scored 36 points for Oakwood as they knocked-off 13-2 Brookville. Rubin was 15-for-15 from the charity stripe on Friday night  

Amari Davis: A motivated Davis dropped 36 points in Trotwood’s bounce-back win against Sidney, arguably the best Division I team in Dayton.

Jaden Hameed: Hameed saved 16 of his 24 points for the fourth quarter in VASJ’s impressive win over Hoban. Sophomore point guard has tremendous IQ and outside shooting ability.


Top plays

Nathan Bruns: Marion Local senior Nathan Bruns for the win from the top of the key against Cardinal Stritch (via SUVtv):

Colby Cross: Cedarville junior Colby Cross — who also reached 1,000 points this week — connects on a contested mid-range jumper before the horn sounds:

Jacob Drees: Drees secured a big win against Olentangy Liberty, hitting a turn-around jumper from about 15-feet before time expired.


Top Games

Click on the orange links to read the gamers from all of Ohio’s outstanding news sources. Publications cited this week: The News-Herald, Cleveland.com, Findlay Courier, Delaware Gazette, Springfield News Sun, Columbus Dispatch, Zanesville Times Recorder, Dayton Daily News, The Lima News, Akron Beacon Journal, Toledo Blade, and The Chronicle. 

Monday –

Pickerington Central v. Trotwood: No. 6 (D-I) Pickerington Central relied on heady, athletic guards to dismantle Trotwood’s fullcourt pressure at Flyin’ to the Hoop, winning 95-80. The Tigers ran up the score on wide-open shots and senior Javohn Garcia earned two Division I offers for the effort.

Marion Local v. Cardinal Stritch: Just 1.5 seconds remained on the clock after Nathan Bruns’ 3-point game-winner at Flyin’ to the Hoop. Hard to resist comparisons to last season’s Division IV State Championship, where Bruns powered the Flyers to an unlikely win with late-game heroics. Flyers are 8-5.

Harvest Prep v. Middletown Madison: This game wasn’t close, nor competitive. Harvest Prep, no. 3 in D-III, buried the Mohawks in the first half to hand them their second loss of the season.

Hughes v. Cleveland Heights: A couple days after defeating rival Taft, the CMAC-leading Big Red took care of business at Flyin’ to the Hoop, 83-67. Breakout game for unsigned 6’9 senior center Kenny Jackson who posted 17 points and 12 rebounds against Louisville commit Jaelyn Withers and company.

St. Ignatius at VASJ: VASJ was caught slipping at home as Ignatius added a much-needed 76-58 win. Daniel Nunez-Vergara sparked Iggy with 19 points off the bench.


Tuesday –

St. Vincent-St. Mary at Warrensville Heights: The Irish overcame a midseason malaise to win 68-59 on the road against one of Division III’s top teams. Malaki Branham scored 15 points and credited this season’s offensive success to newfound confidence.

Whitmer at Findlay: The Whitmer Panthers recovered from their first loss of the season last Friday by winning in a tough Findlay environment. Senior Cavon Butler is back in the fold and he made his presence known by scoring 14 second half points.

Olentangy Liberty at Hilliard Davidson: Cedarville signee Jacob Drees sealed the win, fade-away style, for Davidson. Two-sport prospect Gage Keys, a 6’6” forward, added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Davidson.

Delaware Hayes at Thomas Worthington: Jalen Sullinger — who would go on to receive a Kent State offer Saturday — scored 22 points as TWHS knotted up the season series with Hayes.

Princeton at Springfield: By a score of 59-48, the Wildcats scored a win in their first marquee matchup of the week. Unsigned senior wing RaHeim Moss led the way with 20 points.

Granville at Columbus DeSales: Three players — Kayin Derden, Kobe Righter, Obed Achirem — scored in double-figures as DeSales conquered a fellow Central Ohio Division II contender.


Thursday –

Benedictine at Cleveland Central Catholic: Rough week for CCC, who dropped their second game of the season to rival Benedictine. The Bengals have strong 2020 and 2021 classes, but it’s been Bowling Green signee Davin Zeigler who continues to steer the ship, scoring a game-high 24 points in this one.

Rosecrans at Berne Union: Sounds like flat-out effort was the difference as Rosecrans started off their pivotal week with a 56-44 victory on the road.  


Friday –

Trotwood at Sidney: Arguably the two best teams in Dayton battled Friday night. Trotwood decisively hailed victorious, riding a 36-point performance from Green Bay signee Amari Davis.

Toledo St. Francis at Lima Senior: The stars came to play for either team as Lima finished a season sweep of the Knights, 68-64. The Spartan trio of Jamir Simpson, Josiah Fulcher, and Khalil Luster combined for 39 points and 22 rebounds. The Knights senior duo of Jackie Harris and Jakiel Wells: 44 points and 24 rebounds.

VASJ at Hoban: A 16-point fourth quarter from Jaden Hameed was topped off by a Jason Priah game-winning layup as VASJ took down one of Northeast Ohio’s most underrated teams, 76-74.

Toledo Christian at Maumee Valley: Fututre Michigan Wolverine Zeb Jackson’s 20 points and 15 rebounds powered the Hawks past the Eagles. These two are now tied in the conference at 4-2, trailing Cardinal Stritch’s 5-1.

Lorain at Warrensville Heights: Miami (OH) commit and Mr. Basketball candidate Devon Grant led the way in a 80-64 win over Warrensville, scoring 21 points.

Princeton at Lakota East: Bash Wieland, a senior hovering around 20 points per game, scored 26 as Lakota East picked up another GMC win. They hold command of the league at 9-1.


Saturday –

Olentangy Liberty v. Pickerington North: Senior wings Ben Roderick and Nick Nakasian contributed a combined 48 points as Liberty picked up a quality win over Pick North, 75-64.

Hilliard Bradley v. Newark: Defense and preparation were the catalyst as the Jaguars held Newark to 42 points in a one-point win at the Jared Sullinger Classic. Matt Allocco scored 20 points for Bradley, who is undefeated.

St. Vincent-St. Mary at Benedictine: STVM continued to inch closer to preseason expectations, adding another double-digit victory in their 10-game win streak. Seth Wilson, Lunden McDay, Davin Zeigler, and Jashun Cobb all scored 15 points.

Springfield at Moeller: After a couple relatively narrow wins over Elder and Lakota East, Moeller went back-to-back over St. Xavier and Springfield this weekend, winning by 25+ each game.

Garfield Heights at Pickerington Central: Garner Wallace’s career-high 30 points energized the home crowd in the Jared Sullinger Classic final as Pick Central took down Garfield Heights. Tigers appear poised for a postseason run despite personnel losses.

Cleveland Central Catholic at Toledo St. John’s: Unsigned senior guard Payton Moyer paved the way for SJJ, a team who hasn’t loss since adding transfer Caleb Smith to the lineup.

Rosecrans at Fisher Catholic: Rosecrans deserves major consideration for our Division IV Power Rankings after this 55-47 win, which followed a crucial Thursday one over Berne Union.