The best division name resides in the Central Buckeye Conference, with the Mad River division being that name. It is the most creative name and the name that makes it seem like no team likes one another in the division. Every team has played a minimum of three games so far this season, with North Union (4-1; 1-0 in division) and Benjamin Logan (4-1; 2-1 in division) being the only teams with only one loss. Graham (4-2; 1-1 in division) are right behind the Wildcats and the Raiders with the same amounts of victories and only one more loss in that column, but they look to get into the race for this division before the season is over with. Northwestern (0-3; 0-2 in division) is the only winless team in the Mad River while Indian Lake (1-5; 1-1 in division) only have one win on their resume. Right in the middle of the division is Urbana (2-1; 1-1 in division) who are always tough and will have a word to say about the winner of this division before this season is done with. All of these teams have a player, if not more than one, that has stood out so
The best division name resides in the Central Buckeye Conference, with the Mad River division being that name. It is the most creative name and the name that makes it seem like no team likes one another in the division. Every team has played a minimum of three games so far this season, with North Union (4-1; 1-0 in division) and Benjamin Logan (4-1; 2-1 in division) being the only teams with only one loss. Graham (4-2; 1-1 in division) are right behind the Wildcats and the Raiders with the same amounts of victories and only one more loss in that column, but they look to get into the race for this division before the season is over with. Northwestern (0-3; 0-2 in division) is the only winless team in the Mad River while Indian Lake (1-5; 1-1 in division) only have one win on their resume. Right in the middle of the division is Urbana (2-1; 1-1 in division) who are always tough and will have a word to say about the winner of this division before this season is done with. All of these teams have a player, if not more than one, that has stood out so far in this 2020-2021 basketball season and these are the players that have done just that.
Zach VernonZachVernon6'6" | CNorth Union | 2022StateOH
- Junior; North Union: This 6-foot-7 junior is a throwback player, utilizing power moves in the post and displaying a soft touch around the rim and being able to finish with either hand. Vernon plays with a physical edge that most athletes his age do not and is not afraid to throw his weight around and carve out space for rebounding. The junior averages 17.8 points per game and snags down eight boards as well. Vernon is also the most efficient player in the entire conference, shooting a ridiculous 63.8% from the field which leads the Central Buckeye Conference. He is effective at getting to his spot on offense and sealing off his defender. Vernon is solid on defense, controlling the paint and deterring drivers of the basketball with his interior length and ability to move side-to-side. He is a prospect that will continue to put up big numbers for North Union because of his skill set and the amount of touches he will continue to get as well.
Preston CrabtreePrestonCrabtree6'3" | SGNorth Union | 2021StateOH
- Senior; North Union: The top returning scorer from last season’s team, Crabtree is scoring 16.6 points per game (despite not shooting the ball his best just yet) and grabbing four rebounds which is not bad for a guard. Crabtree’s jump shot is pure and it’s what will earn him a scholarship as well, but he can also put the ball on the ground and use his solid handle to get to the basket where he can finish pretty well. This young man can play off the ball at the next level due to his ability to run without the ball in his hands and shoot the ball at a high rate but his handle and smart decision making make him reliable enough to run the team’s offense. Last season, Crabtree led his team to 24-straight wins which showed that he is a flat out winner, along with playing a huge part on the Wildcat football team, he has put on display his leadership skills which is something that all programs need.
Davontae Fahle- Senior; Benjamin Logan: One of the most impressive guards in the conference, Fahle not only scores at will but he also is an amazing rebounder. Fahle scores 18 points per game and snatches down 10.2 rebounds per game which is good for second in the conference so far this season. There have been games in which he has dominated by using his athletic ability to crash the glass and start the transition offense for his team while having the capability to finish at the rim. Fahle provides energy on defense to go along with his athleticism and that disrupts the flow of the opposing offense and ball handlers, allowing him to accumulate steals for his team. His 6-foot-3 height and will to get the ball can make him an effective player at the next level where he will be able to take advantage of his skill set.
Trey Allen- Senior; Benjamin Logan: Second in the conference in assists with 6.8, Allen puts his vision and passing skill on display game in and game out. Allen has a season-high of nine assists this season and does it by throwing open his teammates with sweet bounce passes that lead them to the basket or nice chest passes that end up in a shooter’s hand ready to let the ball fly. He adds in 11.4 points per game for a team that he runs with pace and intelligence, understanding when to pass and when to score himself. Allen is not the best shooter but he does not need to be when he gets into the paint and can create offense as well as any guard in the Central Buckeye Conference. He has a soft touch around the rim when it is time for him to score, getting the ball high off the glass on lay-ups and using his creativity to get off shots over taller players. Allen can be the settling guard off the bench for a college program from day one and grow into a team leader down the road.
Will Donahoe- Freshman- Urbana: Being the youngest player on this list speaks volumes for the type of player he is right now and what his ceiling is, this young man’s potential is through the roof of the Hillclimber gym. The youngster is averaging 16 points per game and is shooting over 51% from the field which shows he is taking good, smart shots even though he is super young. The 5-foot-10 guard is a three-level scorer that gets going from his mid-range shots then take defenders outside and in which feels different than what most young players would do. Donahoe plays with the confidence of a senior, not afraid of shooting the ball more than the seniors. A young man who is not only the future but also the present for this team and a prospect that will keep growing and expanding his skill set while developing his all-around game.
Brady King- Senior; Graham: His team relies on him to score and he pays them back by scoring 21.3 points per game, not having scored less than 18 points in any single game so far this season, King has been on an absolute scoring rampage. In his team’s two losses, King did everything he could to keep his Falcons in them games but came up just short in the end. King attacks the defense from the opening tip, whether he gets to the basket or shoot from three. As he gets to the hoop, he is prone to contact and racking up fouls on defenders and getting to the free throw line were he can hit them at a decently high rate of 77%. With King already being the majority of his team’s offense, expect his numbers to stay up and college coaches start to see him for the talent that he can be.
Taliek Dennis- Senior; Northwestern: In his first game of the season, Dennis exploded for 30 huge points in his team’s loss at Indian Lake, he did everything he could to push his team to victory but came up just short in the end. Taliek is second in the conference, averaging upwards of 22 points and a hair over five rebounds as well. Dennis gets into the paint and creates scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates as well using his quick first step and athleticism. This 6-foot senior also forces turnovers on defense, ripping away 2.3 steals per game, and he turns it into quick offense by blazing down the court and finishing with either hand. Dennis can be a productive player at the next level, with his smarts, athletic ability and the will he has getting into the lane. Add on the fact that he is money from the free throw line, something that coaches love, and his future is seemingly bright.
Zander Barnes- Senior: Indian Lake: A pure stat-sheet-stuffer, Barnes fills up every category, he averages 13.2 points per game along with four rebounds, four assists and a conference-leading 3.6 steals per game. Barnes is not the best shooter but he finds a way to get in the lane and finish among the trees despite his 5-foot-9 height, he can also keep defenses honest with his streaky-at-best shooting. This kind of gritty point guard has always worked in high school basketball, Barnes is tough and always looking to make plays for the other players around him. Barnes' stifling defense allows him to get out in transition and get easy buckets. This senior can provide energy off the bench for small college teams and use his talents to help any program to successful seasons.
*All statistics provided by cbcsportsonline.com