With many teams finally starting play this week, the Central Catholic League is one of the toughest leagues to win in all of Central Ohio, with the top three teams being separated by two games to end the 2019-2020 season. The Stallions of Desales (19-6) who won the league last season have already started the season off with a huge loss from last season’s third place finisher, Bishop Ready (16-7 last season; 2-0 this year), squeaking by with a two-point victory, 48-46. Last year’s runner, the St. Charles Cardinals (18-6) look to hit the floor this Wednesday in hopes of winning the league this season. Last year’s last place finishers Bishop Hartley (8-14) will more than likely play their first game sometime after Christmas, a gift their players and students are looking forward to. Bishop Watterson (11-12) lost the lone game they have played this year, but they are constantly competitive in this league and given the familiarity with these teams nobody would be shocked to see Eagles on top of this league at the end of the 2020-2021 season. As a whole, the Central Catholic League has
With many teams finally starting play this week, the Central Catholic League is one of the toughest leagues to win in all of Central Ohio, with the top three teams being separated by two games to end the 2019-2020 season. The Stallions of Desales (19-6) who won the league last season have already started the season off with a huge loss from last season’s third place finisher, Bishop Ready (16-7 last season; 2-0 this year), squeaking by with a two-point victory, 48-46. Last year’s runner, the St. Charles Cardinals (18-6) look to hit the floor this Wednesday in hopes of winning the league this season. Last year’s last place finishers Bishop Hartley (8-14) will more than likely play their first game sometime after Christmas, a gift their players and students are looking forward to. Bishop Watterson (11-12) lost the lone game they have played this year, but they are constantly competitive in this league and given the familiarity with these teams nobody would be shocked to see Eagles on top of this league at the end of the 2020-2021 season. As a whole, the Central Catholic League has big time competition at the top and any team can win it which means many exciting games to come from these teams and players alike.
Darius ParhamDariusParham6'3" | SGBishop Ready | 2021StateOH
- Senior; Bishop Ready: The young man who could possibly be the best overall long-term prospect in the league, Parham has already started his senior campaign with a splash. In his first game against Desales, Parham racked up 26 points and followed that up with a 24-point performance in another win. He is the leading returning scorer for the Silver Knights, he averaged 18.5 points per game in 2019-2020, and it seems as though he has a good chance to surpass that. He has a career-high of 34 points as well, showing how lethal he is when the ball is in his hands. Parham can also score when the offense does not flow through him, gathering offensive rebounds and showing an explosive burst to finish with either hand. This young man can also defend at a high level, being able to block shots around the rim and cause havoc when he begins to activate those long arms he has. Parham is really good and can excel at either guard spot on the next level.
Des Watson- Senior; DeSales: Already committed to Steph Curry’s alma mater, Davidson, Watson has shown that for now he is the best player in the Central Catholic League. Watson is consistent, scoring at will on every defender opposing the opposing team put in front of him. Last season, Watson put up 22.7 points per game with a 39-point outburst and only being held to single-digit scoring one time as a junior. This young man is a wizard in transition, letting his athleticism show with his speed in the open court, his amazing hands and his ability to outjump defenders and dunk in their faces. Watson can get to the basket with a number of big time moves inside the three-point line, especially his spin move which is almost unstoppable when he gets it going. Not much more can be said about Watson, he will have another spectacular season and emphasis just why Davidson came knocking down his door and wanted to have him.
Davis Boone- Senior; Bishop Watterson: He came out and scored 11 points in his team’s first game this season, a small step up from the 10.4 points per game in 2019-2020. Boone, who is also a first-team all-district tight end for the Eagles, is a 6-foot-2 guard who can get to the basket at will and finish with either hand. His tight end physicality allows him to carve out space in the paint for him to rebound the basketball. Boone is also a reliable shooter from deep, being able to get shot off, off the dribble and an effective mid-range pull up jump shot. Defensively, Boone is excellent, he can pressure the ball handler and create turnovers with his quick, strong hands. The Bishop Watterson backcourt could be one that is tough to defeat in the 2020-2021 high school basketball season.
Jacob Hoying- Senior; Bishop Watterson: Boone’s backcourt mate, Hoying only played 13 total games last season where he scored 48 cumulative points. In game one of this season he led his team in scoring with 12 points and played an instrumental role on defense as well. The quarterback for the Eagles brings his leadership and poise over to the basketball court, along with his ability to go off-script when things go wrong for the Eagle offense. The son of former Ohio State Buckeye Bobby Hoying, Jacob is a good shooter from deep but makes his money on the court by driving the ball and living at the free throw line. Hoying looks to increase his scoring output this season, but with most of his focus on football, it will be interesting to see the performances he puts on while playing basketball this season.
Chase WalkerChaseWalker6'6" | CSt. Charles | 2023StateOH
- Sophomore; St. Charles: This massive young man takes up space and uses his wide body to be effective. Walker has gotten better with his lateral movement, being able to slide his feet and defend on the perimeter a little better and in the paint he is impossible to post up because it is so difficult to get around him. Walker is a good passer out of the paint as well, showing great vision and outstanding zip on his passes, he also can score in the paint with a plethora of moves in the post. Last season, Walker averaged upwards of eight points per game with a season-high of 16 points. He had a great summer, shedding some pounds which helped him gain some quickness, along with the ability to hit mid-range jump shots. It will be interesting to see if this time off has helped Walker more with his movement and if the improvements he made this summer will come to fruition this season.
PJ DanielsPJDaniels5'11" | PGBishop Ready | 2021OH
- Senior; Bishop Ready: Despite only scoring four points in the opening game, the ceiling for Daniels is still high especially when he averaged a tick over 10 points per game in 2019-2020. Daniels had a season-high of 19 last season, showing that he could put the ball in the hoop when Darius ParhamDariusParham6'3" | SGBishop Ready | 2021StateOH
does not have it going or needs another player to make big shots. The 6-foot-1 guard is also a hound on the defensive side of the court, showing a nose for the ball with the skill and ability to take the basketball away and begin fast breaks on his own. In transition, he is special. Daniels can use his athleticism to fly by defenders, get to the basket and finish however he pleases once he is there. He is a really good ball handler as well, able to get where he wants on the court and can raise up and shoot over anybody, with a nice looking shot and can get in the lane as smoothly as any player in this league. Daniels senior campaign did not get off on the right foot scoring-wise but he is as ready as ever on the defensive side of the court.
Will MIller- Senior; Bishop Hartley: Returning to a team that finished in last place, Miller looks to have an impact on a resurgent Hawks’ squad. He comes back as the team’s second-leading returning scorer, averaging 9.7 points per game in the 2019-2020 season, complete with an 18-point season high. Miller is as fundamentally sound as any player that this writer has observed in the Central Catholic League, every move he makes is calculated, smart and the correct one. This young man is also one of the best shooters in this league as well, great at setting his feet and his release is just quick enough to where he can get it off over most defenders. Miller is also as tough as they come, using his power and strength to combat the athleticism of the other guards in the area. A player that should have more eyes on him as the season goes along because he will continue to impress on both ends of the court for a team that should be much improved from last year.
Amari GastonAmariGaston6'3" | SFHartley | 2022StateOH
- Junior; Bishop Hartley: Last season, Gaston was the Hawks’ best player, he averaged 11.7 points per game and had a season-high of 20 points. Gaston is good at getting inside the lane and finding creative ways to get the ball over defenders. The 6-foot-3 Gaston has an explosive first-step that helps him get around any defender, he also has a tight handle which makes it impossible for anyone to steal the ball away from him. On defense, Gaston competes with grit and determination, he rotates well for his team and comes from the weak side to create steals. With his ability and the players that the Hawks’ have coming back, Gaston has a chance to not only his scoring profile but also win more games than they did in 2019-2020.
Austin Mann- Senior; DeSales: As a diminutive dynamo, this 5-foot-8 guard (and readers know that this writer loves small guards) can flat out get it done. Mann returns to this Stallion team as the second-leading returning scorer; he put up 10.6 points per game last year with a season-high of 20 points. This youngster is always locked, loaded and ready to shoot. Mann has a quick release with constant motion, losing the defense in the muck of players to find daylight and hit open shots. While he could be a liability on defense, Mann digs in and plays with guts, forcing taller players to shoot tough shots over-the-top of him with a hand in their face. Mann is an excellent competitor that can hit open shots when needed and is a natural leader, one that should not be defined by his height.
*All statistics provided by 270Hoops.com*