Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 2021 which is hopefully way better than 2020 and that is something we all can agree on. The Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference is one of the better small school conference’s in all of Ohio, hosting some of the best unsigned players in the area as well. Conference-leading River Valley (4-1 in MOAC) are led by one of the best players in the entire Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, as is second place Shelby (3-0 in MOAC) and that is also one of this writer’s favorite cities in the state of Ohio. Two teams have not won a game within the conference just yet; Galion (0-5 in MOAC) and Pleasant (0-4 in MOAC), although the Spartans have two overall wins on their season unlike Galion who is winless to start their season. Clear Fork (2-2 in MOAC) and Marion Harding (2-1 in MOAC) are both tied in the win column and will continue to be a competitive factor in the conference. Ontario (3-1 in MOAC) are third in the Mid-Ohio, but they lead all teams with seven total wins, shout out to Janet’s
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to 2021 which is hopefully way better than 2020 and that is something we all can agree on. The Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference is one of the better small school conference’s in all of Ohio, hosting some of the best unsigned players in the area as well. Conference-leading River Valley (4-1 in MOAC) are led by one of the best players in the entire Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, as is second place Shelby (3-0 in MOAC) and that is also one of this writer’s favorite cities in the state of Ohio. Two teams have not won a game within the conference just yet; Galion (0-5 in MOAC) and Pleasant (0-4 in MOAC), although the Spartans have two overall wins on their season unlike Galion who is winless to start their season. Clear Fork (2-2 in MOAC) and Marion Harding (2-1 in MOAC) are both tied in the win column and will continue to be a competitive factor in the conference. Ontario (3-1 in MOAC) are third in the Mid-Ohio, but they lead all teams with seven total wins, shout out to Janet’s Floral out there as well! With plenty of players that have balled out so far this year, here are the best players from the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference so far this season.
Ethan BellEthanBell5'10" | PGRiver Valley | 2021StateOH
- Senior; River Valley: Possibly the best overall prospect in the entire conference, Bell is an amazingly tough young man that small schools would love to have in their program. Bell is a three-level scorer that puts the ball in the basket from all over the court and does it efficiently, rarely forcing bad shots while still putting up over 20 points per game so far this season. He is one of the best shooters in the area, whether it is off the dribble or in catch-and-shoot situations, Bell has a quick draw that allows him to get his shot off over most defenders. Bell can also put the ball on the floor and get to the basket and finish over taller players in the paint and is pure money from the mid-range. Standing at around 5-foot-10, Bell competes on the defensive side of the ball as well, pressuring ball handlers and forcing them into tough shots while also being able to create turnovers using his strength and quick hands. Bell is a kid that schools should begin to get in touch with immediately, not only is he the schools all time leader in assists, he is a winner that coaches can trust and he will always give 100% effort.
Cody LantzCodyLantz6'3" | SGShelby | 2021StateOH
- Senior; Shelby: A long guard that plays with poise and purpose, Lantz separates himself from other players in the conference with his playmaking on both sides of the court and his ability to lead his team. Lantz does nothing but make big-time shots and key defensive stops for his team, showing his will to win and the skill to play his best in the big moments. His scoring output is not over-the-top, only 13.5 points per game, but it matters more when he scores those points because he scores them when his team needs him to stop the bleeding. Lantz snags three steals per game which leads the Mid-Ohio, getting his hands on the ball by playing passing lanes when he is off the ball and using his long arms to pressure opposing ball handlers when he is in man-to-man. As a three-and-D guy at the next level, Lantz will be an amazing addition to Rio Grande with his poise, craftiness and ability to make things difficult for opposing guards.
Trey Booker- Freshman; Pleasant: As the youngest entry on this list, Booker has been tremendous in the three games he has played this season, he has shown flashes of a future star player. Booker runs the offense without many unforced mistakes, getting his teammates involved and understanding when to score himself. The freshman can shoot from deep at a high-rate, creating open space for himself and getting the ball out of his hands fairly quick with a good follow-through. Booker can rebound pretty well for a 5-foot-10ish point guard, tracking the ball down and outracing opponents for the ball. In transition, he gets to the basket and can finish with either hand or he can pull up for a 12-foot jumper that seems automatic. In years to come expect to read and hear more about Trey Booker because he will be one of the best players in the conference for years to come.
Brady Tedrow- Senior; Clear Fork: Going to school that is also one of my favorite places in Ohio will always make this writer watch your team’s game to see who is who and Tedrow jumps off the screen with his hustle and energy. He uses every inch of the court when the ball is in his hand, making defenders guard him through multiple pick-and-rolls which leads to him knocking down open jumper after open jumper. Tedrow is a solid ball handler that plays with good pace and can get in the paint on any given possession where he can finish at the rim with a soft touch. The senior is scoring just under 15 points per game to start this season and is keeping his team afloat in the Mid-Ohio with his consistent play and ability to defend. Tedrow is an impressive weak-side defender, being able to read where the ball is going and coming from seemingly out of nowhere to get steals and start fast breaks for his team. A young man with nice size for a guard, 6-foot-1, and production that he can duplicate at the next level, is it a surprise that Tedrow has not gotten more attention from small schools yet.
TJ PughTJPugh6'6" | SFShelby | 2021StateOH
- Senior; Shelby: Unlimited range are the first words that come to mind when watching this young man play, if he feels comfortable from a spot then the ball is leaving his hands immediately. He is decisive and confident in his decision-making on the offensive side of the ball, knocking down shots in both catch-and-shoot situations and off the dribble. The 6-foot-5, next level swing-guard can handle the ball well enough to make plays for himself and others along with having the ability to rebound at a high rate as well. Pugh fills up the stat sheet, averaging over 20 points to go along with over seven rebounds and four assists per game which shows his all-around skill set and how productive he is at this level and a predictor of what he can do at the next level. On defense, Pugh plays well in the team concept, rotating well to open shooters and closing out to the three-point line and forcing shooters to put the ball on the floor and take tough shots over him. A gem that a school can still find on the open market, Pugh could be a productive cog in a college program’s winning wheel.
Dylan Johnson- Senior; River Valley: The 6-foot-2 senior already has a 30-point performance to his name this season, a game in which he knocked down eight three pointers, showing his range and fearless approach to shot taking. Johnson has an effortless release on his jump shot along with a smooth stroke and a high arch to make sure his shot does not get blocked. So far this season, Johnson is averaging around 15 points per game and has shown his defensive prowess in the process of displaying his scoring ability. Johnson uses his long arms to play the passing lanes and create havoc on the defensive side of the court, helping start transition offense for his team. He also shows great instincts with his ability to stay connected to his man when they drive and block shots, Johnson plays hard on that end and does not give up on any play. This senior deserves more college looks than whatever he is getting, you can never have too many shooters on a roster and Johnson can be one of them.
Wes Stokes- Junior; Marion Harding: Athleticism in spades and a rangy frame that allows him to block shots and both ball handlers on the perimeter, Stokes is one of the best and most versatile players in the Mid-Ohio and he affects the game on both sides of the court. The 6-foot-4 junior can guard multiple positions in this conference, with the explosiveness to guard players in the lane and the length to bother ball handlers on the perimeter as well. Stokes gets a block per game and changes many more, deterring drivers of the basketball from shooting the ball over him. On offense, Stokes is putting up 12 points per game and he has displayed a decent three-point jump shot along with the ability to cut to the basket where he has some athletic finishes at the rim. A solid small school prospect, Stokes adds athleticism and energy to any team.
*All statistics provided by moacsports.com