Posted On: 01/30/21 10:30 AM
After attending 12 games last week, I took it a bit easier and only traveled to two games this week. Both of them were Columbus City League battles, as the conference just started their season on Monday evening. I attended the Columbus East 50 @ Beechcroft 80 and Walnut Ridge 53 @ Africentric 54. Here were the top performers from those two contests.
Amani Lyles Amani Lyles 6'7" | PF Beechcroft | 2022 State OH , 6’8 PF Beechcroft 2022: Lyles looked very impressive in his season opener, flashing some new skills that I haven’t previously seen from him. Lyles knocked down a 3-pointer off a screen and was bringing the ball up the floor for the Cougars. Lyles also had a couple highlight-reel blocks and dunks to cap off a blowout victory in the season opener for each team.
Mekhi Bloodworth, 6’5 PF Columbus East 2021: Bloodworth is a transfer from the state of Michigan and he put his Columbus East team on his back and kept them somewhat competitive for as long as possible. Bloodworth is a very long wing forward who can use his length to score around the basket. I was impressed with Bloodworth’s effort in this one, still playing hard even when his team was down 20 points.
Dailyn Swain Dailyn Swain 6'6" | SF Africentric | 2023 State OH , 6’6 SF Africentric 2023: Swain made a statement in a monster contest with Walnut Ridge with a game-high 24 points in a crucial conference victory. Swain looks much more explosive than he did last season as he threw down a dunk from a standstill in transition. Swain reads the game at a very high level, his defensive rotations led to numerous steals that jump-started the fast-break. I was also impressed with Swain’s passing ability as he sees the floor very well with his height. Swain is one of the top prospects in Ohio in the 2023 class.
Zion Blevins, 6’2 SF Walnut Ridge 2023: Blevins came out firing with a 3-pointer in Swain’s face to open the contest. Blevins looks like he spent all of quarantine in the weight room, as his body looks very developed as a Sophomore. Blevins did a variety of things for Ridge in this one, knocking down a few 3-pointers, finishing at the rim with his left hand and he took a charge as well. Blevins is a prospect to keep your eye on in the Columbus City League.
Eli Burke Eli Burke 6'1" | PG Africentric | 2021 State OH , 6’1 PG Africentric 2021: Burke finally got the chance to open his senior season this week, as the senior is one of the top available point guards in the senior class. Burke is an impressive athlete who thrives in an up-tempo offensive system. I thought Burke has made some strides as a passer since last season as well. The jump-shot wasn’t really falling on this evening, but with this being only the third game of the season for him with limited practice time, I’ll be patient with that aspect of Burke’s game this season.
Leon Douglas Leon Douglas 6'2" | SG Walnut Ridge | 2021 State OH , 6’3 SF Walnut Ridge 2021: Douglas led the Scots in scoring with 13 points in a losing effort. Douglas is a hard nosed wing who is very physical on both ends. Douglas had a couple key defensive plays including a block on a Africentric forward 2-3 inches taller than him. Douglas has an inconsistent jumper, but the two that he hit were both crucial in keeping Ridge in the game in the second half. Douglas is an experienced veteran who has been in big moments before and seems to be somebody who would help the culture at a small-college next season.
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