Dayton’s Finest: Thurgood Marshall Defeats Dunbar

7 Jan


The two best Division-II teams in Dayton, and possibly the state of Ohio, met on Sunday night at a crowded Trent Arena in Kettering. The result might have been what people were expecting, but the way that Thurgood Marshall dismantled Dunbar, 81-62, left little doubt in fan’s minds that the Cougars are the team to beat in the Buckeye State this year, regardless of class.

Derrick Daniels

Derrick Daniels

With college coaches from Dayton, Wright State, Miami (OH) and Youngstown State, not to mention D2, D3 and Junior College coaches, all in attendance for the game, the top prospects all looked to raise their recruiting stock in the first of two matchups between these Dayton city league powerhouses.

Triple Double Prospects was at Trent Arena to watch the game, and more importantly, to evaluate the top performers. Here’s a look at who stood out on Sunday night….

  • Derrick Daniels – “Bright future” was the way that one college coach at the game described the potential of the 6’7 freshman power forward from Thurgood. A big time athlete with length and toughness, Daniels was all over the court on Sunday, including finishing the play of the night; an alley-oop dunk that he caught below his shoulders and brought back up to two-hand dunk. Daniels is one of Ohio’s top freshman, in a class loaded with talent, and he proved that on the biggest stage on Sunday; totaling 20 points and playing well in all other assets of the game as just a 9th grader.
  • RaChaun Martin – The knock on Thurgood’s 5’9 junior point man is that he’s small and can’t shoot. Well, no matter what people want to say about him, Martin can flat out play! Not only has the junior improved the consistency of his jumper, but, Martin was the most dominant guard on the court, getting the better of Dunbar star AJ Harris; as Martin’s speed, strength and will were just too much for Dunbar. An excellent passer in the full-court, Martin rarely looks to score, but used strong drives to tally 17 points for the Cougars, while putting the defensive shackles on Dunbar’s top scorers. Martin is really starting to gain momentum amongst top mid-majors in the Midwest, and is undoubtedly one of Ohio’s premiere point guards in 2014.
  • Mark Alstork – Thurgood’s leader, and senior wing, came out and set the tempo early with his toughness and aggression. Alstork might have forced a couple of tough shots, but was relentless in attacking the rim and the glass as he finished with 16 points in the win. Alstork now has a Division I college offer, and will likely add more late as he finishes his excellent senior campaign. The 6’4 powerful slasher has become much more explosive, and has a very polished mid-range game which compliments his deep shooting and straight line drives.
  • Darren Groves – The 6’6 senior forward from Thurgood is one of Ohio’s late  blooming sleeper prospects. A very good defender with a diverse offensive skill-set, Groves had college coaches buzzing in Kettering as he used his length and athleticism to bother Dunbar frontcourt players like Damarion Geter. Groves won’t wow you with his numbers in the boxscore, but he’s the perfect type of glue guy that can make winning plays when put in the right situations.
  • A.J. Harris – The sophomore point guard from Dunbar didn’t have his finest game ever, but he was still solid in recording 18 points. Harris is one of the quickest guards in Ohio, and is a master of getting to the rim in fast-break and secondary break situations. On this year’s Dunbar team Harris looks to take a lot more long shots, and he is a very capable shooter for the Wolverines.

In addition to those mentioned earlier, Thurgood also got 6 points from passionate combo guard Edmond “Junior” Early, who was very good on the defensive end. The final name to keep an eye on for Thurgood is junior wing Davion Ashe, an athletic defensive player with underrated offensive skills.

Dunbar might not be at their strongest this season, but the Wolverines have help on the way. Sophomore guard Doriane Dawson came off the bench knocking down jumpers as he finished with 12 points, while junior William Green showed signs of the promise that he has always had, although his game was cut short due to technical fouls. Unsigned senior forward Damarion Geter finished with 13 points for Dunbar.

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