Play-by-Play Classic Recap

4 Jan

Henry Baddley

This year’s Cleveland version of the Scholastic Play-by-Play Classic saw some of the area’s top teams travel to Baldwin Wallace University in nearby Berea, OH, for a Sunday full of competition. College coaches from Maryland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Dayton, Akron, Kent State, Bowling Green and others took in the action, as did Triple Double Prospects in a day full of memorable performances. Here’s a quick rundown of the players who stood out at the Play-by-Play….

Henry Baddley – ’16 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s SF: After being one of the standouts at the LeBron James Classic a couple of weeks ago in his hometown, Baddley’s game was in full effect in Cleveland on Sunday afternoon, as the 6’4 Butler signee scored a game high 30 points in a win over a gritty Cleveland Heights team. Continuing to show that he’s a true basketball player, and not just an athlete, Baddley simply could not miss with his perimeter jumper, torturing Cleveland Heights defense from both mid and long-range in the win. With the length and athleticism to influence the game on both ends, Baddley is not only one of Ohio’s most improved players and long-term prospects, but he’s become someone who is arguably a top five high school player in the state right now. 

Frankie Hughes – ’16 Garfield Heights SG: In G’Heights impressive win over Massillon Jackson, TDP was impressed by several Bulldogs players, including Willie Jackson and Marreon Jackson, but it was the play of Hughes that was most impressive, as the 6’5 senior wing willed his team to victory against a quality opponent. Hughes hit three-pointers (one of his signatures), was athletic in transition and did some ballhandling for Garfield Heights, but it was his defensive effort and intensity that really stood out, as the Louisville signee set the tempo for the Bulldogs from the opening tip with dives across the floor and deflections. With athleticism, size and length, expect for Hughes to be called upon to defend in the full-court against different types of matchups at Louisville, as he about as much upside as anyone in the class, especially considering how well he’s capable of shooting the ball.

Justin Layne – ’16 Cleveland Benedictine SG: We haven’t seen much of Layne over the years, as the Michigan State football signee (who also stars on the hardwood) did not play much, if any, AAU the past few summers. However, stories about Layne are commonplace in the Cleveland area, and the 6’3 guard lived up to the hype on Sunday, scoring at will in his team’s devastating loss to Warrensville Heights after a game winning three-pointer from Yavari Hall. Layne, a scoring guard with excellent speed and strength, was the catalyst for Cleveland Benedictine in keeping the Bengals in the game, as his ability to breakdown pressure defense, finish at the rim and make big jumpers was the lone source of offense for his team in the second half. While there are plenty of rumors about Layne wanting to play college basketball, as of now he is still committed to play football in the Big Ten for the Spartans.

Lamont Rhodes – ’16 Bedford PF: Already signed with in-state D2 school Lake Erie College, Rhodes is one of the better power forwards in Ohio’s 2016 class, despite not receiving a ton of hype over the years. At 6’7 he has good size, but it is his athleticism that sets him apart, as Rhodes has all of the physical tools to be dominant when he chooses to be at the high school level. However, it wasn’t just Rhodes’ athleticism that led to Bedford beating up on Beachwood High School; it was Rhodes’ jumper, as the senior forward calmly stroked several mid-range shots in consecutive order throughout the game to cap off his double-double performance.

Logan Hill – ’17 Massillon Jackson PF: One of two high profile junior forwards on the Jackson roster along with 6’7 small forward Kyle Young, it was Hill who handled all of the Jackson scoring in the first half, while Young’s offense paced the Polar Bears in the second. Hill was electric in the first half, as the athletic 6’5 power forward brought tremendous energy, blocked shots, finished around the rim and looked more confident attacking the rim than anytime that we’ve seen him in the past. Consistency has been the name of the game for Hill since his freshman year; however, with folks in the Canton-Massillon area saying that he’s been getting it done so far this season, Hill backed up the claims with a 13-point performance while matched up against Garfield Heights Willie Jackson (Missouri).

Tommy Schmock – ’17 Cleveland St. Edward PG: Schmock, along with several other Ed’s guards including senior point guard Sean Flannery, simply made the game look easy against Medina on Sunday, dominating the basketball with his tight handle, passing ability, shooting and some crafty finishes, as the Eagles controlled the game from start to finish. Whether it was his turn to score or facilitate, Schmock was always up to the task, playing the “coach on the floor” role for Ed’s, while also showing his typical competitive passion. One of the few 2017 guards who has already committed to a college, Schmock made the staff at in-state D2 power Findlay University look awful smart in this game; as the 5’11 floor general has clearly established himself as one of the top junior point guards in Ohio basketball. 

Yahel Hill – ’18 Cleveland Heights PG: The only young fella to make this list, Hill played above his years on Sunday evening, as a young but talented Heights team took Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s to the wire before falling just short. However, the difference in score can not be attributed to Hill, as the sophomore point guard was dynamic in scoring 20 points off of a variety of jumpers (including several three-point shots). The 5’9, but slender, point guard was forced to play off the ball a lot for a Heights team that starts two smaller guards, but Hill’s speed and ability to change gears does come in handy off the ball offensively, as he’s nearly impossible to guard for slower footed shooting guards who find themselves matched up with him. After a standout spring last year with King James at the 15u level, look for Hill to contend for Ohio’s top 2018 point guard spot this spring, as he’ll likely even see his name often listed among the top prospects in the class even though he doesn’t have the prototypical size of a highly recruited D1 recruit.

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