SW District Finals Recap

6 Mar
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Jarron Cumberland

The high school playoff picture got a lot clearer this weekend, as each division throughout the state of Ohio saw the participants play down to just a final sixteen in each of the four divisions. Triple Double Prospects was on hand to check out District Final action in the Southwest Region for both Divisions I & II, in a total of seven competitive games. Here’s a look at the players who stood out in those games, as well as who from the region is moving on to the next round of play….

Jarron Cumberland – ’16 Wilmington SG: The senior wing, one of Ohio’s top candidates for the Mr. Basketball award, scored a game-high 35 points as his Hurricanes won their first District Title in many years with a convincing win over Mason. Whether it was from three-point land, in transition or attacking out of the low block, Cumberland was a scoring machine for Wilmington, as the Cincinnati signee was unstoppable. Also a selfless player, Cumberland continues to show in his senior year that he can effect the game in different ways, as he guarded Mason’s top perimeter scorer, rebounded the ball well and produced some timely assists in the win. Cumberland will lead his squad into this week’s regional semifinal, where they will face Cincinnati Moeller.

Andrew Emrick – ’16 Lakota East SF: With his Thunderhawks shocking the region with their win over Huber Heights Wayne on Saturday, the 6’7 senior forward was special, as Emrick poured in 21 points to pace Lakota East. Emrick played with a chip on his shoulder, as the lefty finished drive after drive around the rim, using finesse and athleticism to create opportunities. A skilled forward with some versatility to his game, Emrick is an excellent pickup for NCAA D2 power Fairmont State out of West Virginia. As the playmaker on an East team that features some big time shooters, look for Emrick’s ability to create shots to be the key next week as East plays Centerville in the regional semis.

Frank Royles – ’16 Cincinnati Taft SG: In a fast paced D2 District Final, Royles 23 points led Taft to another regional appearance, as he helped the Senators get past Trotwood Madison. A capable shooter and ballhandler, what Royles does best is use his athleticism to attack the basket, and that’s what the 6’1 senior guard did for most of the game on Sunday evening. With both leaping ability and power, Royles is a high rising finisher who can score in bunches when his confidence is high, a big part of the reason why so many of the top in and out of state junior colleges are making him a recruiting priority right now. In part thanks to Royles efforts, Taft moves on to regional play where they’ll face Johnstown Monroe.

Carlik Jones – ’16 Cincinnati Aiken PG: The Falcons advanced past the districts for the first time in three years, as Jones dominated the second half to bust the game against Urbana wide open in an Aiken victory. Jones, a Radford signee, filled up the entire stat line with 29 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, as he was the catalyst for Aiken on both ends of the floor. Getting many of his points in transition, Jones is a shifty and fluid playmaker in the full-court game, which is especially useful given his ability to pull in defensive rebounds. Jones also made enough jumpers to keep the Urbana defense honest on Sunday afternoon, which at times had been the one missing link in the point guard’s game. Led by Jones, Aiken moves on to regional play, where the Falcons will face Kettering Alter.

Keegan Saben – ’17 Centerville SG: Saben didn’t score as many points as the other guys on this list, but he was just as dominant as several of them, as the Centerville junior guard put on an offensive clinic in leading his Elks team to a somewhat surprising, but convincing, victory over Cincinnati LaSalle. Saben posted 10 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists on the night, but was probably more impressive as his team’s primary ballhandler and half-court facilitator against a LaSalle team known for in your face pressure. Capable of scoring when needed, Saben showed off a nice mid-range pull-up game, as he’s deceptive with the ball but also big enough at 6’3 to shoot over guys in the mid-range game. Saben will now lead a well coached and balanced Centerville team into regional action, where they’ll face Lakota East.

Keegan McDowell – ’17 Cincinnati Moeller SF: While McDowell had encountered somewhat of a shooting slump at times this year, the junior picked a perfect time to play his best basketball, as the 6’5 wing poured in 18 points for Moeller in their come from behind victory over a Springfield team that had shocked the Crusaders the previous year. In helping Moeller to yet another District Title, McDowell made timely shots from behind the arc, showed a willingness to play more physically on the defensive end and generally just seemed more confident then he had in previous viewings this year. With Moeller playing without their floor general, as senior guard Nate Georgeton tore his ACL, McDowell’s experience and shooting talent will be heavily leaned on for a Moeller team that has a couple of guys who can create shots for him off of the dribble. McDowell’s Crusaders team will be back in action in regional play this week against Wilmington.

Danny Davis – ’17 Springfield SG: While these last two players unfortunately did not end up on the winning side of things, we cannot say it was because of their efforts. Davis was sensational in Springfield’s narrow loss to Cincinnati Moeller, as the junior guard poured in six three-pointers en route to a 22 point night. Hitting tough shot after tough shot off of the dribble, Davis showed why he is considered by many to be Ohio’s top junior wing guard prospect, as he has deep range, endless confidence and the athleticism to create shots whenever he wants. However, for as good as Davis is on the hardwood, the 6’2 guard is a four or five-star football prospect who will be pursuing a college scholarship on the gridiron.

Torrey Patton – ’17 Trotwood Madison SF: Like Davis, Patton’s team didn’t win their game, but he was the best player on the floor, as the 6’4 junior wing forward tallied a game-high 32 points. Patton scored from all over the floor, whether it was with long jumpers, touch shots around the rim or by drawing contact and getting to the foul line. Showing more of a handle than we had seen from him in previous outings, Patton proved that he is without question one of the top players in Dayton, and perhaps an early favorite for the GWOC Player of the Year award next season.

Other Standouts: Ryan Middendorf (’16 Lakota East), Eddie Puisis (’17 Mason), Trey Landers (’16 Huber Heights Wayne), Chaz George (’16 Huber Heights Wayne), Isaiah Payton (’18 Cincinnati Moeller), Jordan Underwood (’16 Urbana), Chris’Seon Stringer (’19 Cincinnati Taft), Cameron Stewart (’16 Wilmington), Evan Kuhlman (’17 Lakota East), L’Christian Smith (’18 Huber Heights Wayne), Kyle LaMotte (’16 Mason), CJ Fleming (’17 Cincinnati LaSalle), Jeremy Larkin (’16 Cincinnati LaSalle), Donnie Shelton (’18 Centerville), Sam Lash (’17 Centerville), Darius Harper (’16 Springfield), Michael McKay (’17 Springfield), Trey McBride (’16 Cincinnati Moeller), Sam McCracken (’16 Cincinnati Moeller), Joe Laravie (’16 Kettering Alter), Lonnie Berry (’17 Cincinnati Aiken), Marcus Barton (’17 Cincinnati Aiken), Amari Davis (’19 Trotwood-Madison), Myles Belyeu (’18 Trotwood-Madison), Antwon Johnson (’16 Cincinnati Taft)

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