State Tournament Recap

20 Mar
Tre Cobbs

Tre Cobbs

Another high school season in the Buckeye State has come and gone, as the Ohio State Tournament took place this past weekend at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of OSU. Championship Saturday was dramatic as usual, with Westerville South defeating Lima Senior by two in the D1 Final, and New Concord John Glenn knocking off Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s in a fourth quarter slugfest in the D2 Final. In the small school divisions, Lima Central Catholic secured their second title in three years in D3 over Cleveland VASJ, while Cleveland Cornerstone Christian defeated Lynchburg Clay for the D4 crown. On a weekend full of memorable performances, here’s a look at who the standout players were in our eyes… 

Jordan Humphrey – ’16 SG Westerville South: Only one word can sum up the play of Humphrey in both the semifinal and final in leading his Wildcats team to their first D1 State Title. Wow. That’s how good the 6’3 wing, who is signed with NCAA D2 Lake Erie out of Cleveland, played those two games. Humphrey showed an unbelievable competitive fire, as he was determined to help his team win the title, including driving to the basket for a game winning floater to break a tie with just 1.8 seconds to play. In hitting that shot, Humphrey created a memory that will last forever with Ohio high school hoop fans, but everyone should also remember that it wasn’t just that shot, Humphrey was the best player on the floor in the state semifinal and final, and he’s got a chance to become a future NCAA D2 college star.

Andre Wesson – ’16 SF Westerville South: The top unsigned senior in the state made sure to end his career with his stock still rising, as Wesson was instrumental in South capturing their first state title. An often quiet but super competitive wing, Wesson hit two big shots in the fourth quarter, including a contested dribble pull-up three-pointer with just two minutes to go to extend the South lead to four. A versatile 6’7 defender with strength and athleticism, Wesson projects as a jack-of-all-trades at the next level who is starting to develop some offensive skills as well. With his younger brother, 2017 center Kaleb Wesson, already committed to Ohio State, Andre is looking at OSU, Richmond, several mid-major schools and is also hoping to accumulate some other late high-major interest as well.

Xavier Simpson – ’16 PG Lima Senior: This year’s Mr. Basketball winner in Ohio, Simpson proved worthy of that honor in Columbus, leading Lima Senior to an undefeated record heading into their devastating two-point loss to Westerville South. Simpson was dynamic in both games, showing his consummate point guard skills, while also proving that he can make shots when needed, especially mid-range pull-up jumpers. An elite ballhandler with a feel for passing it, leadership skills and the quickness to be a defensive nightmare, Simpson is the best Ohio point guard that we’ve seen since Trey Burke in 2012, and will be an impact player next year at Michigan.

Matt Weir – ’16 PG New Concord John Glenn: In leading his Muskies to their first ever D2 State Title, Weir, an Air Force signee, was memorable with his play, showcasing point guard skills, shooting ability and a little flair. A tough-minded guard and competitor, Weir displayed some speed that we didn’t know that he had, especially in using his crossover to create offense. Also a big time shooter, Weir hit clutch free throw after clutch free throw down the stretch, as he was the catalyst in John Glenn holding on to their narrow lead against Akron STVSM.

Drew Rackley – ’16 PG New Concord John Glenn: Playing off of the ball while Weir played point guard, Rackley used his size, swagger and scoring ability to play aggressively on the offensive end for John Glenn, as the VMI recruit capped off his career as one of the top players in school history. Rackley plays with a confidence that is unmatched, and has become much more physical with his play over the past year to compliment that mindset. One of the flashiest guards in Ohio in recent memory, Rackley will be taking his ballhandling skills to the NCAA D1 level next year.

Tre Cobbs – ’16 PG Lima Central Catholic: Even with Humphrey’s heroics, no one had a bigger weekend in Columbus than Cobbs. One of the top unsigned seniors in the state, Cobbs was scintillating with the ball in both LCC wins, leading the T’birds to another D3 State Title. Cobbs has always been a guy who can create off of the dribble, play in transition and defend with intensity; but in this tournament he showed that he can score from all three levels, as he made shots from deep with consistency and confidence in both games. A serious competitor and proven winner, look for many of the top colleges still in the point guard market to focus their attention to Cobbs this spring.

Gene Higgins – ’18 PG Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joe’s: Playing in his second D3 State Final as just a sophomore, Higgins showed tremendous heart on both ends of the floor for Cleveland VASJ. A small but fast guard who can really defend the ball, Higgins also showed some offensive ability, consistently finding his way into the lane to make plays in both Vikings’ games. When you talk about winners in high school basketball, Higgins name will be on the short list, as his final two years at VASJ occur.

Michael Bothwell – ’18 SG Cleveland Cornerstone Christian: Few players had a bigger tournament that Bothwell, a somewhat known guard out of Cleveland’s sophomore class who has now put himself on the map. In leading his school to the D4 State Title, Bothwell was electric as a do it all guard who handled the ball, finished at the rim, made lefty jumpers and created for teammates, all while using his length and size to dominate opponents. On a young CCC team, look for Bothwell to carry the scoring load again next year, as the Patriots could be back for another shot at the title.

Honorable Mention: Jarron Cumberland (’16 Wilmington), Henry Baddley (’16 Akron STVSM), Willie Jackson (’16 Garfield Heights), Carlik Jones (’16 Cincy Aiken), Dantez Walton (’16 Lima Cent. Cath.), Braun Hartfield (’16 Garfield Heights), Rico Stafford (’16 Lima Senior), John Koz (’16 Bay Village), Tanner Slack (’16 New Concord John Glenn), Devin Pierson (’16 Lynchburg Clay), Jayvon Graves (’17 Akron STVSM), Justin Johnson (’17 Cincy Roger Bacon), Dustin Harder (’17 Columbus Wellington), Brady Wildermuth (’17 Jackson Center), Jah Blevins (’18 New Concord John Glenn), Alonzo Gaffney (’19 Cleveland VASJ)

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