Cleveland PBP

6 Jan

Ramar Pryor

After spending the month of December watching the top teams and players from Southwest Ohio, we at Triple Double Prospects always look forward to the first weekend in January, where we get to travel to Cleveland for the Play-by-Play Classic to get a look at some of Northeast Ohio’s premiere talent. This year the event was played at Euclid High School, with seven games featuring all NE Ohio teams, with the exception of First Love Christian Academy (PA). Talent packed as always, here’s a rundown of our top individual performers from Sunday…

John Hugley – ’20 C Lyndhurst Brush: An early candidate for Ohio’s Mr. Basketball award, Hugley was simply dominant in Brush’s matchup with Cleveland Heights; and, even though Brush lost a close game, his performance was both the most effective and entertaining of the day. The Pittsburgh signee was a man amongst boys around the rim, finishing with 32 points with many of them being paint finishes. However, despite his 6’9 frame and thick build, Hugley also showed plenty of skill, knocking down multiple perimeter shots and scoring with touch from ten-feet and in. His motor is running at a better pace then it ever has before, and Hugley has really begun to take on an alpha-male like demeanor; if this continues then we expect him to be the most productive player in Ohio for the rest of the winter.

Devontae Blanton – ’20 SF/PF Cleveland St. Edward: An unsigned senior who has been on the NCAA D1 radar for some time now, Blanton has been hampered with injuries pretty much since last March. Sunday was our first chance since then to see Blanton at full health, as the 6’5 forward out-worked his opponent in Ed’s win over First Love Christian (PA). Blanton finished with 23 points on the afternoon to lead his Ed’s team, as the senior showed touch as an open shooter as well as the toughness to get inside and score at the rim. Arguably the most dominant inside-outside forward in an Ohio senior class full of this type of player, Blanton makes winning plays for his team and has a mature style where he doesn’t try to over-do things on the offensive end. Blanton might not be the most explosive player on the court in most games, but we fully expect him to sign an NCAA D1 letter of intent before he graduates.

Garvin Clarke – ’20 PG Cleveland Heights: Clarke didn’t produce overwhelming stats in Cleveland Heights win over Brush, but he played exceptionally well down the stretch of the game, and we love the way he controls the pace of the high school game. A pure point guard who wants the ball in his hands in the fourth quarter, Clarke is a pass first guard with some shiftiness with the ball, but he also made some key shots, including a buzzer beater to end the third quarter and give his team massive momentum, as the senior finished with 15 points. Already signed with Akron for next season, Clarke is as good of a point guard as we have in Ohio high school basketball right now, and is one of the few throwback true point guards on the circuit right now.

Ramar Pryor – ’22 SG Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s: There was some tension early in the Akron STVSM win over Lorain, as Lorain’s leading scorer on the season played his last two seasons at St. V’s; however, despite all the hype around some of the older, more heralded players in this matchup, it was the sophomore Ramar Pryor who stole the show. Pryor came out with a vengeance from the opening tip, knocking down shots from three, finishing above the rim in transition and showing both athleticism and a motor, as he scored 24 of his game-high 31 points in the first half. Going into the game we knew Pryor was as athletic as any player in Ohio’s 2022 class, but we did not realize that he’s also a skilled all-around basketball player, capable of making shots with confidence from behind the arc. If Pryor can continue to score at this pace, not only will Akron STVSM continue to be major favorites in Ohio Division II, but he could see his recruitment grow to rival that of teammates Malaki Branham and Sencire Harris.

Jamal Sumlin – ’22 PG Cleveland Rhodes: Heading into Sunday’s action we had heard rumblings of Sumlin’s talent but had not seen the young guard yet, except for a flash on social media from 3rdCoastHoops. In a competitive game with Shaker Heights, Sumlin lived up the hype as one of the top young guards in Cleveland, as the 6’0 floor general was flashy as a passer, looking for lobs to 6’7 super-athlete Amarion Dickerson. Perhaps the most talented and skilled player on a very good (and fun to watch) young team out of Cleveland’s City League, Sumlin showed he can make shots, he’s shifty with the ball and has vision; enough for us to consider him a candidate for our next player rankings update among Ohio’s 2022 point guards.

Honorable Mention: Connor O’Toole (’20 Cleveland Gilmour Academy), Hunter Drenth (’20 Richfield Revere), Gbolahan Adio (’20 Richmond Heights), Anthony Maxie (’20 Richmond Heights), Grant Huffman (’20 Cleveland St. Edward), Tyreek Crump (’20 Brush), Manny Hill (’20 Cleveland Heights), EJ Farmer (’21 Cleveland Heights), Tyshawn Smiley (’21 Cleveland Glenville), Seth Wilson (’21 Lorain), Amarion Dickerson (’21 Cleveland Rhodes), Keyshawn Hall (’21 Cleveland Rhodes), Malaki Branham (’21 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s), Sonny Johnson Jr (’22 Garfield Heights), Tavian Tatum (’22 Garfield Heights), Aaron Whitehead (’20 Lorain), Michael Bova (’22 Cleveland St. Edward), Danny Young Jr (’22 Shaker Heights), Jaiden Cox-Holloway (’22 Euclid)

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