’19 State Tourney Recap

24 Mar

Amari Davis

The 2018-2019 Ohio high school basketball season ended on Saturday evening with a bang, as not only were four State Champions crowned, but fans were treated to thrillers in both the D1 and D2 games. In D1, Cincinnati Moeller came from behind to closeout Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, for the Crusaders second-straight State Title, as Big Moe finished the season 29-0. Next, in D2, Trotwood Madison won the first title in school history, defeating Columbus South in one of the most memorable, and fast-paced, games in recent history. In the small school divisions, Columbus Harvest Prep defeated Cleveland Lutheran East for the D3 title, while Convoy Crestview handled Berlin Hiland in the D4 finale. As always, the State Tournament was filled with many great individual performances; here’s a look at the key standouts in our eyes from this past weekend…

Deuce McBride – ’19 PG Cincinnati Moeller: McBride, a West Virginia signee, capped off a distinguished career with 16 points in the final and 13 points in the semi-final, as the senior ended his career with just one loss as a starter, as well as back-to-back D1 State Titles. One of the most dominant winners we’ve seen in Ohio in the nearly a decade we’ve been doing this, McBride continued to show throughout the final four that he can control a game while hardly ever taking a shot. Whether it’s his on-ball defense, rebounding, ability to create for others as a passer, or his consistent shooting stroke on mid-range pull-up jumpers, McBride had as good of a senior season as anyone in Ohio, and certainly cemented his legendary status in his final two games.

Ben Roderick – ’19 SF Olentangy Liberty: The only senior on this not presently committed to a school, Roderick had the most on the line individually on Friday night, and put together a valiant effort, scoring 25 points in a loss to Akron STVSM. A smooth slashing guard who can make shots, create with his strong body and finish around the rim with touch, Roderick has some pure scoring instincts that coaches cannot teach, and his will alone kept Liberty in the game, as his team featured limited scoring options outside of shots that Roderick personally created. Immediately following the game, Roderick received new scholarship offers from Saint Bonaventure and Ohio University’s new staff, as the 6’5 scoring wing will likely be the most highly recruited 2019 prospect in Ohio still on the board.

Amari Davis – ’19 SG Trotwood Madison: Playing in the State Tournament for the third year in a row, Davis was finally able to help his team break on through and capture a title in his senior campaign, as the athletic lefty slashing guard scored 33 points in a blowout win over Akron Buchtel on Thursday and then again led Trotwood in the final, scoring 24 points in that matchup. Davis, a Green Bay signee, is not only a dynamic athlete, but a prospect who also brings effort, defense and energy to the floor, as he’s a deadly transition player who thrives in Trotwood’s unbelievably fast tempo. Capable of scoring in bunches, especially slashing to his left-hand, this title might be enough to put Davis in consideration as to arguably the most accomplished high school player in Trotwood history (along with 2007 graduate Chris Wright).

Javin Etzler – ’19 SF/PF Convoy Crestview: With his team trailing at the half to Richmond Heights in the semifinal, the talk of the arena was that Etzler, a Miami (OH) signee, had not scored a single point yet. The talk after the game was regarding just how much Etzler had scored, as the 6’7 forward poured in 25 points to lead the come-from-behind victory, as Etzler made skilled play after skilled play around the rim, showcasing his ability to shoot the ball as well as to operate out of the mid-post. In the finals, Etzler came out locked in and ready to go, finishing with a double-double (10 & 11) in a blowout Crestview victory.

Alec Pfriem – ’19 SG/SF Cincinnati Moeller: While there’s no denying that Deuce McBride was Moeller’s best all-around player and team MVP, Pfriem was, both this weekend and all season long, the Crusaders leading scorer, as the Bellarmine signee finished his career off with 19 points in the finals and 20 points in the semi-finals. A pure scoring guard with a great feel for the game and a knack for finishing at the basket, the Pfriem-McBride tandem will be talked about for years to come not only at Moeller, but throughout Ohio basketball, as Big Moe finished undefeated this year, undefeated in the state of Ohio last year, and back-to-back State Champions in Pfriem’s two years at the school.

Lunden McDay – ’19 SF Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s: A defensive workhorse who effects the game in many different ways, we’ve always been high on what McDay brings to the table; however, it was his scoring prowess early in the semifinal win over Olentangy Liberty, and the finals loss against Moeller, that stood out to us; with the Ohio University signee showing that he’s a versatile scorer to follow on the next level. McDay is both strong and mobile attacking the rim, while also being one of Ohio’s most polished players, in that he knows his roles and plays to his strengths on the offensive end. A former state champion from the 2017-2018 season, McDay will bring a winning mentality to Athens next year.

CJ Anthony – ’20 PG Columbus Harvest Prep: The first non-senior on this list was also our top performer in January at Flyin’ to the Hoop, as well as the AP Poll’s Ohio D3 Player of the Year; so, there should be no surprise that Anthony’s name appears in bold in this recap. As hard-nosed of a guard as you’ll find anywhere, Anthony dominated both the semifinal win over Cincinnati Purcell Marian and finals win over Cleveland Lutheran East, to lead Harvest Prep to their first ever State Title. While Anthony’s numbers of 17 points in the semis and 21 in the finals aren’t eye-popping, it was his overall point guard play, leadership and toughness as a strong guard who can make shots, defend and control tempo that all stood out to make him our top performer from this weekend out of the junior class. Already holding an NCAA D1 scholarship offer, don’t be surprised to see Anthony’s name mentioned again by this publication by the end of the circuit season.

Trevell Adams – ’20 PG Columbus South: While Anthony was already a known commodity state wide heading into this weekend, Adams was without question the pleasant surprise of the weekend out of the 2020 class, as the junior point guard showed heart, explosive athleticism, playmaking ability and some charisma, in leading Columbus South to the finals. Even though the Bulldogs came up just short in the title game, Adams was spectacular, scoring 16 points but also making impact defensive plays, finishing in transition and getting to every loose ball, as Adams’ ideal style of play coincides with the frantic pace that both South and Trotwood Madison love to play at. College coaches were already inquiring about Adams following the conclusion of his performance Saturday, as the 5’10 scoring point guard could become a big name in Ohio’s 2020 class on the recruiting scene.

Honorable Mention: Alex Williams (’21 PF Cincinnati Moeller), Max Land (’20 SF Cincinnati Moeller), Logan Duncomb (’21 C Cincinnati Moeller), Seth Wilson (’21 PG Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s), Chris Painter (’19 PG Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s), Malaki Branham (’21 SF Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s), Demetrius Terry (’19 SG Cleveland St. Edward), Grant Huffman (’20 SG Cleveland St. Edward), Devontae Blanton (’20 PF Cleveland St. Edward), Nick Nakasian (’19 SF Olentangy Liberty), Carl Blanton (’20 SG Trotwood Madison), Sammy Anderson (’20 PG Trotwood Madison), Treohn Watkins (’19 PG Columbus South), Marcus Johnson (’20 SF Columbus South), Chris Livingston (’22 SF Akron Buchtel), Ronnell Perie (’21 SG Akron Buchtel), Landen Russell (’21 SF Thornville Sheridan), Ethan Heller (’19 PG Thornville Sheridan), Javonta Lyons (’19 SG Cincinnati Purcell Marian), Bryan Warah (’19 PF Cincinnati Purcell Marian), Soul Hines (’19 SG Columbus Harvest Prep), Joey Holifield (’20 SG Toledo Cardinal Stritch), Little Anderson (’19 PF Toledo Cardinal Stritch), Nehemiah Benson (’20 PF Cleveland Lutheran East), EJ Farmer (’21 SG Cleveland Lutheran East), Andy Miller (’19 PG Berlin Hiland), Sam Habeger (’20 PF Berlin Hiland), Caden Niekamp (’19 C Saint Henry), Curtis Houston (’19 SG Richmond Heights), Gblahan Adio (’20 SG Richmond Heights), Wade Sheets (’19 SF Convoy Crestview), Kalen Etzler (’21 PF Convoy Crestview)

Top Available: 2019

18 Mar
Roderick copy

Ben Roderick

By our count, there are currently 21 seniors from the state of Ohio (OHSAA schools – not counting places like Spire Institute) who are committed to NCAA D1 colleges. While there is still time before the final signing deadline, and even more time before next school year begins, this number is well on the low end for what we historically see from Buckeye State prospects. That being said, there are still a few prospects on the board whom we believe will end up signing with NCAA D1 programs sooner than later, highlighted by some explosive perimeter scoring guards. Here’s the rundown of the best available prospects in Ohio’s senior class of 2019….

Ben Roderick – ’19 SG/SF Olentangy Liberty: As the only player on this list who will be playing in this weekend’s Ohio State Tournament, Roderick has the most fluid situation, as he could play his way into more offers within the next few days. As of now, Roderick has seen an explosion in his recruitment this winter, as both mid and high-major NCAA D1’s have tracked his progress, after he missed most of the high school season last year. Ohio’s Gatorade Player of the Year, Roderick is a big, physical scoring wing who led the city of Columbus in points this year as a senior. Heading into the State Tournament, Roderick lists Ohio State and Xavier among the high-major programs recruiting him the hardest, while Wisconsin and West Virginia have also been in touch; additionally, Roderick holds a slew of mid-major offers, including Ohio and Miami (OH).

Javohn Garcia – ’19 PG Pickerington Central: Garcia is the big enigma amongst all of the names on this list, as the big and athletic point guard from the Columbus area, coming off a strong summer in the Nike EYBL, committed to Miami (OH), and then de-committed, choosing to re-open his recruitment, right before the fall signing period. Since then, Garcia put up huge numbers in his senior campaign at Pickerington Central, leading his squad to a Regional Semifinal showing, while also adding new offers from Toledo, Akron and James Madison. Like many of the names on this list, prep school is a potential option for Garcia, who reportedly is looking to add to his offer list this spring by re-entering the travel circuit for one more go-around in April. A playmaker with size and length who can get to the rim and defend, Garcia should attract offers from most mid-majors looking to add a guard late in the recruiting cycle.

Greg Tribble – ’19 PG Huntington Prep (WV): After leaving Cincinnati Winton Woods just days before the start of the season to play at prestigious prep program Huntington Prep (WV), Tribble was able to earn a starting role and play in some elite exposure events – including two high level games at Flyin’ to the Hoop. This added exposure has helped boost Tribble’s recruitment, as he has interest at both the mid and high-major NCAA D1 level heading into April. Currently Tribble lists high-major interest coming from both Iowa State, VCU and Purdue, as well as mid-major interest from Murray State, New Mexico and Chattanooga. Since he’ll be graduating high school at just 17-years old, prep school is still on the table for Tribble as well, who is likely to suit up on the travel circuit this spring. An explosive leaper with the quickness to make plays as a slasher at the rim or as a perimeter defender, Tribble is an athletic point guard who likely will generate more recruiting buzz as the process goes later and later.

Morgan Safford – ’19 SG Columbus Bishop Hartley: Safford capped a big tournament run and senior season in leading his team to the D2 Regional Semifinals, drawing interest from college coaches all season long, as he established himself as one of Ohio’s most efficient shooting guards. Capable as an athlete, a perimeter shooter and a two-way wing guard, Safford is a solid and versatile prospect who is effective in every aspect of the game; and, despite playing on a slower-paced high school team, Safford still showed he could score in bunches, including standout performances this fall at the 270 Hoops Fall League. Heading into this week, Safford does not hold any NCAA D1 offers, but we expect that to change, as Safford told TDP that Youngstown State, Ohio, Wofford and Presbyterian are all tracking him closely; before the end of the spring expect one (or more) of these schools to pull the trigger with an offer.

Raheim Moss – ’19 SF Springfield: One of the state’s most rugged and powerfully explosive athletes (in a class full of high-flyers), Moss put together a great senior season at Springfield, leading his team to the SW Regional Semifinals. With NCAA D1 interest in both football and basketball, the dynamic and versatile athlete is still unsure as to where he will enroll next year. Moss told TDP this week that he is still considering playing both scholarship football and walk-on basketball at Cincinnati or Toledo, as well as prep school options at Spire Institute. Due to his frame, athleticism and motor, Moss is seen by many as more of a football prospect; however, as his skill-set matures, Moss has become a more and more consistent basketball prospect who is capable of contributing in a role.

Abba Lawal – ’19 C Cincinnati Withrow: Since immigrating to the USA from Nigeria as a freshman, Lawal has always been seen as a project with long-term upside, as he had limited basketball experience before arriving in Cincinnati. Lawal made progress as a shot-blocker and rebounder, as well as a fluid floor-runner, during his high school career, but still has work to be done; so, Lawal will be attending a to be determined prep school next year to continue to add weight and develop his game. Prior to this decision, Lawal was weighing different mid-major offers from in-state schools.

Jordan Mitchell – ’19 SF Montverde Academy (FL): To be honest, we don’t know a whole lot about what has happened with Mitchell’s game or his recruitment since leaving Gahanna Lincoln and his Columbus home for prep powerhouse Montverde Academy in Florida two years ago. We do know that Mitchell, ranked as one of the elite prospects in Ohio’s 2019 class before his departure, has not received much playing time in his two seasons with Montverde Academy; and, as a result, we’re not quite sure where his recruitment stands. A long, mobile and skilled forward, rumors have surfaced that have linked Mitchell to playing a fifth year of prep ball somewhere; if he does, and the pieces of his game come together, he’s a very talented prospect to monitor.

Honorable Mention: Eddie Colbert (SF Toledo Whitmer), Milton Gage (PG Dayton Chaminade Julienne), Alex Dotson (PG Cincinnati Purcell Marian), DJ Dial (PG Cleveland Brush), Ben Fort (SG Reynoldsburg), Ryan Hall (SG Kettering Fairmont), Derek Van Lerah (SF Dublin Coffman), Jayson Woodrich (SF Cleveland Beachwood), Taevon Pierre-Louis (SF Lorain), AJ Garrett (PF Cincinnati Purcell Marian), Na’elle Simmons (C Columbus Beechcroft), Kevin Davet (C Cleveland St. Ignatius), Demetrius Terry (SG Cleveland St. Edward), Ibrahima Athie (SF Cincinnati Deer Park), Chris Painter (Akron STVSM), Sam Towns (PF Pickerington Central), D’Marco Howard (SG Hamilton)

Rankings Update

5 Mar

Akron Buchtel’s Chris Livingston is one of the headliners of our 2022 Watch List.

With District Finals week underway in the state of Ohio, the majority of high school basketball teams have already been eliminated from this year’s State Tournament. With that in mind, it’s time for the latest update to our Triple Double Prospect player rankings.

Today we’ll be looking at all four high school classes, with in-depth rankings by position for the current seniors, current juniors and current sophomores, as well as our introductory watch list for the current freshman (which, as always, will be sorted alphabetically).

These lists are sure to evolve as the circuit season in April rapidly approaches; however, for now, we’re comfortable that our lists contain the best of the best of current college basketball prospects playing in the state of Ohio.

For those wondering about prospects from Spire Academy and/or ISA Osborne Academy (a pair of prep schools out of the Cleveland are), please note that we limited our rankings to players who have or are currently participating with OHSAA member schools.

The classes of 2019 and 2020 have already been pretty well defined with the prospect ranking pecking order before this update; but we’ve still seen movement nonetheless. Players like Cleveland Brush’s Andre Harris have taken big steps in their final season’s of high school ball; while North Carolina transfer Jaelyn Withers of Cleveland Heights makes his rankings debut near the top of the 2019 class. In 2020, Wyoming’s Evan Prater and Mentor Lake Catholic’s duo of Luke Frazier and Luka Eller all made big jumps, rising to the top of their perspective position groups.

As for who made the list among underclassmen, there was movement within every position group in each class; however, the biggest shakeup would have to be the 2021 class, where several new names debut on this site. Prospects such as London’s Trey Woodyard have burst onto the scene this year; while previously ranked prospects such as Cincinnati Aiken’s Jakada Stone and Lakota East’s Nate Johnson are ascending rapidly up our lists.

With our 2022 watch list, almost every name is new; as only a select few freshmen have been mentioned in our event recaps throughout the high school season. Prospects such as Akron Buchtel’s Chris Livingston, North Canton Hoover’s Sencere Harris and Cincinnati Hughes’ Paul McMillan IV have gained statewide recognition as top 2022’s; but that list should only continue to grow, as we see 2022 as a class with several high-end talents.

For a look at our complete rankings lists, click on the link below:


’19 All-Cincinnati Teams

16 Feb

D2-D4 Player of the Year: ’22 Hughes PG Paul McMillan IV

With the regular season officially over, it’s tournament time in the state of Ohio. This winter was a special season in Greater Cincinnati, with multiple teams showing that they have the talent to make a deep run towards the state tournament next month in Columbus. As we try and do every winter, it’s time to take a look at the top individual performers from this winter. Here are Triple Double Prospects nominations for our annual All-Cincinnati Teams, where, for the first time in our history, a freshman captured one of the two Player of the Year awards….

D1 All-Cincinnati 1st Team
Deuce McBride – ’19 PG Moeller ***
Alec Pfriem – ’19 SG/SF Moeller
Bash Wieland – ’19 SF Lakota East
Landen Long – ’19 PG Mason
Deairius Barker-Randle – ’20 PG Princeton

***Player of the Year***

D1 All-Cincinnati 2nd Team
Nick Haddad – ’19 PG Turpin
Jackson Holt – ’21 SG Turpin
D’Marco Howard – ’19 SG Hamilton
Greg Phelia III – ’19 SG Walnut Hills
Jaylen Robinson – ’19 PG Hamilton
Alex Williams – ’21 SF Moeller

D1 Honorable Mention: John Aicholtz (’19 West Clermont), Jackson Ames (’20 West Clermont), Jacob Berkemeir (’19 Oak Hills), Keyshawn Bourrage (’19 Northwest), Rashaun Brown (’19 Winton Woods), Will Cluxton (’20 Elder), Kaleb Crawford (’20 Princeton), Kahlil Davis (’20 Princeton), Kelen Dietrich (’20 Oak Hills), Logan Duncomb (’21 Moeller), Kaden Fuhrmann (’20 Lakota East), Jalen Greiser (’19 Loveland), Steven Huxell (’19 Milford), Will Johnston (’19 Lakota East), Aaron Jones (’19 Middletown), Max Land (’20 Moeller), Brandon Lanier (’20 Mount Healthy), Jaylen Lemons (’20 LaSalle), Ivan Mason (’20 Withrow), Matt Minick (’19 Mason), Zach Moeller (’19 Oak Hills), Trey Robinson (’20 Hamilton), Nick Smith (’20 Walnut Hills), Nate Stockman (’19 St. Xavier), Hank Thomas (’20 St. Xavier), Jaheim Thomas (’20 Princeton), Matt Toigo (’19 Loveland), Nathan Vogelphol (’19 LaSalle), Leroy Walker (’20 Winton Woods), Montev Ware (’21 West High), Aaron Ward (’20 Winton Woods), Demetrious Watkins (’20 West High), Rodney Wiley (’19 Colerain)

D2-D4 All-Cincinnati 1st Team
Paul McMillan IV – ’22 PG Hughes ***
Evan Prater – ’20 SF Wyoming
Nekhi Smith – ’20 SF/PF Taft
AJ Garrett – ’19 PF Purcell Marian
Jakada Stone – ’21 PG Aiken
Kaden Warner – ’21 PG Gamble Montessori

***Player of the Year***

D2-D4 All-Cincinnati 2nd Team
Ibrahima Athie – ’19 SF Deer Park
D’arris Dean – ’19 SG Aiken
Alex Dotson – ’19 PG/SG Purcell Marian
Joey Edmonds – ’19 PG Wyoming
Camron McKenzie – ’21 SG Hughes
CJ Napier – ’19 SF/PF Bishop Fenwick
Noah Pack – ’19 C Georgetown
Chris’seon Stringer – ’20 SG/SF Taft
Mark Wise – ’20 SG Deer Park
Grant Whisman – ’20 SF Middletown Madison

D2-D4 Honorable Mention: Meechie Battle (’19 Shroder), DeMarco Bradley Jr (’19 Taft), AJ Braun (’21 Bishop Fenwick), Johnny Bultema (’19 Indian Hill), Josh Burkhardt (’19 McNicholas), Kyle Cardenas (’20 Shroder), Cole Fisher (’20 CHCA), Steve Gentry Jr (’20 Deer Park), Cameron Harris (’19 North College Hill), Curtis Harrison (’20 Seven Hills), AB Harouna (’19 Hughes), Brice Hill (’19 Seven Hills), Clark Jefferson (’19 Purcell Marian), Javonta Lyons (’19 Purcell Marian), Marlin Lyons (’19 Clark Montessori), Dionte McBride (’19 Woodward), Muhammad Metz (’20 Taft), Michael McCants (’20 Gamble Montessori), Steven Noung (’19 Madeira), Justin Pappas (’19 Badin), Jordan Robinette (’21 New Miami), Brandon Ross (’19 Reading), Skyler Schmidt (’21 Clermont Northeastern), Brayden Sipple (’21 Blanchester), Tremaine Smith (’19 Aiken), KJ Swain (’21 Cincinnati Christian), Isaiah Walker (’21 Wyoming), Bryan Warah (’19 Purcell Marian), Niarh Williams (’20 Oyler), Logan Woods (’22 Cincinnati Christian), Rylan Woods (’19 Summit)

Flyin’ to the Hoop

22 Jan

CJ Anthony

As readers of this site will surely know, Flyin’ to the Hoop is an annual staple of the Ohio high school basketball season. This year history stood tall, as neither snow nor the circus that surrounds LaVar Ball and Spire Academy could stop FTTH from going on in Kettering from Friday-Monday at Trent Arena. Highlights from the weekend included some high profile prep team battles, the host school Kettering Fairmont taking down a Canadian prep school, an epic ending to the Garfield Heights/Huber Heights Wayne game, and, of course, some top individual performances by Ohio’s top prospects. Here’s a look at some of the standout performers from Flyin’ to the Hoop….

Samari Curtis – ’19 SG Xenia: Some are going to argue that Curtis took too many shots, and that his team did not win their game (albeit against tough competition in First Love Christian Academy/PA), but scoring 44 points is impressive no matter what the circumstances are; and that’s exactly what Curtis did on Saturday morning, as fans who braved the elements go to watch Curtis erupt offensively. The Cincinnati signee got to the rim at will off the dribble, getting to the foul line or scoring at the rim with his combination of athleticism and strength as a 6’3 scoring combo guard. Curtis’ jumper can be streaky, but when he’s hitting that shot there isn’t much opponents can do, as he’s so quick with his dribble that he can create a shot for himself whenever he wants. One of Ohio’s most dynamic guards and personalities, Curtis’ career will be interesting to follow next year with the Bearcats.

Javohn Garcia – ’19 PG Pickerington Central: The top unsigned point guard in all of Ohio, Garcia led his loaded Pickerington Central team into a statement win by a large margin over Trotwood-Madison in the FTTH finale, as Garcia showed that he has a combination of tools at his disposal. A big time athlete as a 6’3 guard, Garcia looked a step faster then everyone else (impressive as Trotwood’s kids aren’t exactly athletic slouches), as he got to the rim in transition, blew by defenders and finished plays off with assists, and made a defensive impact with blocks and rebounds. Garcia’s 32-point game was enough to earn a new scholarship offer, as the Toledo Rockets extended an offer Garcia’s way on Tuesday morning. If Garcia continues to play at this level, don’t be surprised if Pickerington Central makes a push at a third straight State Tournament appearance.

Javin Etzler – ’19 PF Convoy Crestview: Coming out Northwest Ohio, Etzler is a 6’7 forward who has signed with Miami (OH) known for his ability to shoot the basketball. Shooting the ball is exactly what Etzler did in a win over Minster, as the senior forward knocked down shot after shot, showing fans that he could put the ball on the floor after a shot-fake, find a spot-up shot or come off a screen, making a case for himself as Ohio’s top shooter in the 2019 class. With Etzler and his brother, 2021 Kalen Etzler (arguably Ohio’s top sophomore prospect), combining for 43 points it’s hard not to like Crestview’s chances as the State Tournament approaches.

Ryan Hall – ’19 SG Kettering Fairmont: A bouncy 6’4 wing with some swag to his game, Hall started the event off in style on Friday night, going for 28 points, including a 22 point first half, against heavily favored Crestwood Prep (CAN), leading Fairmont in the upset win. Hall is known most as a lefty slasher, but he made a couple of jumpers once he got into rhythm, and his ability to drive the ball at his size, and with his great leaping ability, was very intriguing to some of the college coaches in attendance. Hall’s league, the GWOC, is full of high scorers, but don’t forget about this unsigned senior wing guard.

Greg Tribble – ’19 PG Huntington Prep (WV): After leaving Cincinnati Winton Woods to attend Huntington Prep (WV) in the fall, Tribble made sure that SW Ohio fans still remembered who he was, totaling 16 points in Huntington Prep’s matchup with #2 nationally ranked IMG Academy (FL). Even though H-Prep came up short, Tribble, a 6’1 senior point guard, proved that he can match up with even the nation’s most athletic players, as Tribble possesses quickness and explosive leaping ability found by only a select few prospects in the Buckeye State. Playing on a team full of talented perimeter players, we were impressed with Tribble’s aggressive approach, as he also played major minutes in his team’s second game at FTTH, a win over Bella Vista Prep (AZ).

CJ Anthony – ’20 PG Columbus Harvest Prep: While some thought that maybe Harvest Prep’s game against Middletown Madison was going to be an afterthought, junior point guard CJ Anthony made sure a lasting impression was made, dominating the matchup en route to a 32 points performance. Simply put, Anthony did it all; whether it was knocking down shots, getting in the lane and making plays or locking up defensively. Anthony, a 5’11 strong and tough guard, also showed some athleticism we didn’t know he had, particularly when he finished a two-foot dunk in transition and then sprinted all the way back to take a charge on the other end. Anthony already holds a pair of NCAA D1 offers, and his progress will certainly be reflected in our next online rankings update.

Meechie Johnson – ’21 PG Garfield Heights: After his school had taken a few tough losses at this event over the previous couple of seasons, Johnson’s late game heroics sent his uncle, Coach Sonny Johnson back to Cleveland with a win (as well as a famous FTTH strawberry smoothie). Johnson scored 8 points in the final 90-seconds of the game, and had an assist to his cousin, 2022 Sonny Johnson Jr, to top it off. Over the last ten seconds of the game, Johnson used his great quickness and tight handle to create space to launch a game-tying three pointer, and then ended up getting a steal at the other end and taking it in for what became the game winning layup. Arguably Ohio’s top sophomore guard prospect, Johnson finished the evening with 26 points, created a memorable FTTH moment and, most importantly, booked a win for his team!

Ohio’s 2022 Class: A lot has been said about Ohio’s class of 2022, as this year’s crop of freshmen has already seen several prospects ascend to the ranks of team leaders. With a few of the Buckeye State’s elite youngsters taking the floor at Trent Arena, the class furthered their assertion that this group deserves the hype, with the following performances. Akron Buchtel 6’5 wing Chris Livingston finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds in a heartbreaking loss to Dayton Chaminade Julienne, Cincinnati Hughes 6’1 guard Paul McMillan IV scored 24 points in a win over Cleveland Heights, Garfield Heights point guard Sonny Johnson Jr scored 14 points in the previously mentioned win over Wayne, and, finally, Dayton Thurgood Marshall guard Mekhi Elmore totaled 16 points in his team’s victory against Pace Academy (GA)

Honorable Mention: Kellen Bochenek (’19 Kettering Fairmont), DJ Brewton (’19 Cincinnati Dohn Prep), Darweshi Hunter (’19 Cincinnati Dohn Prep), Jason Sneed (’19 Centerville), Bobby Cole (’19 Huber Heights Wayne), Amari Davis (’19 Trotwood Madison), Milton Gage (’19 Dayton Chaminade Julienne), Raheim Moss (’19 Springfield), Nathan Bruns (’19 Marion Local), Ronnie Hampton (’19 Huber Heights Wayne), Rayshawn Brown (’19 Cincinnati Winton Woods), Nigel Martin (’19 Cleveland Heights), Mo Njie (’20 Centerville), Zach Loveday (’20 Huntington Prep), Nekhi Smith (’20 Cincinnati Taft), Jalan Minney (’20 Springfield), Grant Whisman (’20 Middletown Madison), Trevon Ellis (’20 Dayton Stivers), Kalen Etzler (’21 Convoy Crestview), Anthony Macomb (’21 Dayton Thurgood Marshall), Camron McKenzie (’21 Cincinnati Hughes), Demari Martin (’21 Cincinnati Winton Woods), Garner Wallace (’21 Pickerington Central)


Cleveland PBP Recap

7 Jan

Jaelyn Withers

Annually, the Play-by-Play Classic in Cleveland is a great place for scouts, college coaches and fans to watch and evaluate top talent from Northeast Ohio in showcase games between the best programs. This year’s event, held at Elyria Catholic, was no different, with 11 games between two days of play, featuring twenty teams from Northeast Ohio, as well as Pittsburgh based talent factories in Kennedy Catholic and First Love Christian Academy. Triple Double Prospects made the trip to watch 10/11 games over the two days; here’s a look at our top Ohio based performers from the Play-by-Play Classic….

Jaeylyn Withers – ’19 PF Cleveland Heights: This was our first chance to get a look at Withers, a 6’8 forward from North Carolina who transferred to Cleveland Heights for his senior year. Withers did not disappoint, as the Louisville signee – ranked by top services as one of the top-100 seniors in the country – finished with 27 points in ‘Heights blowout win over Canton McKinley. Arguably the most talented senior in the state of Ohio, Withers is a great athlete for his size who can handle and attack from the three-point line, and, even though he settles for them too much, can shoot the ball with ease from the three-point line. There have been questions from others regarding Withers’ motor, but he was physical and aggressive against McKinley, showing us that Louisville is getting a really promising prospect in Withers.

Devon Grant – ’19 PG Lorain: Even though his Lorain team came up short against Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, Grant was sensational on Sunday afternoon, wearing his heart on his sleeve and finishing with 34 points (the high scorer on the day). Grant was electrifying in the first half for Lorain, hitting pull-up after pull-up from behind the three-point line, as the Miami (OH) signee was just simply in the zone. He’s not the biggest or most athletic guard, but Grant can make shots and he’s one of the absolute toughest, a big part of why Lorain is ranked among the top ten division one teams in Ohio right now.

John Hugley – ’20 C Cleveland Brush: When scouting big men the number one thing we want to see is progression from game-to-game, year-to-year; which is exactly what Hugley displayed on Sunday, showing more emotion and a better motor then we’ve seen in the past, as Brush secured a win over Garfield Heights. A big-bodied 6’8 post who is simply too strong for other high school players, Hugley controlled the paint on both ends, while also showing better conditioning in being able to keep up in a fairly fast-paced game. There aren’t a ton of true bigs in today’s game, but Hugley’s size and strength will allow him the opportunity to score over longer, more athletic bigs as he continues to become more and more skilled. One of the hottest names in Midwestern recruiting news right now, Hugley has offers from Pittsburgh, Nebraska, Xavier, Penn State and about a dozen mid-majors.

Luka Eller – ’20 PF Mentor Lake Catholic: The MVP for Lake Cath in their win over last year’s Ohio D1 State Runners-Up in Solon, the 6’8 junior forward finished with a game high 22 points on the night. Eller has great versatility as well above average athleticism for his size, as he showed the ability to face-up and attack, score around the basket and make shots from the perimeter. NCAA D1 mid-majors have already made it clear that Eller is a priority for them, as is fellow Lake Catholic junior Luke Frazier, as Eller has a rare case of size and skill that is exactly what college coaches look for in today’s game where big men stretch the floor with shooting and have to also be nimble enough to guard small-ball forwards. Already with 5 scholarship offers from NCAA D1’s, if Eller keeps making shots consistently, that list is only going to grow as Lake Catholic moves towards tournament play.

Devontae Blanton – ’20 SF/PF Cleveland St. Edward: As impressive as Akron STVSM was in their win over Lorain, no team did more to improve their stock in Northeast Ohio then St. Ed’s, who put together a total team effort in knocking off Pittsburgh powerhouse Kennedy Catholic. Although senior wing Demetrius Terry was also tremendous on Sunday, the junior forward Blanton was the heart and soul of Ed’s attack, using his strength, offensive IQ and improved ability to knock down perimeter shots to take advantage of Kennedy Catholic. Blanton even found some ways to score with what we call “old man moves” around the rim against West Virginia signee Oscar Tshiebwe, as Blanton’s pump-fakes, floaters and jab-steps were too much for the bigger athlete. With his versatility, as well as the overall team approach Ed’s plays with, we believe, based on yesterday’s game, that Coach Flannery’s team will yet again bet a major threat to make it to the State Tournament come March.

Meechie Johnson – ’21 PG Garfield Heights: Things might not be going Garfield Heights’ way this season on the court, as they lost handily to a very good Brush team; however, Meechie Johnson is still scoring the ball at will, as the sophomore finished with 21 points for the Bulldogs. A blur off the dribble, especially in transition, Johnson combines speed and skill to score at the rim with floaters or with pull-up three-pointers. He’s not a big guard, but Johnson’s speed and handle allow him to create separation, and he has a quick release jumper plus the confidence to score in bunches. One of the more competitive guards in Ohio’s 2021 class which is filled with scoring guards and wings, Johnson has serious playmaking ability on the offensive end.

EJ Farmer – ’21 SG Cleveland Lutheran East: Farmer certainly made the top play of the weekend, knocking down a buzzer-beater three-pointer in Lutheran East’s comeback win over Lakewood, but the sophomore was solid all game long, using his length, athleticism, handle and shot-making ability to create offense. One of Ohio’s most heralded sophomore wings, Farmer is a threat to score from anywhere in the half-court, as the lefty shoots a good ball from three but has the quickness and size at 6’4 to get to the rim and make plays. With Lutheran East being a threat to make it down to the Ohio State Tournament yet again, Farmer’s name will be heavily mentioned in the Cleveland area.

Seth Wilson – ’21 PG Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s: Sophomore who is a tough, physical scoring guard who can really operate efficiently in the pick-and-roll, Wilson had to be ready for battle against Lorain on Sunday, as the Akron STVSM guard is a native of the Lorain area. Wilson was up to the task, scoring 14 points and showing that he can make perimeter shots or use his strong frame to drive to the rim. Wilson, who was a starter on STVSM’s State Champion team a year ago, is no stranger to big games, and further established himself as one of Ohio’s top 2021 guard prospects with his performance Sunday.

Chris Livingston – ’22 SG Akron Buchtel: Billed by some as one of the top-ten players in the entire country in the freshmen class, Livingston already has athletic abilities that surpass many top college players. A big wing guard at 6’5 who can jump out of the gym, has a strong frame and can run like a deer, Livingston is a physical specimen who is definitely the most talented player in Ohio’s 2022 class. Not just an athlete, Livingston was able to handle the ball against pressure in a loss to a very good First Love Christian Academy team, as well as knock down multiple three-pointers. With all the hype surrounding his name, Livingston has already received an early offer from Ohio State

Honorable Mention: Andre Harris (’19 Cleveland Brush), Demetrius Terry (’19 Cleveland St. Edward), CJ Charleston (’19 Cleveland Gilmour Academy), Curtis Houston (’19 Richmond Heights), Chris Painter (’19 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s), Nigel Martin (’19 Cleveland Heights), Tommy Sala (’19 Lakewood), Luke Frazier (’20 Mentor Lake Catholic), Conner O’Toole (’20 Cleveland Gilmour Academy), Gblahan Adio (’20 Richmond Heights), Dayvon Adams (’20 Cleveland Lutheran East), Dakota Cochran (’20 Shaker Heights), Vernon Smith (’21 Akron Buchtel), Kobe Johnson (’21 Canton McKinley), Chris Drake (’21 Cleveland John Hay), Sonny Johnson Jr. (’22 Garfield Heights), Jonathon Effertz (’22 Cleveland St. Ignatius), Danny Young Jr. (’22 Shaker Heights), Elmore James (’22 Cleveland Brush)

’22 Sharavjamts is a Star

20 Dec

It’s not often tSharavjamtshat we at Triple Double Prospects get the urge to write an online report based on one high school basketball game; but sometimes we come across a prospect where we feel they deserve to have their name out there. That kid, in this case, is Mike Sharavjamts…. And he’s just a freshman.

We watched Sharavjamts with his Legacy Christian Academy team, out of Xenia, tonight against Middletown Christian, where Sharavjamts showcased some undeniable upside.

A 6’6 combo guard who can run the point, passes the ball as well as any kid in the state, shoots it from three with a good stroke and consistency and has the fluid athleticism to play purely on the wing at a legit 6’6, Sharavjamts has some serious long-term talent.

Unfortunately, the game tonight was out of hand, as Legacy Christian led by 50-points for the majority of the game, but we still got a chance to see what Sharavjamts can bring to the table, especially on the offensive end. Even with the score being lopsided Sharavjamts, with a great feel for the game at his disposal, brought a lot of versatility and showed a mentality of unselfishness in the process.

What’s even more interesting, however, is Sharavjamts story. The son of the Mongolian National Team coach, and a former professional player, Sharavjamts just recently came to the United States from Mongolia for this school year. Through connections made via Athletes in Action, a basketball based international charity program, Sharavjamts should be here to stay in the Xenia area; making him one of the top freshmen in Ohio’s talent rich 2022 class.

As he continues to get stronger and more acclimated to playing against American competition, Sharavjamts, who is averaging over 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals per game through six games, will be a name that folks in the Dayton area, and eventually the entire state, will have to learn to pronounce.