Championship Sunday at State's was a wild one with several nailbiting finishes, and several upsets. The last event of the spring period, and one of the premiere tournaments for bragging rights, left CPHR with these observations:
State's Photos **Results from the tournament are listed in the article directly below this one if you missed them**
|Kenny Kaminski led his squad to a 17u AAU State Title|
- Columbus Mustang Ballers- CPHR watched them play a hard fought game against the Ohio Hoopsters, that ended in a close Hoopster win, and came away impressed with their progress. Always known as a guard oriented team, CMB has added some big bodies and increased their athleticism on the wings. Cincinnati prospects Mark Minch and Allante Foster, both Lakota East SF's, looked good in the loss. Minch was very active on offense and was able to get to the center of the lane and pull up several times, while Foster was efficient on the boards and ran the wing well on the breakout.
- All Ohio Purple- It took a special performance to knock them out, you'll read more about that below, as AOP fell to the sparking Ohio Hoopsters squad in a game that AOP let slip away early and couldn't come back to control late. Purple kind of struggled to rekindle its chemistry now that all of their players are available again, but CPHR would be surprised if those kinks aren't worked out by the time July rolls around. Geovonie McKnight (Middletown PG) and Josh Lemons (LaSalle PG) were Purple's most effective players for the day.
Andre Yates would be CPHR's event MVP at 17uOhio Hoopsters- PG Andre Yates (Dayton Dunbar) should be proud of himself, because he put his team on his back and carried them to the title game. In a emotional semifinal win over AOP Yates was sensational hitting tough shot after tough shot as Purple frantically tried to come back; at one point Yates scored 10 straight points in the game (he had 30+ total for the game). The Hoopsters improvement can also be attributed to the rising inside play of Allasane Kah (Walnut Ridge) and combo forward Gary Akbar (Dayton Dunbar) who both left all their energy on the floor and contributed on both ends; Akbar was the 2nd leading scorer on the day as the lefty is lethal when driving left in his face up game.
- All Ohio Red- With their depth and talent level inside AOR has established themselves in a class of their own at the 17u level this season. Kenny Kaminski (Medina), Devon Scott (Columbus Northland), Elijah Macon (Marion Franklin), and Teddy Hawkins (Dayton Dunbar) were all unstoppable inside today; and this was without starting big man Jalen Robinson (Columbus Northland). Red will definitely be in contention at both the AAU National Championships and the Nike EYBL Finals.
Isaiah JohnsonShining Stars (Schaefer) and Queen City Prophets- Although they did not make it to the quarterfinals, both of these teams are solid squads with talented prospects. In a great game between the Stars and Cincinnati Celtics CPHR came away impressed with the improvement of PF CJ Reed (Colerain) as well as PG Deontay Waiters (Colerain); Shining Stars also features some nice guards from the Dayton area. QCP struggled this weekend with their team chemistry but the future is bright as SF Josh Davenport (Moeller) started to shake off the cobwebs from missing the last month due to injury; for the Prophets today the main scoring threat other then Davenport was SG Ramar Hairston (Northwest).
- Cincinnati Celtics- An under the radar team in SW Ohio, the Celtics have some talented ballplayers. None better then C Isaiah Johnson (Walnut Hills), the 6'8 beast established himself as one of Cincy's top prospects with a great weekend; including a dominant performance against Shining Stars (Schaefer). CPHR was extremely impressed with the improvement in Johnson's conditioning as well as his passing ability when double teamed, as he continues to tone his body he is one to watch.
- Shining Stars (Moman)- This team isn't the most talented but no one out there competes harder. In a double overtime thriller against All Ohio Grey the Shining Stars refused to go away. Their team's ability to shoot from long range combined with their defensive discipline makes them a tough team to beat.
- Martin's Wolverines- Another good finish at State's for the Wolverines (2nd last year), as they advanced behind the play of PF Maverick Morgan (Springboro).
- All Ohio Grey- Playing shorthanded, with only 6 players, Grey was able to take third due to their defensive intensity and shot making. PG's Tony Kynard (Toledo Rogers) and Edmond “Junior” Early (Thurgood Marshall) had nice days while wings Clemmye Owens (Toledo Rogers) and Deontae Cole (Toledo Central Catholic) each hit several big shots. Grey could not have advanced as far as they did if it weren't for the rebounding efforts of Keith Towbridge (Toledo Central Catholic) and Mark Alstork (Thurgood Marshall).
- All Ohio Varsity- As usual Varsity came out with energy and pushed their way through to the finals behind the play of PG's Jack Gibbs (Westerville North) and Randle Clarkson (Brookhaven). This team continues to be a nightmare for coaches with their defensive pressure and uptempo offensive pace. PF Marquiez Lawrence (Marion Franklin) did a great job all day of rebounding and then beating opposing big men down the floor for buckets.
- All Ohio Red- Playing with only 6 guys on championship Sunday and still taking home the title is very impressive, and that's exactly what Red did. PG Cha Cha Tucker (Michigan) and PF Marc Loving (Toledo St. Johns) were their most impressive players in games that CPHR watched. Red's combination of star big men, athletic ballhandlers, and shooters makes them Ohio's top 16u team.
- Cincinnati Lakers- Winning on Sunday at State's is about one thing; and that is winning the battle of attrition. The Lakers were able to win that battle due to their depth, as they have a full roster of players who can contribute. While they might lack a true consistent superstar, although they did have PG Tyonte Robertson (Withrow) with them for the weekend, the Lakers play well as a team and focused their energy on the defensive end. Their third State Title in as many years shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone.
As the spring AAU period comes to an end Cincy Prep Hoops Report will re-shift gears back to the high school scene over the month of June and try keep fans up to date with area teams as they compete in camps/shootouts as well as player progress and news. At the end of the month CPHR will be back on the AAU scene for the July period, in which college coaches are able to come out and watch the competition.