|Walnut Hills head coach Rob Moman|
By CPHR staff writer JB Burgin
Over the next few weeks JB “Scoop” Burgin will be picking six games that he feels are the most important games in the city on that particular night. Look for Scoop to take readers behind the scenes into some of Cincinnati’s top programs:
In the first segment of JB's Pick Six we have the Walnut Hills Eagles (11-2) (8-1) vs. the Turpin Spartans (11-1) (7-1) playing, most likely, for the FAVC East Title. The Eagles are holding on to a 10 game winning streak and the Turpin Spartans have won 6 straight after their loss to Walnut at the last encounter (48-47.)
CPHR had a chance to ask some questions to Walnut Hills coach Rob Moman and Walnut's star players in junior PG Sterling Gilmore and junior C Isaiah Johnson; both of whom are highly recruited prospects.
JB- Sterling, Sum up the year you’ve had at Walnut Hills so far?
Sterling- "We had a pretty slow start, but we’re starting to play more up tempo and Coach is letting us play more".
JB- What is your best asset as a point guard?
Sterling- "Getting in the lane at any time to set-up my teammates and able to really defend on the perimeter to cause some havoc".
JB- How do you feel about the matchup with Turpin?
Sterling- "We have a pretty good chance; they don't have a chance to stop the Big Dog (Johnson) so we have to let him eat. We also have to take a total team effort in shutting down Zach (McCormick), Connor (Grotton), and Mitch (Stevens).”
JB- Isaiah, you have been a recruiter's gold mine this year by averaging a double-double. What do you credit for the success of your game this year?
Isaiah- "My teammates giving me the ball in a good position to score, I refuse to let them down in a game. My Coach pushes me hard it's a combination in the season and the off-season conditioning.”
JB- You’re also a D-1 prospect in Football (offensive tackle); how do you juggle both sports and do you play the game with the same intensity?
Isaiah- "I take one sport at a time but I give my all in either sport and play with the same intensity".
JB- How do you feel about the match-up with Turpin?
Isaiah- “Turpin is really a good team we had a good game last time at Walnut. If we come out from the tip we will get the job done.”
JB- Coach Mo, how is the progress going for Sterling Gilmore as a point guard?
Coach- "It’s been pretty good, he's accepted his role, he's an unselfish player getting an assist is like a dunk for him. (Junior) Khari Burton is a spark plug off the bench; it's a great feeling and it helps when you have two good point guards.”
JB- Isiah Johnson has gotten better each year averaging a double-double, is there anything else you can ask him to do?
Coach- "Play hard on a consistent basis. Isaiah already has the body. He can and wants to be better than Yancy Gates.”
JB- What do you look forward to in your match-up with Turpin, with the FAVC East title up for grabs?
Coach- "Another barn burner like at Walnut Hills. (Turpin coach) Brad Cupito does a good job and they are well disciplined. We were a little lucky to get out of the first game with a victory on our home floor and they are probably feeling real good that we have to go on the road.”
Looking at this matchup it is clear that it is a must-see game. The two elite teams in the FAVC East that clear cut above the rest. If Walnut can establish an inside post game they should win; but, if the perimeter play of Zach McCormick can neutralize that inside scoring of Walnut then Turpin has the advantage. CPHR will be there for all the best coverage from the game, including updates on Twitter @cincyprephoops; check back in with us!