By: Jonathan Burgin
All you hoop fans around the city, CPHR would like to welcome you to the start of this anticipated season of high school hoops. There are some teams out there with some new faces and new Coaches. I would like to congratulate five new coaches who will make their debuts at new schools this year; Ricardo Hill Sr. (Walnut Hills) Steve Gentry (Shroder), Pat Stricker (Turpin), Matt Rooks (Wyoming) and Victor Hunter (Lockland). The buzz is in the air, let's get this season started.
JB's Friday Night Pick Six:
Aiken at Taft
|Aaron Oden makes his Taft debut Friday|
Taft hosts Aiken in a CMAC battle as I can remember that has been the opener for the last 3 years. The winner of this game usually tends to be at the top of the league. Mark Mitchell comes in with an oustanding record against competition from this League, where he has been dominant. He looks to a group of experienced players in the system that have dominated Junior Varsity games over the last 3 years. He has to replace a team that won him a State Championship and several District Championships. Kenny Kaufman, Marco Scott, Aaron Oden, and Robert Smith look to lead the Senators and hold their home court against Aiken. Coach Mitchell doesn't want to look as this as "rebuilding" year, but a "building"one. Taft still likes to play at a fast tempo and pick you up 94 feet, but the question is with the lack of Varsity experience other than Aaron Oden (Hughes High School) will that be enough in this tough League.
Aiken and Coach Leon Ellison losing some key scoring and rebounding of his own looks to turn the tide this year too as CPHR favorite to win the CMAC. Austin Grimes who has averaged a double-double in his career of High School Basketball looks to lead the Falcons in the Senators' House. He will get some help from transfers Demarcus Scott (North College Hill), Paul Jones (Lexington area) and fellow back-court mate Correy Cavins. Kameron Moore 6'5 a Freshman will provide some toughness and solidify the post with Senior Demonte Jones 6'8 and Senior Antwan Dean 6'5. Aiken likes to get in their sets and be patient with the ball making the defense sit-down and guard. Defensively they can pick you up full-court so look for them this year to use their athleticism all over the court.
JB’s Pick- Aiken’s Grimes proves why he is a great athlete and a force to be reckoned with as he validates himself as the man of the CMAC. Aiken 73-62
Withrow at Woodward
Withrow comes into the Blue Palace looking to pick up where they left off last year after falling to the Fairfield Indians in the Regional Semi-final. Senior Tim Coleman, Corey Wise and Junior Tyonte Robertson have some unfinished business to accomplish and it starts with the Bulldogs.
Coach Gibert looks to fill the absence of Devin Williams who looked to go to Prep School his Senior Season. Prospects Junior Landen Jacskon, Soph Lamonte West 6'7, transfer Darius Cannon and 6'4 Dejuan Jones. Coleman has the heart and determination to get his team back to the promise land.
Woodward and Coach Lannis Timmons looks to some good role players and Senior leadership. Dionte Sanders, Shawn Carter and Ryan Connel all saw minutes this year and with the transfer of prospect Sophomore Isiah Jones look for the scrappy Bulldogs to give the Tigers a fight in this rivalry. Jones will be able to take over the reigns and prove himself in this battle-tested league if the Seniors are not ready.
JB’s Pick-Withrow Coleman's determination and play-making ability is too much for the Bulldogs. Withrow 65-50
Clark Montessori at Madeira
Coach Scott Kerr of Clark has some young talent in his program and is ready to put it to the test. Clark has some players with some experience most notably Malik Rhodes, who looks to lead this young team and battle in the CHL. Coach Kerr can flat out "Coach" so if the games get a little tight don't be surprised if Clark pulls out some victories this year.
Madeira and Coach Jim Reynolds return the reigning POY of the CHL Andrew Benintendi who averaged 24pts/gm. Alongside this Mustang is Senior G Brad Almquist, Senior G John Michael Wyrick coming off of ACL injury and Junior G Matt Ballweg to pick up the slack. The Mustangs look to defend their title around experience guard play this year if all else fails let Andrew create or score.
JB’s Pick-Madeira Benintendi picks up where he left off but Clark plays hard and gives them a scare. Madeira 55-52