In the 17u division it was a rematch of two pool teams in the final, King James and Nova Village. King James came away with the first victory Saturday night and would get this one as well. In the 16u division Ohio Varsity-White took on Dayton Nets/Buckeye Prep in the final, with OV taking it by a score of 60-47. In the 14u division it was another rematch of two pool teams that had previously faced off. In the first meeting between TNBA and Dorian's Pride, TNBA won by 8 points but DP was not going to let that happen again, winning the ship by a score of 40-17. Here are a couple standouts from Day 3.
Aaron Jackson 2013 6'5" Gahanna Lincoln/King James
AJ was huge for King James all day but especially in the finals. He had numerous strong takes, in which he would finish thru contact and get the And-1. Two of his And-1's were towards the end of the first half while King James was making their run to extend the lead. Jackson is a bigger, strong guard, who attacks the rim hard and can get up and finish at the rim. His outside shot wasn't falling like it normally is but he still showed he can hit them and is very comfortable out there. Can score in a variety of ways, getting to the rim, posting smaller guards, transition, one-dribble pull-ups and from long range. His strong play all weekend long not only helped his team win the championship but earned him MVP honors.
Ty Hairston 2014 6'2" Northland/Ohio Varsity-White
Hairston is super skilled on the offensive end and when he wants can be a scoring machine. He showed all weekend long the different ways he can score. His soft floater in the lane was very effective, and he was able to get it out of the reach of shot blockers, even when he faced SMAC's 7-footer. Can hit the three off the catch or a pull-up. Ty does a good job of changing speeds in the half court. Making a couple calm moves then making on hard move and attacking as opportunities presented them self. Will have a big role next year for the Vikings, as they lose four seniors.
Marlo Brown 2016 6'4" Southfield Christian/Dorian's Pride
The super smooth lefty was huge all over the court for DP. He has the size to defend down low but also has the skills to handle the ball up the court, often running point guard. His skill set is very impressive for an 8th grader, as he can do many things on the court. The one thing that you hardly see, even in the older divisions is a mid-range game/jumper. Brown uses his mid-range jumper a lot, and it is very effective because with his height and length he can just shot right over defenders. The crafty wing was also quick enough to get past smaller guards and used his length to finish around defenders. He didn''t shot many 3's but in the championship game he went 1 for 2 from behind the arch, proving that he can step back and stroke it. I really like his mindset of not settling for 3's and getting to the rim and using his mid-range j. With his skill set look out for him to really flourish in Coach Baker's dribble-drive system.
Trey Fletcher 2013 6'6" Ironton/King James
A wide body down low, who knows how to use it. Isn't the most athletic or strongest big but he knows how to use his size to shield off defenders. The lefty really took advantage of smaller defenders and made them pay. He will be one to keep an eye this summer as he continues to get better for KJ.
Geno Thorpe 2013 6'2" Shaler HS (PA)/King James/Penn State Commit
The Big Ten commit came out attacking in the 17u semi-final against Millennium Fire, having six of the first ten points for King James. Proving that he can be a dominate scorer. Thorpe is at his best when he is attacking the rim and in transition but also showed off some impressive one on one moves. Geno had to leave early and was not able to stay for the championship game but he was a standout all weekend long for King James.
Alex Stewart 2014 6'5" Westerville North/Ohio Varsity-White
A little undersized down low but makes up for it with his strength, motor and intelligence. Stewart has a very strong and solid frame that he puts to use often. He is not afraid to bang down low and uses his straight to box out more athletic players. Showed off some very nice post moves down low and even out to 15', using his quickness to get past slower bigs. One thing that will never be questioned about Alex is his toughness. He plays hard and was never afraid to get in there and work. A couple minutes into the 16u championship game, a collision happened between him and other player. His nose started bleeding heavily and when the blood was wiped away it looked to be broken. Alex didn't care, he wanted to play, begging the trainer to just bandage it and he would go to the hospital after. The trainer stayed firm and made sure he went to the hospital, were he found out that it was indeed broken. We wish Alex a speedy and healthy recovery, but knowing him he won't be out too long.
John Draper 2013 5'10" Columbus Eastmoor/Nova Village
Strong guard who makes things happen. He was ready to compete every game, no matter who he was going up against. The lefty, got in the lane and had good body control when drawing contact against bigs. Showed he can hit from deep too, hitting a number of three's in a couple games. Was able to hand pressure and make plays for himself or teammates.
Algevon Eichelberger 2016 6'5" Saginaw (MI)/Dorian's Pride
Continued his strong play, leading his team to the championship game and making sure they were not going to lose to TNBA again. Big Al made some very nice moves from the top of the key showing that he can do more than just bang down low. Also stepped out and hit a couple 15' jumpers. He made sure that DP was going to come away with the title, and in the process came away with the MVP award. I will say it again he is going to be a special one.
One team that I did not get a chance to watch was the King James 16s, who were playing up this tournament. Am hearing that they have a lot of talented guards and wings, will hopefully be checking them out soon. I also want to thank Rob Taylor and his staff at Buckeye Prep Report for another great event. Next weekend I will be at the Motown Showdown in Detroit, MI, so look for updates next weekend from that. Follow on twitter: @NSchmidta2