Author: Will Homan

Late Second-half surge lifts Bethel past Northridge

Tipp City, OhioNorthridge traveled up to Bethel High School on Tuesday night for a non-conference matchup against the Bees. Northridge came into the game with a win against Milton-Union last Friday night while Bethel had lost five straight. The game started out extremely slow with both teams struggling to find a flow on the offensive end. Ethan Rimkus and Will Reittinger got things going on the offensive end for Bethel. For Northridge, Jamel Crusoe was playing really well. Crusoe had a nice transition dunk in the second quarter. Both teams were settled into a 2-3 zone and couldn’t get much going. The score was knotted at 17 all at halftime. The second half both teams found a rhythm and started to knock down shots. Northridge’s Antoine Jacobs came out in the second-half and really attacked the basket hard. Isaiah McCallop was knocking down perimeter shots for the Polar Bears. Casey Keese for Bethel started to get going as Northridge went into the 4th quarter with a 35-33 lead. The 4th quarter was all Bethel. Casey Keese did a terrific job handling Northridge’s pressure all night. Will Reittinger knocked down some big shots. Bethel showed a tremendous amount of toughness and didn’t give Northridge anything easy. They contested every shot at the rim, were quicker to every loose ball, and rebounded the ball well. I thought Bethel’s toughness in the 4th quarter was the X-factor. Northrige’s Antoine Jacobs who came into the game averaging 20 points did everything he could to keep the Polar Bears in the game, but it wasn’t enough. Jacobs finished the game with 13. Jamel Crusoe finished the game with 11 for the Polar Bears. Casey Keese finished with 19 for Bethel. Bethel will travel to Twin Valley South Friday night. Northridge will play host to SWBL foe Bellbrook.

Top Prospects (In no particular order)

Jamel Crusoe/2021/ 6’2″ F/ Northridge- Crusoe at 6’2″ is very athletic and can get to the rim very well. Has a soft touch around the rim and a nice mid-range game. Crusoe will have to continue to be aggressive on the offensive end for the Polar Bears.

Antoine Jacobs/2022/ 6’2″ G/ Northridge- Jacobs is an under-the-radar prospect in the 2022 class in the Dayton area. Jacob’s has a strong frame and really attacks the rim hard. At 6’2″ and 180, Jacob’s is a tough matchup for opposing foes with his ability to put the ball on the floor and attack. Jacob’s has had an extremely impressive season so far including a 23 point output against Wayne. Jacob’s is definitely a 2022 prospect to keep your eye out for.

Will Reittinger/2022/ 6’2″ F/ Bethel- Reittinger has the ability to stretch the floor and finish around the rim. Really liked his ability to contest shot’s around the rim. Will be a key piece for the Bees the remainder of the season.

Casey Keese/2022/ 5’8″ G/ Bethel- Keese wasn’t the tallest or most athletic player on the floor Tuesday night, but it’s safe to say he was the most skilled. Keese has the ball on a string and great court vision. Keese blew by the Northridge pressure multiple times and found teammates open for easy buckets. Keese can knock down shots and has a high basketball IQ. Keese is another 2022 prospect to keep your eye on.

Miamisburg guard play propels Vikings past Lebanon

Miamisburg, Ohio- Miamisburg and Lebanon met for the second time this season on Saturday night at Miamisburg High School. The two teams met on December 12 at Lebanon with the Warriors coming out on top 62-52. Miamisburg has been off to an extremely hot start coming into their game with Lebanon at 9-2 with an very impressive win over Centerville. Lebanon, now in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference (ECC) came into the game on an 8 game win streak. Miamisburg played with a chip on their shoulder the entire night. The Vikings got off to a quick 9-2 lead. Evan Logan had a quick 7 points on the Vikings senior night. Both squad’s missed many open looks early on as Miamisburg held a 13-6 lead after the first quarter. The second quarter was the Anthony Coppock show for the Vikings. Coppock wasn’t settling for jumpers and getting to the rim and finishing. Lebanon’s Blake Lamb was big on the defensive end and helped the Warriors keep the Vikings from expanding their lead. Lebanon’s Kam O’Connor and Carter Davidson continued to make plays on the offensive end for the Warriors. Miamisburg maintained a 25-17 lead at half. The Warriors came out firing after halftime to get the lead down to five. Kam O’Connor was starting to knock down shots while Blake Lamb was a force on the defensive end. Lamb has a really strong frame and plays his tail off. O’Connor has a very quick release and is one of the most underrated shooters in SW Ohio. The score at the end of the third was Miamisburg 35-25 over the Warriors. Lebanon wouldn’t get the lead under five as Miamisburg was just too much for the Warriors Saturday night. I was really impressed with the Vikings trio of Anthony Coppock, Alex Ball, and Evan Logan. They took the game over when Lebanon cut their lead to five. All three play with such great poise, don’t turn it over, and have extremely high basketball IQ’s. Miamisburg extended their lead to double-digits in the fourth and both teams cleared their benches. Lebanon was right there for three quarters, but just didn’t get enough shots to fall to cut into Miamisburg’s lead. With Miamisburg’s 49-31 win, they split their season series with Lebanon. Coppock, Ball, and Logan combined for 43 of the Vikings 49 points. Miamisburg improved to 10-2 heading into a non-conference matchup at Bellbrook on Tuesday. Lebanon falls to 8-2 heading into an ECC conference matchup at home vs Kings on Tuesday. Miamisburg is no joke and will be a tough-out in the state tournament. The same can be said for Lebanon as they’ve been very impressive this season.

Top Prospects (In no particular order)

Kam O’Connor/2022/ 5’11” G/ Lebanon- O’Connor didn’t have the best night shooting wise- but still managed to lead the Warrios with 10 points. O’Connor has unlimited range and a very quick release. O’Connor also showed Saturday night his ability to put the ball on the floor and create plays for himself and teammates. O’Connor is definitely a name to get familiar with.

Blake Lamb/2021/ 6’3″ F/ Lebanon- Lamb is an Olivet Nazerene football commit but I was impressed with his play Saturday night. Lamb has a strong frame and uses it to his advantage. Attacks the rim hard, rebounds well, and plays his tail off. He can be a matchup problem for the opposition with his size and strength.

Alex Ball/2021/ 5’11” G/ Miamisburg- Ball is everything you want in a point guard. Handles the ball well, has a high basketball IQ, can finish around the rim, and knock perimeter jumpers down. Ball moves without the ball very well also. Brings great leadership to the Miamisburg squad. Not to mention Ball can really light it up at times also.

Evan Logan/2021/ 6’4″ F/ Miamisburg- Miamisburg lists Logan as a forward but he sure doesn’t play like one. At 6’4″, Logan can score it from all three levels. On Saturday night, he showed he can knock down perimeter shots, score with his back to the basket, and handle the ball at a high level. Logan is a very talented player.

Anthony Coppock/2022/ 6’2″ F/ Miamisburg- Coppock can flat out do it all, which he displayed on Saturday night. At 6’2″ he is a great rebounder for his size. Can shoot the three ball well, has great court vision, and finishes around the rim extremely well. Coppock will see a rise in his recruitment playing for the Mid Ohio Pumas this spring/summer on the AAU scene. A complete all-around player.

Springfield Takes Down Northmont

Englewood, OhioSpringfield traveled to Englewood Friday night for a GWOC showdown against Northmont. The Wildcats’ looked to keep their foot on the gas pedal after a big road win Tuesday night against Miamisburg. The Wildcats’ did just that. Springfield imposed their will on the defensive end from tip-off. Their on-ball pressure turned the Thunderbolt’s over which led to easy buckets. The Wildcats’ got off to a quick 12-2 lead. Vincent Fisher was a force on the boards for the Wildcats’. Fisher had multiple put-backs in the first quarter. Fisher played his tail off and was always in the right place at the right time. Northmont started to get into a flow on the offensive end, but still trailed the Wildcats’ 18-10 after the first quarter. The second quarter was back-and-forth as Northmont’s Patrick Ivory started to get more involved. Springfield’s pressure on the defensive end continued to play a big factor as the Wildcats’ got out in transition and continued to attack the rim. Springfield’s guards do a great job getting the ball up the floor quickly by the pass. At halftime, Springfield hung onto their lead, 33-25. The third quarter started with Springfield extending their lead to 15. Micha Johnson and Josh Tolliver started to get things going in the scoring column. Vincent Fisher continued his excellent play. Northmont didn’t go away as they cut the lead back down to 8. Patrick Ivory got to the rim at will and was getting to the FT line. Even with Ivory playing at a high level, Northmont just couldn’t close the gap as they couldn’t get Springfield’s lead under 8. At the end of the third, Springfield’s lead was up to 13, 55-42. Springfield’s Micha Johnson, Tyron Barnes, and Kamari Williams led the way offensively in the 4th. A bright spot for Northmont was junior guard Brandon Pooler. Pooler got hot from deep as Northmont continued to fight back, but it wasn’t enough. Pooler is a young guard who has a nice stroke as he made three 3 PT FG attempts. Pooler finished the game with 14 points. Springfield was in control from start to finish, as they left Northmont with a 74-58 win. Springfield’s intensity and effort was an X-factor. They have great communication on the defensive end and pressure the ball really well. Tyron Barnes played a great game as the lead guard for the Wildcats’ and was relentless on the defensive end. Springfield will continue to get better and with a tough non-conference schedule they’ll be prepared for March. Shawn Thigpen will be a key piece for the Wildcats’ when he returns as he did not play Friday night. The Wildcats’ definitely are a team you don’t want to see in March. As for Northmont, they’ll look to continue to improve and fight their way back up in the GWOC standings.

Top Prospects (In no particular order)

Patrick Ivory/ 2021/ 6’5″ G/ Northmont- Ivory showed on Friday nighty why he is one of the top 2021 prospects in the Dayton area. Ivory can score it from all three levels. On Friday night, Ivory showed his athleticism and ability to get to the rim. Ivory has also improved his outside shooting. Ivory’s length allows him to deflect passes on the defensive end. Ivory is a nightmare match-up for defenders.

Brandon Pooler/ 2022/ 5’10” G/ Northmont- Pooler was a bright spot for Northmont Friday night as Pooler came off the bench and provided much needed scoring and perimeter shooting. Pooler has a smooth stroke and is a threat from deep. Pooler had a breakout game Friday and I expect for Pooler to bring more scoring off the Northmont bench.

Tyron Barnes/ 2023/ 5’9″ G/ Springfield- First thing that stuck out to me about Barnes was his on-ball defensive pressure. Barnes has quick feet and is a terrific on-ball defender. Barnes has a solid handle, and attacks the rim strong. Barnes is still young and will continue to develop over the next few years.

Vincent Fisher/ 2021/ 6’0″ G/ Springfield- Fisher was the most important player on the floor Friday night. Fisher was relentless on the glass and finished around the rim very well. Fisher tallied in 11 boards to go along with 16 points. Although Fisher is known for his talent on the football field, Fisher is a very important piece to the Wildcats’ squad.

Micha Johnson/ 2022/ 5’10” G/ Springfield- Johnson gives a scoring boost off the bench for the Wildcats’ offense. Johnson is an athletic guard that can knock shots down from the perimeter and attack the rim. Johnson has scored in double-digits in the Wildcats’ past five games.

Josh Tolliver/ 2021/ 6’1″ G/ Springfield- Tolliver is one of the elite scorers in the GWOC averaging 16 points a game for the Wildcats’. Tolliver is a knockdown shooter. Tolliver’s strong frame allows him to finish through contact well. Tolliver is shooting an impressive 59% and 42% from 3.