GROVEPORT, Ohio -- Week 2 of the 270 Hoops Fall League was bigger and better than ever on Sunday afternoon. Let’s take a look at our top performers from 20 games of Open Division action.
Max Stokey (6’7 C / Buckeye Valley / 2020): One of the best prospects in the Open Division, Stokey took care of business in the paint on Sunday to lead the Celtics. He finished around the rim with a soft touch, scoring 13 points, but most impressive was his defense where he cleaned the glass with eight rebounds and protected the rim with two blocks. Stokey has gotten stronger and added more tools to his game, which will help Buckeye Valley compete in the MOAC as the Barons will have one of the biggest and best front courts among teams in Division II.
Jay Wyman (5’10 G / Westfall / 2020): Wyman had a solid showing against the Celtics as he put his offensive versatility on display in the contest. Wyman knocked down two threes and got to the rim on several occasions, showcasing deceptive quickness off the bounce and good strength around the rim. He’s been an excellent secondary option on his 76ers squad who has several other good guards who can create off the dribble as he knocks down shots when he’s open and is a team defender. On a Westfall team that a lot of people don’t know about, Wyman should have a chance to put up some really nice scoring numbers this season.
Eli North (5’10 WG / London / 2020): Some guys play with such competitive fire that it spreads to the rest of their team. North is one of those guys, as he went balls to the wall in both wins for the Pistons on Sunday, coming up clutch from beyond the arc in a tight win over the Bulls. The London senior knocked down four threes and finished with 16 points to help his team fend off a talented opponent. On a London team where Trey Woodyard and Jainaz Cameron get most of the publicity, North is a multi-year varsity guy that should really help the Red Raiders this season.
Mo Fofana (5’10 PG / Franklin Heights / 2020): A shifty guard with good quickness, Fofana was an excellent off the bounce creator for his Pistons team in both games on Sunday, even leading them to a 17 point comeback win over the Cavaliers where he had the game clinching steal and was the spark plug throughout the surge back. The 5-foot-10 guard proved to be a solid point of attack defender, using his quick feet and active hands to come up with several steals while defending on the perimeter. On the offensive end, he combined for 21 points in two games while also dishing out five assists and grabbing seven rebounds, doing a little bit of everything. Fofana continuously beat guys off the dribble and got inside where he proved to be a tough finisher around the rim. We love to see guys like Mo have success, as he plays hard, has fun and does all of the little things right. On a Franklin Heights team where he’ll be relied on to do a lot of the offensive creation, we expect him to have an impressive senior season. High academic programs should take a look at Fofana, as he is a high performer both on the hardwood and in the classroom.
Josh Wilhelm (6’2 WG / Westerville Central / 2020): Wilhelm had ice in his veins on Sunday, as he knocked down the game-tying three for his team in regulation and made the game-winning layup in overtime in a comeback win. Wilhelm has transformed himself into more of a guard over the last year as he has the skill set to play on the perimeter. The lefty went for 14 points in the win and scored from all three levels in the contest, as he finished inside, hit the mid-range and knocked down the three off the catch. Josh uses his strong frame to get to the rim against smaller guards and also has the ability to score from the post at times. On a Westerville Central team that has the talent to turn some heads this winter, Wilhelm will be a big part of that.
Brent Walker (6’6 PF / Canton McKinley / 2021): Walker had all eyes on court three for his absolutely dominant performance. He was simply too big, too strong and too good for opposing players. He showed off his athleticism finishing a flurry of thunderous slams. He flashed good footwork on some post moves. By the end of his 29 point, six rebound performance, everyone who watched the game was calling for his promotion to the invite league. An absolutely jacked 6-foot-6 forward who looks like a grown man, Walker should be one of the standout bigs in Northeast Ohio this winter for the Bulldogs of Canton McKinley.
Jaivon Miller (6’0 G/ Licking Heights / 2021): Quite possibly the breakout player of Week 2, Miller had a terrific showing on Sunday. A tough guard with a smooth handle that plays at his own pace, Miller showed that he had no problem putting the ball in the basket, either off the catch and shoot or off the dribble. He scored his first nine points in the first three minutes of play, knocking down two triples and converting at the stripe. As the kids would say, Miller is ‘a bucket.’ He finished with a game-high 20 points and is a guy that we can see carrying a lot of the scoring load for Licking Heights this winter after moving in from Hamilton Township.
Will Miller (6’4 WG / Bishop Hartley / 2021): Miller made the most of his touches on Sunday, proving to be a sniper from three in going 3-of-3 on his attempts. He looked the part of a serious catch and shoot option for Bishop Hartley this year, as the Hawks will need all the help they can get after graduating one of its all-time greats in Morgan Safford. Miller is a tough wing who gives all out effort on both ends, traits that will help him secure a permanent spot in coach Randy Kortokrax’s rotation.
Ethan Bell (5’10 G / River Valley / 2021): In a 2-0 day for the Heat, Bell stood out as a crafty ball handler who knows how to get to the rim and finish. He had one of the better highlights on court three when he nutmegged the defender and finished a difficult floater. Defensively, he got after guys with great ball pressure. He finished with 12 points and two steals in a win over the Hawks. Bell is a talented guard to keep an eye on in the MOAC this winter.
Gabe Chalfin (6’0 WG / Logan Elm / 2021): When it’s all said and done this season, Chalfin might just be the standout performer in Pickaway County. The 6-foot guard had a terrific day for the Pacers, knocking down a variety of shots and showing an ability to really score it off the bounce. On a Logan Elm team that has some very good guards, Chalfin could have a chance to lead the Braves in scoring in what should be a successful season.
Drew Faieta (6’2 WG / Worthington Christian / 2021): Faieta is known as more of a spot up shooter for Worthington Christian during the winter, but he showed off good creation ability as a lead guard on Sunday. He scored off the bounce, lead the break and found open guys on several occasions. The 6-foot-2 guard has a lanky build and uses it to his advantage on the defensive end as we saw him come up several steals as a result of good rotations and his length. We expect Drew to do an excellent job of his role this winter on a Worthington Christian team with a ton of firepower.
Nico Genovesi (5’11 WG / DeSales / 2021): In a much-needed 2-0 day for the Celtics, Genovesi stepped up and showed out in leading his team to wins. The 5-foot-11 junior guard went for double figures in both games, making shots both off the catch and off the bounce with consistency. Genovesi did a great job creating for himself and his teammates, making the correct plays and providing the Celtics with buckets when they needed them down the stretch. We look forward to seeing how he fits in DeSales’ rotation this winter as the Stallions will have a bit of scoring to replace.
Isaiah Hazelwood (6’5 PF / Worthington Christian / 2021): On a Raptors team that has ran through the league in the first two weeks, Hazelwood has been a big reason why. The 6-foot-5 junior post had a very strong Week 2, producing in the absence of fellow big Maceo Williams. In two wins on Sunday, Hazelwood provided the Raptors with 21 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, putting together a well-rounded performance and showing even more intrigue. Hazelwood caught our eye last season as a mobile big that runs the floor, controls the glass and protects the rim. We look forward to seeing what he does this season on a loaded Worthington Christian squad that might be the area favorite in Division III.
Josh Harlan (6’0 PG / Pickerington Central / 2022): Harlan has been one of the biggest 2022 stock rising guards in the league, as we really love the way he plays the game and commands both ends. The Pickerington Central sophomore is the ultimate playmaker, as he has been the straw that stirs the drink in the Raptors’ dominant 4-0 start to the season. In wins over the previously unbeaten Nets and Cavaliers on Sunday, Harlan combined for 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, making plays all over the floor and winning his defensive matchups against other top guards in the event. Look for Harlan to play big minutes in the Tiger backcourt this winter, as he provides IQ, playmaking and toughness at the most important spot on the floor.
Lance Pressley (6’3 WF / Pickerington Central / 2022): Despite his team losing handily, Pressley impressed with this toughness and effort that never wavered. He was aggressive early and often getting to rim and finishing tough shots through contact . Pressley showed the ability to hit from deep as well, knocking down two threes. He finished the game with 19 points. In a Pickerington Central program that seems to have never ending talent, Pressley is a prospect to keep an eye on.
Da’shan Clark (6’2 WG / Bloom Carrol /2022): Clark, a former The Intro alum, popped up on our radar on Sunday after a strong viewing. With a lengthy build at about 6-foot-2, Clark ran the floor well and finished in transition at the rim on his way to eight points. What earned him his place among this week’s top performers was his defensive play. Clark took the challenge of guarding Week 1’s leading scorer Logan Mesaros and came up with three big-time steals to help his Laker team secure a victory. Clark is a young player to keep an eye on in the MSL as he will provide Bloom Carroll with much-needed athleticism and defensive versatility.
Jevin Beard (6’1 PG / Buckeye Valley / 2022): Beard has quickly earned his coaches’ praises as the top player on the Lakers squad through two weeks. A thick point guard that plays with great energy and purpose, Beard made an impact all over the game in a win over the Grizzlies, finishing with four points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Moments later in a tougher matchup against the Jazz, Beard rose to the occasion with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists as the Lakers fell in a heartbreaker by two points. We are big fans of guys who make the right basketball play and put winning above scoring, and Beard is one of those guys. We look forward to tracking his progress this winter with Buckeye Valley.
Dalton Gemmell (5’6 G / Heath /2022): Heart over height defines Gemmel. He flat out competes on both ends, as he took three charges in the first game of the day, providing the type of toughness and effort that helps kids like himself stand out in the league. Gemmel impressed last week with his three point shooting and that continued as he knocked two threes and got to the rim for some creative finishes. On a Heath team with plenty of sophomore talent, we look forward to seeing Gemmell take his play over to the LCL where the Bulldogs should compete among the elite in the conference.
Aidan Dring (5’10 PG / Dublin Coffman / 2022): Dring had a really good day scoring the basketball on Sunday, as he came up with 15 points and 11 points respectively in two losses. He kept defenders honest as he knocked down several pull up three-pointers but beat guys off the dribble consistently as well. Dring has a shifty handle that he knows how to use and his best trait may be his ability to finish around defenders in the paint. He’s capable of absorbing contact and finishing with either hand, as he has above average body control at this point. We hope to see Dring develop into a really good lead guard in a Coffman program that’s helped produce guys like Dom Penn and Keaton Turner in recent years.
Nick Heath (6’3 F / Upper Arlington / 2022): Workhorse. That’s the best way to describe Heath. Always around the rim, he uses his strong frame to his advantage and picks his spots well, as he came up 13 (!!) rebounds to go along with eight points in a 20 point win over the Grizzlies. Nick runs the floor well, has good hands and simply bullies guys inside. He’s a capable finisher around the rim and can stretch the floor to 16 feet and knock down the mid-range. Heath put himself on our radar Sunday and we’re excited to see how he adds to his game in the future.
Ethan Smith (5’10 PG / Olentangy / 2022): Not too long after playing two games in the invite division, Smith put on an statsheet stuffing performance for his Cavaliers squad in a tough loss, as he finished with seven points, 10 assists and five steals. The 5-foot-10 guard is a lights out shooter which most people are already aware of, but his vision was the most impressive trait he put on display on Sunday. Smith made some really tough passes off the dribble drive and made some high IQ transition passes as he was consistently looking ahead for the open man. Smith defended the ball excellently as well, as he came up with four of his steals in the first five minutes of the game. Smith has really good hands while defending on the perimeter and uses his quickness to stay in front of guys. If Smith keeps playing in the open league, you’ll want to come check it out. We expect him to get some valuable varsity time this year for Olentangy.
Jared Rose (6'1 WG / Bloom Carroll / 2022): Rose had another strong showing, putting together a quality two-way performance for the Pacers. Rose has a really good feel and defensive versatility, as he is able to defend both guards and wings and is one of the better passers in his class. A quality scorer and facilitator, Rose will be a huge addition for Bloom Carroll this season after coming in from Fairfield Christian, where he was the Knights' best player as a freshman.
Atticus Schuler (6'4 WG / DeSales / 2022): In a close loss to a talented Heat team, Schuler turned in a great performance to give his team a chance to win. Going for 14 points and 10 rebounds, Schuler showed the gradual improvement that he's made over the last year, which when you combine that with his newfound length, make him an intriguing prospect going forward. Schuler has quality skill and a good feel and should have a chance to make the varsity rotation this winter for DeSales.
Brandon Ivery (6’2 WG / Wellington / 2023): Bucket. That’s the way to describe Ivery, as he leads all 200 players in the Open Division at 15.2 points per game for the 4-0 Clippers. The lengthy freshman wing has been playing some of his best basketball as of late, getting to the rim at will and using his special burst and explosiveness to finish when he gets there. We really like Ivery’s upside, as he doesn’t appear to be done growing and has the type of ‘slipperyness’ when attacking the basket that only a few wings have in each graduating class. We think he could end up as one of the best prospects in this class if he keeps adding more elements to his game.
Maurice Charlton (6’5 PF / Gahanna / 2023): Charlton is a big bodied four man who likes to get physical inside and move guys around. He had success doing exactly that on Sunday, as he dominated the paint for his Jazz team in two wins, boxing out, crashing the glass and providing solid interior defense. The 6-foot-5 forward can run the floor as well as he has good hands and can finish near the rim, whether it’s in transition or through contact. On a Jazz team with a ton of good guard play, Charlton is the perfect rim running big they need to thrive in transition and dominate the glass.
Grant Burkholder (5’7 PG / Newark / 2023): After catching our eyes with his excellent play at The Intro, Burkholder has continued to dominate opposing guards in the last two weeks. He put up 18 points, dropped off six assists and came up with two steals in a tight two point win over the Lakers just moments after leading his team to an easy win over the Blazers. Burkholder has some of the best vision in the fall league regardless of age and he’s always a step ahead of the defense. He keeps opposing defenders on their heels with his shiftiness and ball handling ability and attracts help on a lot of occasions, leading him to make the right pass for an easy bucket. As Grant can hit shots from the perimeter, defend the ball at a really, really high level and always makes the right play, we expect him to thrive over the next four years under Newark head coach Jeff Quackenbush.
Joey Zalewski (6’1 WG / Thomas Worthington / 2023): An athletic guard with a strong build at this point, Zalewski was all over the place for his Jazz squad in a 59-42 win over the Blazers as he finished with 11 points, six rebounds and two assists. The 6-foot-1 guard crashed the boards hard and showed great value as a transition handler, going coast to coast off the glass on multiple occasions and making the right choices in the open floor. Zalewski has a quick first step that allows him to beat guys off the bounce consistently and get inside where his strength gives him a big advantage in the open league. With a promising build and a versatile offensive game, Zalewski could produce much needed bench scoring in the future for a Thomas Worthington team with two offensive stars in Jalen Sullinger and Tyrese Hughey.
Caleb Miller (6’0 WG / Thomas Worthington / 2023), Damian Davis (5’10 PG / Bexley / 2020), Tylar Foster (6’2 WG / Olentangy Liberty / 2021), Micah Slater (6’0 PG / Reynoldsburg / 2020), Christian Jones (6’4 WG / Wellington / 2022), Devin Royal (6’3 WF / Pickerington Central / 2023), Evan Henry (5’11 PG / Wellington / 2021), Hervon Jacobs (6’5 WF / Africentric / 2020), Miles Poindexter (6’5 WF / Westerville Central / 2022), Dylan Thompson (6’0 WG / Buckeye Valley / 2022), Tucker Harpe (6’5 WF / Bexley / 2022), Patrick Cahill (5’9 PG / St. Charles / 2022), Jacob Radcliffe (6’6 PF / Buckeye Valley / 2021), Ben Wilhelm (6’4 WF / Westerville Central / 2020), Dejon Donnell (5’10 PG / Bishop Hartley / 2021), Darius Butler (6’2 WG / Olentangy Orange / 2020), Tabari Howard (6’2 PG / Westerville South / 2021), Malcolm Mason (6’0 WG / Groveport Madison / 2023), Ryan Nutter (6’2 PG / Dublin Jerome / 2023), Brayden Jones (5’10 WG / Pickerington North / 2023), Nyelle Shaheed (6’4 PF / Harvest Prep / 2023), Luke Snedecor (6’4 WF / Worthington Christian / 2022), Javo Jordan (5’11 PG / Beechcroft / 2022), Drew Panning (6’4 WG / Westland / 2022)