GROVEPORT, Ohio -- The 270 Hoops Fall League regular season wrapped up on Sunday, as playoff seeds were locked in and matchups were set. Let’s take a look at our top performers from Week 4.
Gavin Headings (6’5 WF / Dublin Coffman / 2023): Headings was outstanding on Sunday as he went for 27 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in two big wins for his Jazz squad, one of which came over the previously undefeated Clippers. The 6-foot-5 wing can really make his presence felt on both ends as his length and versatility allow him to do multiple things on both sides of the floor. He can knock down shots from the perimeter, finish around the rim and uses his length to dominate the offensive glass as he simply gets to boards before guys can reach them. The freshman impressed most on Sunday handling the ball in the open floor, however, as he seemed very comfortable operating the break after crashing the defensive glass. He scored off the dribble in transition and in the half-court as he uses his broad frame to body off smaller defenders in order to create air space to get a clean look. Headings can do a decent job defending on the perimeter at this point, but he really makes his presence felt on the interior as he has the potential to become a big time shot blocker given his build. We like his raw ability as some of the best in the 2023 class and could see him becoming a really, really good two-way player in the future if he continues to make strides with his game and begins to look more comfortable on the floor at times. We expect Gavin to have a real shot at some varsity run this winter for a Dublin Coffman team who may have lost a lot after last season, yet is still looking to contend for another OCC-Central title.
Josh Harlan (6’0 PG / Pickerington Central / 2022): Harlan continued his dominant fall in the open east on Sunday as he combined for 36 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five steals in two games. The Pickerington Central sophomore knows how to command the floor on both ends, has an advanced feel and makes everyone around him better. Harlan is quick off the bounce, gets into the lane at will and is a very talented passer. The 6-foot guard has great composure, has learned how to play with different speeds and knows how to set up teammates for easy scoring opportunities. Harlan even impressed on the defensive end, communicating with his teammates and helping the Raptors maintain its No. 1 seed in next week’s tournament. As Harlan’s varsity minutes increase, he is going to be a guy that helps Pickerington Central win games and will have the Tigers set up with a steady presence in the backcourt for years to come.
Will Miller (6’4 WG / Bishop Hartley / 2021): Miller fueled his Bulls team to a huge 52-50 win over the Raptors as he knocked down seven (!!) triples on his way to scoring 23 points. Miller showed an exorbitant amount of confidence shooting the ball from the perimeter as he needed just the tiniest window of space and he was letting it fly. After he knocked down his first four without a miss, I don’t blame him. Miller hit the majority of these shots off the catch as he does an excellent job of staying active off the ball and is always looking for ways to get open within the offense. The 6-foot-4 junior has a quick flick and also showed the ability to create open, comfortable shots off the dribble, although he didn’t convert on them all. We like what Miller brings to the table on both ends as he loves to compete, a trait that will continue to treat him well in the CCL.
Huston Harrah (6’5 WF / Fairfield Union / 2020): Harrah had a dominant performance against the Bucks in which he accounted for more than half of his team’s points in the tough 44-39 loss. He went for 24 points, eight rebounds and a steal and dominated the paint all game long on the offensive end. The 6-foot-5 wing has soft touch around the rim, good hands and finishes inside at a really high rate. We like the way that he scored out of the post Sunday as well, as he displayed a very smooth soft touch hook. The senior also showed us that he can stretch the floor as he hit shots off the catch from both behind the three-point line and in the mid-range. He stayed active in the paint on both ends and came up with a good amount of rebounds as a result, using his size to push guys around and get to his spots inside. Harrah has really caught our eye with his play the last two weeks and we’re really excited to see how his senior season plays out in a Fairfield Union program that most people around Columbus don’t know much about.
Elias Lewis (6’1 CG / Olentangy Orange / 2023): On a team that features young stars such as Devin Royal and Brandon Ivery, Lewis deserves to be mentioned with the best players in Ohio's 2023 class. Lewis possesses an elite pull-up game, converting on no less than five acrobatic jumpers off the dribble to keep his team in the game against the Jazz. He is incredibly fast and has a tight handle, and his quick-twitch movements allow him to blow by defenders on his way to the rim or to create space for a pull-up J. He is one of the most athletic guards in the class and is able to sky to the rim for contested finishes as well as for boards. Lewis dropped an efficient 15 points in the Clippers narrow loss to the Jazz and added three boards, an assist and a steal. Some kids just have a certain edge to them and Lewis falls in that category, as no moment seems too big for him on the floor.
Grant Burkholder (5’7 PG / Newark / 2023): Burkholder has really impressed us as a lead guard ever since The Intro a little over a month ago and as a result has been covered extensively, so we’ll keep this short. The 5-foot-7 guard once again did an excellent job of creating for his team and playing lockdown perimeter defense on Sunday. He consistently beats guys off the dribble with his quickness and handling ability and is one of the best passers we have seen in the 2023 class so far. The freshman has really good instincts and always has the next play figured out before the defense can react. We like his ability to do everything you like to see out of your point guard as he can really defend, hits shots from the perimeter efficiently, creates for others and can finish around the rim when needed to despite his lack of height. As we have said before, we expect Burkholder to thrive in Newark’s system the next four years under Jeff Quackenbush.
Gabe Chalfin (6’0 WG / Logan Elm / 2021): Chalfin had a big time showing against the 76ers where he went for 24 points in a dominant win for his team. Though he scored a handful of easy buckets in transition, the junior wing showed a lot of promising offensive tools throughout the contest. He hit shots off the bounce, blew by guys into the lane and created open looks for his teammates. Chalfin plays with a lot of confidence on both ends of the floor and isn’t afraid of the big-time moments when they come. He’s a three level scorer who does it efficiently and doesn’t force things on the offensive end. He can knockdown the three, score inside and work his in between game very well. If the Pacers take home the open east title next week as their coach, Grant Gilliland, recently claimed they will on twitter, don’t be surprised if Chalfin finds a way to take home MVP honors.
Peyton Frey (6’4 WF / St. Charles / 2023): After going for just three points in his first four games so far this fall, boy, did Frey burst onto the scene on Sunday. Combining for 27 points, eight rebounds and a block in two big wins, Frey’s play very well could be seen as the x-factor that allowed the Jazz to take down the juggernaut Clippers. The lengthy 6-foot-4 wing was aggressive on both ends and reaped the benefits to go along with it. He showed good hands when finishing around the rim, beat guys off the dribble in order to draw contact and get to the line and also showed some value in the mid-range. Peyton attacked the boards hard and did a good job of getting position inside and using his length to snatch down boards. We were really impressed with how he defended opposing forwards as well as he showed above-average lateral quickness when defending against the drive and didn’t allow guys to sneak by him for easy buckets. We’re really intrigued to see how Frey develops over the years as the lefty could be a major problem in the CCL if he smooths out his game.
Ryan Magill (6’3 WG / Fairfield Union / 2021): Magill was highly productive for his Pacers squad on Sunday as he combined for 30 points and 11 rebounds while helping lead his team to two victories. The 6-foot-3 wing has good length for a guard, a reliable handle and is a knockdown shooter from the perimeter who can attack off the bounce as well. He has deceptive quickness and uses his length to finish around the rim and shoot over smaller defenders. We like what Magill can do on the defensive end as well as he can defend on the perimeter, is long enough to bother shots inside and does an excellent job of using his length when trapping in the half court. We expect him to put up some solid numbers this winter for a Fairfield Union squad that’s going to rely on him to do exactly that.
Jevin Beard (6’1 G / Buckeye Valley / 2022): Beard runs the show for you when he’s on the floor, as he has a great understanding of how to get his teammates involved and when to look for his own shot. He’s not the fastest, but he has a very tight handle and is able to break defenders down and get into the lane where he can finish through contact with the best of them. Defenders tried to play off him and make him a shooter, but that failed as Jevin has proved to be more than a reliable shooter knocking down three shots from beyond the arc in two games. He combined for 27 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes of play. Look out for Beard to make some noise in the MOAC this year as he will be one of the key players for a Buckeye Valley team with high hopes this year.
Jayden Sun (6’3 WF / Dublin Jerome / 2022): Sun has caught my eye a few times for his ability to move laterally on defense and run the floor for his size and length. This week he showed off more of his offensive potential than ever before. He ran the floor well and finished in transition consistently through contact. He also showed some range, stepping outside and knocking down a three. Sun finished with 11 points and six rebounds in a close Thunder loss to the Lakers. A guy who always brings energy and effort on the defensive end, it’ll be interesting to see if he can display his offensive ability more often. Sun is yet another intriguing young player in a Dublin Jerome program that is set up nicely for the future.
Liam Sachs (6’1 F / Teays Valley / 2022): Only standing at 6-foot-1, Sachs plays more like he’s 6-foot-7 when he’s on the floor, as it’s hard to find a tougher player than him. He’s a bruiser that originally caught our eye with his grown man rebounding. He’s started to flash his offensive ability as he got it going against the Lakers. He finished around the rim with relative ease, scoring or drawing a foul, but he also displayed the ability to step out and knock down some midrange shots. He finished the game with 15 points, six rebounds and a steal. Sachs will make his way on the floor for Teays Valley this year just because of the grit and energy he brings to the table.
Matt Kennedy (5’8 PG / Olentangy / 2021): Kennedy is a sleeper lead guard in the 2021 class as he knows how to run an offense, beats guys off the bounce, and can really pass it too. The 5-foot-8 guard has above average speed at this point and has a reliable handle that allows him to beat guys off the dribble both in the open floor and the half court. Going for nine points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal in a dominant win over the 76ers, Kennedy put all his tools on display as he got after it on both ends. We like the way the junior defends on the perimeter with good lateral quickness and active hands on that end where he likes to get up in opposing guards’ space and make them uncomfortable. In an Olentangy program with several promising young guards, we’re excited to see how Kennedy fits into their scheme this year.
Damian Davis (5’11 PG / Bexley / 2020): Going for 36 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in two games for his Raptors squad, Davis once again showed that he’s one of the best scoring guards in the entire open division on Sunday. The 5-foot-11 guard can get to the rim and score off the bounce, is a really confident shooter from the perimeter both off the catch and off the dribble and does a good job of distributing and getting teammates involved. He has good quickness, can play on or off the ball and doesn’t try and force things very often. Davis is a reliable perimeter defender with active hands and a good IQ on that end. We expect him to put up good numbers once again this year for Bexley as he did so last season and the Lions lost two big-time contributors to graduation in Ryan Callahan and Nasir Tucker.
Reece Huber (6’0 G / Heath / 2022): We loved how aggressive Huber played on both ends Sunday as he was in attack mode from the opening tip. He went for 13 points and 16 rebounds in two close games for his Nuggets squad as he helped them pick up their first win this fall in their second matchup. The 6-foot guard was extremely aggressive off the bounce, finished through contact around the rim and showed the ability to hit shots from the perimeter. He was all over the boards in both contests as the sophomore uses his somewhat lengthy frame and good athletic ability to stay active in the paint. Huber plays at 100% at all times and this was most evident as he chased down several long bounce rebounds and beat opposing guards to them. We’re excited to see how Huber contributes this season to a Heath team that has a good group of young talent out in Licking County.
Atticus Schuler (6’4 WG / DeSales / 2022): Schuler had a really solid day on Sunday as he went for 20 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals at his Bucks squad split their two matchups. The lengthy 6-foot-4 wing was impressive scoring off the bounce as he showed really soft touch when inside and used his length to get good looks around the rim. He can hit shots from the perimeter with consistency and has the potential to develop into a solid three level scorer in the future. Schuler’s length allows him to frustrate opposing wings on the perimeter and gives him versatility on that end of the floor. We’re excited to see how he fits into DeSales system these next three years.
Jacob Berlekamp (6’2 WG / Liberty Union / 2021): Jacob played a huge part in securing a victory for the Celtics. He was like a mad man on the glass. He showed off some slashing ability getting himself to rim and finished well. Defensively he played the passing lanes well coming up with a steal and a few deflections . He finished the game with eight points and six rebounds, with an assist and a steal. Look for Berlekamp to take a step up this winter for a Liberty Union program that graduated a good senior class.
Jacob Pleiman (6’6 PF / Botkins / 2022): Pleiman could end up being one of the sleepers in the 2022 class. He has great size and can punish you inside or out to the three point line. He got things going finishing around rim and really getting after it on the glass. Defensively he offers rim protection, as he is adept at blocking and altering shots. He finished with 10 points, five rebounds and a block in our viewing of him. Starring at Botkins High, which is in Northwest Ohio, Pleiman is a small school big man to keep an eye on.
Brent Walker (6’6 PF / Canton McKinley / 2021): In the Open Division, there are few bigs that can match up with Walker. That was the case in both Heat wins on Sunday, as Walker was a monster of a play finisher around the rim, throwing down a few powerful slams and cleaning up mostly everything he could get his hands on. While Walker still has some kinks in his game to work on, we love the effort and composure he plays with, as he’s always active and engaged on both ends. The junior has a college-ready body and should continue to see a spike in recruitment as he becomes more skilled and well-rounded. We do love Walker’s attitude, as he has embraced the target that seems to have been put on his back in the open division with opposing bigs giving him their best effort (and plenty of smack talk) each time out. This kid is going to be successful.
Marquis Hawthorne (6’4 PF / South / 2021): The more we see Hawthrone, the more it seems that he is ready to be a key contributor off the bench for South. He has a nice frame and height standing at 6-foot-4 and is really starting to come into his own. The junior big had another great game, finishing well at the rim and controlling the glass, as his 10 points and 10 rebounds led the Knicks over the 76ers. On a South team with plenty of guard and wing talent, Hawthorne will play a key role in the front court for the Bulldogs this winter.
Miles Poindexter (6’5 WF / Westerville Central / 2022): The 6-foot-5 wing is oozing with potential as it was nice to see him be more aggressive this week. Throughout the fall, Poindexter has usually done most of his damage in the paint or running in transition. This week he showed some confidence in his outside shot, knocking two catch and shoot threes. He finished with 10 points, two rebounds and two assists in a big Knicks win over the 76ers. This winter he’ll be surrounded by a group of talented guards and if he continues the run the floor well, shoot with confidence and defend the way he has been, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t see the floor for the Warhawks.
Gilbert Oduro (6’5 PF / Bishop Watterson / 2022): Oduro is a long athletic forward who makes the game easy by sprinting the floor. He hit the offensive glass hard coming up with four rebounds on that end in his first outing on Sunday. Although he is still raw offensively, he shows some flashes of face up ability. Gilbert really stands out defensively where he protects the rim and is switchable to all five positions. Oduro finished with six points and six rebounds in a matchup against the Knicks. If he continues to play with the motor he’s been showing lately, it will be hard for Watterson to keep him off the floor. Oduro has broad shoulders, long arms and a frame that he will be able to put weight onto, which should make the future promising since he already knows how to impact the game with energy and physicality.
Amari Gaston (6’3 WF / Bishop Hartley / 2022): Gaston stands out amongst Open Division wings due to his long, sturdy build that allows him to be one of the best wing defenders on the court whenever he plays. He is active on defense and on the boards, and with his 6-foot-3 frame and abundant athleticism is impactful in both of these areas. When it comes to offense, Gaston is also a mult-dimensional player, as he is comfortable finding his shot from both inside and out. However, on Sunday he relied on his impressive dribble-drive ability to get into the paint and finish on multiple lefty floaters that dropped in key moments of the Cavaliers game against the Nets. He ultimately finished with nine points and eight rebounds as well as a steal in that game.
Dejon Donnell (5’10 PG / Bishop Hartley / 2021): One of the top stock risers in the open league, Donnell had one of his best weeks yet as he nearly led the Cavaliers over the Heat in a game that went down to the wire. The Hartley junior is an aggressive ball handler that has showed plenty of confidence over the last four weeks, attacking off the bounce where he has been pretty successful in both finishing and drawing fouls. When he’s not looking to score, Donnell is a talented passer with good vision who also brings great effort on the defensive perimeter. We said earlier in the season that we wanted Donnell to continue to work on his decision making and he’s done just that, as he took care of the ball and made the right plays all day Sunday.
Riley Gossom (6’0 G / Lucas / 2021): Representing a Lucas program that is located right between Northeast Ohio and northern Central Ohio, Gossom is a player that we had yet to see prior to the fall league. We are glad he was able to participate, as the Heat needed all of his contributions to go 2-0 on Sunday. Gossom attacked off the bounce on Sunday and was a force on the glass, going for nine points and seven rebounds in a win over the Cavaliers where Gossom scored the game-winning bucket with 0.7 seconds remaining. On the play, Gossom took his defender off the dribble and completed a difficult up and under finish along the baseline where he was fouled. In the previous matchup against the Cavaliers, Gossom was again found making plays on both ends of the floor as he finished with eight points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.
TJ Pugh (6’5 WG / Shelby / 2021): A dual-division player that has dominated the open league, Pugh was terrific on Sunday in leading the Heat to a 2-0 record. The 6-foot-5 wing guard is uber talented and plays with the confidence of a guy that is going to put up big-time numbers this winter. Pugh can knock down shots from all over the floor but is very effective off the bounce where he has been the open division’s best finisher at the rim. Pugh can constantly be found in the passing lanes and is a physical on-ball defender that thrives on making opposing ball handlers uncomfortable, which was evident in his game-high six steals in a buzzer-beating win over the Cavaliers.
Isaiah Wilkins (6’0 WG / St. Charles / 2022): Wilkins really stood out for his ability to make shots off catch and shoot opportunities. He didn’t force anything, when the ball got to him he made the defense pay going perfect from the field knocking down three long range bombs. He finished with a team high 13 points. On a St Charles team that already has guys who can create their shots, being a reliable catch and shoot option can benefit Wilkins with some playing time for a Cardinals squad that should challenge atop the CCL.
Ryan Williams (6’3 WG / Bloom-Carroll / 2021): Williams was in attack mode all game long and he was an absolute terror coming downhill in transition. The Bloom-Carroll junior finished through contact no matter the defender, with almost all his attempts ending in a make or foul. He showed himself to be a real grab and go threat as he had a number of impressive coast to coast finishes. We would love to see Williams bring the same confidence level next week, as his Celtics squad will match up with the top-seeded Raptors in the win or go home first round. He finished with a game high 20 points, six rebounds and a block in the Celtics victory over the Bucks.
Evan Boatright (6’5 PF / Mount Vernon / 2020): Although he’s a forward, Boatright spent much of the game as the primary ball handler for the Bucks. He showed off a solid handle and was able to get to the rim often. Boatright is well built and he uses his strength to finish at the rim. He showed off some explosiveness as well when he attempted poster slam that would have rivaled the dunk by Max Stokey earlier in the day. The senior knocked down a three as well, and seemed comfortable shooting from long range. He got after the boards aggressively, finishing with 11 points and six rebounds.
Devin Royal (6’4 WF / Pickerington Central / 2023): Even when Royal isn’t taking over on the offensive end, he still demands constant attention from the opposing team due to his dominant physical attributes and playmaking ability. The 6-4 wing imposes his will on whoever is guarding him and has game-breaking athleticism that allows him to out-bound and finish at a high rate. Royal is always collected on the court, and calmly led his team to a comeback attempt against the Jazz, hitting a huge three that cut the game to one possession late. Royal has been a force to be reckoned with in the Open Division West every weekend and showed why on Sunday, finishing with 12 points and five rebounds. Royal has an intriguing frame and should only continue to improve, as he has the toughness and effort part down already, which should help him carve out a very successful career at Pickerington Central.
Tre Holliman (5’8 PG / Grandview Heights / 2023): We love small guards that play with big confidence and swagger and Holliman fits that description perfectly. In a win over the Grizzlies that helped the Clippers secure next week’s No.1 seed, Holliman had one of his best scoring performances, knocking down an array of outside shots to finish with a season-high 15 points. Holliman is a quick ball handler who gets after it on both ends, proving to be a tough on-ball defender with great lateral quickness and quick hands. Offensively, Holliman has a creative handle and shot creation ability, as he has all the confidence in the world to pull up from long distance but can also get it going off the bounce. Holliman originally jumped off our radar at The Intro, as we look forward to seeing how he performs with the pressure that will come with next week’s playoffs.
Luke Snedecor (6’4 WF / Worthington Christian / 2022): One of the league's biggest stock risers, Snedecor continued his stellar play on Sunday. The most impressive thing we saw was how patient he is operating in the low or high post. When he catches the ball he’s always scanning the court for open shooters or cutters. This was evident as he finished both games with a combined five assists. Snedecor was also able to go to work in the post scoring almost at will. He stepped out beyond the arc as well burying a three with a really good looking shooting form. Luke finished both games with a combined 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a block to put a cap on what has been an outstanding fall league regular season for him.
Drew Ervin (5’10 WG / Pickerington Central / 2022): Ervin is a highly competitive wing guard that uses every ounce of his strength and inch of his frame to get to the rim and score at a high rate. The wiry wing-guard is possesses crafty dribble-drive abilities that he utilizes to blow by defenders and finish through contact consistently. He came through in big moments for his Warriors squad and even stretched his offensive game past the three-point line when they were trying to get back in the game, hitting two threes as a part of his 22-point outburst. Ervin can also be a disruptor in the rebounding department, even as an undersized guard, and added five boards to his game totals against the Blazers.
Owen Gawel (5’10 PG / Upper Arlington / 2022): Gawel has proved himself week in and week out as one of the most effective lead guards in the Open Division. The 5-10 guard has the ability to play on and off the ball and take over a possession when the situation calls for it, but rarely forces the issue and is as calm as they come at the lead guard spot. Despite his undersized frame, he is able to use crafty ball-handling and finishes around the rim to beat larger defenders and draw contact, which led to two converted and-ones and four more points off of free throws on Sunday. Gawel also possesses great hands on defense and is able to use his keen sense of timing and positioning to fly in for rebounds from the wing; these skills allowed him to add five boards and a staggering four steals to his total in his team’s win against the Warriors, which also saw him finish with a team-high 14 points. In an Upper Arlington sophomore class that is loaded with potential, Gawel will play a big role for the Golden Bears down the line.
Honorable Mention: Sasha Stavroff (5’10 PG / Dublin Jerome / 2023), Malcolm Mason (6’0 WG / Groveport / 2023), Logan Mesaros (5’11 PG / Dublin Jerome / 2022), Isaiah Johnson (5’11 PG / Westerville South / 2023), Duane Davis (5’5 PG / Groveport / 2022), Diamante Jackson (5’8 PG / Liberty Christian / 2023) , Aamir Carter (5’10 G / Beechcroft/ 2022) , Nolan Ward (6’2 F / Gahanna / 2022) , Tabari Howard (6’2 WG / Westerville South / 2021), Christian Jones (6’4 WG / Wellington / 2022), Nico Genovesi (5’11 G / DeSales / 2021), Caleb French (6’0 G / Olentangy Orange / 2020), Da’shan Clark (6’0 G / Bloom Carroll / 2022) , Javo Jordan (5’11 G / Beechcroft / 2022)