PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- With seven Central Ohio teams taking part in the evening long All-Ohio High School Preview at Pickerington Central on Friday, we got a chance to take a look at a handful of local talent.
Let's take a look at the top performers and the results of the event.
Jaden Woods (6'5 WF / Newark / 2020): In an impressive showing against Springfield, Woods was Newark's best player, putting on a scoring clinic and showing off as a passer both in transition and in the half court. Woods has great length at 6-foot-5, is an agile athlete that can really move laterally and has strong positional versatility on the defensive end, as he is able to defend guards and wings. After starring on the gridiron as Newark's quarterback, Woods has clearly gotten stronger, as he played with more physicality on Friday than in any viewing we had of him last winter.
Sean Moore (6'5 WG / Reynoldsburg / 2020): A senior that we've been excited about since the conclusion of last season, Moore had a strong showing in leading Reynoldsburg over Toledo St. Francis. The lengthy 6-foot-5 wing showed off his two-way versatility, knocking down a size up three, defending well on the perimeter and showcasing strong passing ability. Moore is a high IQ unselfish wing that we think will take a major step forward this winter in leading the Raiders. After waiting his turn the last three years, Moore steps into a primary scoring role that we think he is ready for. The 6-foot-5 senior is hearing from a variety of Division II and III programs, as Alderson-Broaddus made the trip to evaluate him on Friday.
Tymire Jones (5'9 PG / Groveport / 2020): Jones was a breakout performer on Friday, setting the table for the Cruisers off the dribble. We enjoyed watching Jones facilitate for his teammates, showcasing a strong dribble-drive ability, delivering a handful of strong passes. When the game came down to the wire, Jones delivered with an And-1 finish at the rim and knocked down five key free throws to seal the win for the Cruisers. We look forward to watching Jones more this season as Groveport will need his creation ability off the dribble.
Savion Marshall-Hamilton (6'6 PF / Pickerington North / 2020): Unfortunately, injuries are a horrible part of sports, if not the worst. However, injuries can also open up opportunities for players who are forced to step up because of them and that is going to be the story for the 6-foot-6 senior big man Marshall-Hamilton. In a blowout win over Wayne Memorial (MI), Marshall-Hamilton looked like that of a college prospect, using his long frame and active hands to rebound, block shots and finish through contact around the rim. Marshall-Hamilton has broad shoulders, long arms and has added on considerable weight from last season which helped him on Friday in finishing around the rim and making his presence felt inside. With Jack Sawyer sidelined for the season with a torn MCL, Marshall-Hamilton will be relied upon to step up to keep the Panthers competing at a regional title level and we think he's capable of that. Division III and NAIA programs looking for size in the senior class should take a look at Marshall-Hamilton.
Elijah Meredith (6'4 PF / Wellington / 2020): The 6-foot-4 forward Meredith was the only source of offense for Wellington on Friday, punishing Groveport on the offensive glass and in the paint to the tune of a double-double. While we have known about Meredith's toughness and physicality inside, it was nice to see how he showed off as a passer, both in the half court and in transition, putting nice touch on the ball and showcasing good vision. We see Meredith putting up double double numbers for a Wellington team that will greatly rely on him this winter.
Scotty Lomax (6'2 WG / Groveport / 2021): In the first half in Friday's contest, Lomax was on fire from deep, knocking down three pull-up triples from long range. Lomax played both on and off the ball, handling pressure and creating separation off the dribble. The junior will be one of Groveport's top scorers this season, as he is the team's best shooter and has shown the ability to get hot in a hurry. With Groveport having so many quality guards, Lomax will have a chance to put up solid numbers with the open looks he's going to get.
Kade Bafford (6'0 PG / Newark / 2021): When it comes to toughness, there may not be a player in the area with more of it than Bafford. The fearless floor general took on a challenge against an athletic Springfield squad, handling pressure, delivering impressive pass after pass and coming over from the weak side to take two charges. Starting in the backcourt since the first day of his career, Bafford is an experienced leader at the point guard spot that helps the Wildcats play to its potential. Bafford doesn't get sped up, he takes what the defense gives him and can score when he needs to.
Hunter Shedenhelm (6'5 WG / Pickerington North / 2020): There are only a handful of guys statewide who have the type of jumper where every shot feels like it's going to fall into the bottom of the net. The Ashland signee Shedenhelm is a member of that elite class, as he was dialed in on Friday in leading Pickerington North. Shedenehelm has a quick trigger, near unlimited range and has greatly improved as an athlete. While it's his jump shooting that helped Shedenhelm get on the radar statewide, our favorite part of his game is his perimeter defense, as the 6-foot-5 senior is one of the absolute best wing defenders in the area. Shedenhelm provided great pressure on the ball and forced opponents into difficult looks with his length and physicality. We look forward to Shedenhelm having a great career at a great Ashland program.
Tahleik Walker (6'3 WG / Pickerington Central / 2020): Coming into his third year as a starter, Walker has never had a bigger opportunity than now to establish himself as one of the top senior guards in the area. With Central needing him to step up and prove himself, Walker took a big step in the right direction in doing that for the Tigers on Friday. Walker got things going early on, knocking down a catch and shoot three and then creating an open floor opportunity on the defensive end, forcing a steal and finishing a powerful one hand slam. The 6-foot-3 guard was able to slip his way into the lane and to the rim at will, beating a tough Massillon defense to the basket where he finished at a solid rate. We love the confidence and toughness that Walker played with on Friday, as he is going to officially break out this season with Central expecting so much out of him in order to compete for a third trip to state in four years.
Cooper Davis (6'4 WG / Reynoldsburg / 2022): After getting limited action on the varsity level as a freshman, Davis is primed and ready for a breakout sophomore season. The sharp-shooting guard was at his best in the second half of Reynoldsburg's win over Toledo St. Francis, knocking down a handful of catch and shoot threes. Davis has great length at 6-foot-4, is an above average athlete and is beginning to show more scoring ability off the bounce. With Reynoldsburg losing so much scoring to graduation, we see Davis being a guy that can help fill the void and put up a double digit scoring season for the Raiders.
Elijah Hinton (6'6 PF / Newark / 2021): A rising prospect from the 270 Hoops Fall League, Hinton showed why we were so high on him in October. The 6-foot-6 junior is a tough interior player that rebounds like crazy in his area, shows switchability on the perimeter, as his wingspan, foot speed and lateral movement help him stay in front of quicker guards and wings. Hinton has the ability to step out and hit perimeter jumpers but makes his mark with his IQ and effort, as he came over and took a pair of charges in help side defense.
Devin Royal (6'4 WF / Pickerington Central / 2023): We might not have ever written about a freshmen more this early on than Royal, however, he just continues to produce in every viewing that we have of him. Coming off the bench in the Tigers' loss to Massillon Jackson, Royal made his presence felt early on and never came out of the game. The 6-foot-4 forward has a long wingspan, broad shoulders and toughness that will help him earn valuable minutes this season. Royal pulled down a few offensive rebounds in traffic, cleared space underneath and controlled the defensive glass and provided Central with strong defense off the ball, never falling out of position. We love how Royal accepts whatever role he is given, as he gives max effort and shows zero to no intimidation going up against older, stronger and more athletic players. The future is bright for this one, as he is also excelling at an elite level in the classroom too.