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270 Hoops Battle for the City: 2022 Top Performers

By Greg Glasser, 04/19/21, 11:30AM EDT


A look at the top performers from the 2022 session at Battle for the City

SUGAR GROVE, Ohio -- For the fifth year, 270 Hoops ended the season with our annual interconference exhibition that featured all-stars from the Ohio Capital Conference, Columbus City League and a Central Ohio team that included players from the remaining regional conferences. 

The 2022 class provided the most competitive session of the event and featured two overtime finishes.   In a round-robin format, the Central Ohio team won both of their contests, while the OCC defeated the City League in overtime.

With these participants next in line for their senior season, let's take a look at the top performers from the 2022 session

Ajay Sheldon (6'1 PG / Dublin Coffman) - Perhaps no player in either of the four sessions had as impressive of a performance than Ajay Sheldon.  After he led Dublin Coffman as a junior and was one of the top scorers in Central Ohio, Sheldon showed off his game in every fashion.  He was deadly from beyond the arc, had excellent precision on his passes and displayed his next-level athleticism on both ends of the court.  Even in an exhibition game, Sheldon showed his cold-blooded mentality, with confident clutch three pointers and a game winner in overtime.   The elite performance was convincing enough to Elon head coach Mike Schrage, who offered the six-foot-one guard a full scholarship the next day, Sheldon's first Division I offer.   Since then, Sheldon has received an offer from Furman and should only continue to garner interest from mid and high major programs. 

Javan Simmons (6'7 PF / Gahanna Lincoln) - If you miss the days of old school physical post play, then Javan Simmons is your guy.  At six-foot-seven, Simmons is a gifted player that not only does a great job of playing through contact, but he seems to embrace the physicality.  Though don't peg Simmons as just a strong body that lives in the paint.  The rising senior runs well in open space, is a terror in the defensive interior and can finish breakaway dunks that rock the gym.   While not yet a threat from deep, Simmons is competitive and eager to expand his game, as evident from his participation in the three point contest.   Currently holding offers from Miami (OH) and Toledo, Simmons will be a key player for an extremely talented Gahanna team that is hungry for a shot at redemption to advance to the state tournament.

Amani Lyles (6'8 WF / Columbus Beechcroft) -  Lyles stood out as the clear dominant player for the City League and possessed a combination of size, skill and talent with incredible upside.  The athletic forward is a matchup nightmare and a threat from any spot on the floor.  Lyles is nearly unstoppable in the post, can take the ball coast-to-coast and is consistent enough that opponents need to defend him tightly on the perimeter.  On defense, he's a constant threat to alter and block shots.  Lyles currently holds an offer from Cleveland State, but that list should only continue to grow as the rising senior is one of the area's most talented prospects who is continuing to improve at a rapid rate.

Jacob Pleiman (6'8 WF / Botkins) - Only one player arrived to Battle for the City with a state championship banner and that was the incredibly impressive six-foot-eight forward from Botkins.  After he helped the Trojans win their first ever state title, Pleiman made a huge statement as one of the session's best players.  Already possessing a strong, athletic college-ready frame, Pleiman wowed spectators with his emphatic dunks paired with an excellent shot from beyond the arc.   Pleiman perhaps had the play of the evening when he dunked through the six-foot-eight pair of Lyles and Dennis Asoro.   If college scouts needed to see Pleiman go against stronger competition, then his performance at Battle for the City should speak for itself and warrant serious further attention.  Pleiman had a long two-hour plus drive to Berne Union, but quickly proved he can be one of Ohio's top players next season. 

Corey Hudson (6'1 PG / Pickerington North) - On an OCC team that had plenty of guard depth, Hudson stood out with his efficient control of the offense.  Hudson was strong with his dribble, avoided mistakes and finished well with his attempts around the rim. Pickerington North was a buzzer beater away from defeating state runner-up Westerville Central and returns a majority of their production.  With three-year starter Casey George graduating, Hudson will have an opportunity to take his game and the Panthers to a district title and beyond.

Rob Dorsey (5'10 PG / Columbus Northland) - A unique athlete, Dorsey was a difference maker for the City League team.  The offense seemed to be in better control when Dorsey was in the game, as he did a nice job of dictating tempo and creating his own shot.  Dorsey's long wingspan and athleticism makes up for his lack of size.  The first team All-City guard is a good finisher and has the ability to get hot from the field.  Look for Dorsey to once again be one of the best players in the City League and a top guard in the district.

Dennis Asoro (6'8 C / Columbus Eastmoor Academy) - One of the best rebounders of the session, Asoro did an excellent job of establishing position and control in the post.   The six-foot-eight center made the most of his touches in the paint and was active on both ends of the glass.  Asoro put in a strong effort defensively and even prevented a potential game-winner with a clean block. Eastmoor Academy had an unusual down year this past season, but if Asoro can build and improve with performances like this, he'll undoubtedly be a threat in the City League.

Doogie James (5'9 PG / Canal Winchester) - Pound for pound, James was one of the toughest players of the session.  On a night when his shot wasn't falling, James did just about everything else and he did those things really well.  The five-foot-nine guard did a fantastic job of leading the offense and finding open teammates from all areas of the court.  With a genuine athleticism, James is not afraid to drive into the paint and actively battles for rebounds.  After he was first team All-CCL, James will play his senior season at Canal Winchester and should instantly make the Indians a contender in their division. 

Joe Benvie (6'1 WG / Granville Christian) - It took a team effort for the Central Ohio all-stars to pull off their undefeated session and a major contribution came from the performance of Benvie.  The six-foot-one wing showcased a strong ability to shoot and create his own shots from multiple spots on the floor.  Benvie's excellent shooting is well complimented by his high IQ passing ability.  After a junior season in which he scored over 22 points per game, Benvie proved he's an exceptional offensive talent that can excel against top players from all divisions. 

Caleb Iheukwu (6'5 WF / Westerville North) - Iheukwu stood out as an intriguing talent who made multiple contributions on both ends of the floor.  With a long six-foot-five frame, Iheukwu showed offensive versatility with a made shot from deep to go along with frequent activity around the glass.  Iheukwu also showed off his length with a block and solid defensive play.  Keep an eye on the rising senior from Westerville North who has a well-rounded game, good size and plenty of upside.

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