COLUMBUS, Ohio -- On Wednesday night, two dozen of the best sophomores in the greater Columbus area descended on Central Crossing High School to participate in the 270 Hoops Battle for the City.
The OCC team ended up winning 84-67 with entertaining performances from both squads. While the Battle For The City is a fun, exhibition style all-star game, competition and strong effort is still greatly emphasized and ultimately rewarded. The below top performers delivered a combination of high-level effort along with notable play.
Jenna Grabans (G / Lancaster / 2024) - Grabans was very impressive in her MVP performance on Wednesday night in our first look at the talented sophomore. She dished out three assists and gathered two rebounds in addition to knocking down three three pointers. Her game can be described in one word: smooth. Her shot, her passing ability, grabbing rebounds, literally everything she did had a natural feel about it. The lefty is not afraid of contact and gets to the rim with ease. One of the best parts about her performance was that she was having so much fun on the court. The 270 team is excited to get another look at Grabans next season.
Berry Wallace (6'1 F / Pickerington Central / 2024) - Wallace, who already holds close to a dozed Division I offers, is the real deal and continuing to get better. On Wednesday, the sophomore snagged five rebounds and had two steals in her time on the floor. She is long and athletic, frequently leading to blocked or altered shots. She can score in a variety of ways and proved why she is one of the best sophomores in the state and possibly country. She has a gorgeous outside shot and can hit from both three and in the midrange. She is a force when attacking the basket and finishes strong through contact. Wallace was a second team All-Ohioan this season and her ceiling is unbelievably high. Don't wait to offer her.
JoJo Eberhart (5'10 G / Marysville / 2024) - Eberhart, the OCC Cardinal player of the year, is developing into one of the most elite players in her class. She can literally do it all and and is graceful doing it. She has a smooth left handed shot, is consistently knocking down three pointers and her quick first step gets her to the rim in a snap. She is not afraid of contact and finishes strong. Her length allows her to snag rebounds that many other players couldn't. She has quick hands and is a solid defender, backing down from no one. If Eberhart continues to improve her basketball skills as much as she did between her freshmen and sophomore seasons, she will be on everyone's radar VERY quickly.
Zoe Guice (5'6 G / Westerville South / 2024) - The amount of energy Guice brings to the floor every game still blows us away. And the best part? Her energy is infectious. Wednesday night was no different as Guice stuffed the stat sheet in literally every way possible. She had three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block on top of eight points. She is electric in transition with and without the ball and finds open teammates consistently. While Guice is most comfortable attacking the basket, her outside shot is really starting to develop which will open up the drive even more. We are excited to see how much of an impact Guice makes on a loaded Westerville South squad in the coming seasons.
Kamryn Grant (6'1 F / Africentric / 2024) - Grant, who holds multiple Division I offers, was nothing short of incredible on Wednesday. She stepped on the floor ready to play and made an immediate impact. In her first five minute segment, she had three rebounds and four points and her day only got better. Over the last two quarters. Grant added three more rebounds, two steals as assist and a block plus six more points. Her long wingspan and quickness cause major problems for opposing players and she can match-up with both guards and posts alike. Africentric returns an incredible core of athletes in Ariel Grace, Rayanna Howell and Sam Thompson and Grant is certainly the center of it all.
Daniya McDonald (5'11 G/F / Whitehall / 2024) - McDonald is starting to turn the heads of college coaches and we can see why. The lengthy guard/forward has major upside and she's just getting started. She has focused on developing her outside shot and knocked down FIVE threes in Central Ohio's loss. She has a nice midrange jumper that cannot be defended by smaller guards. McDonald can get to the rim in a hurry and finishes fairly well through contact. She is a consistent rebounder and forces turnovers and bad shots with ease. She can lock-down any offensive player, regardless of position, if she puts her mind to it. McDonald is the clear leader of an improving Whitehall squad and we are excited to see how far she can carry them in the next two seasons.
Harper Annarino (6'0 F / Granville / 2024) - Annarino is developing into a must have impact player. She had a rocky start offensively in Wednesday's contest but settled in an had a solid all around game in the second half. She finished with a double double (11 points and 10 rebounds) and really shined from the three point line. She can attack the basket and finish through contact but isn't afraid to finish in the midrange. She is one of the nicest kids you will meet and is a great teammate. Annarino will be a leader of a tough Granville squad next year who looks to win a third straight District Championship.
Ellie Bruce (6'0 F / Fisher Catholic / 2024) - Bruce is developing into a great post player. She was a dominant force for the Central Ohio team in the first half of the game, grabbing four offensive boards leading to six points in the first five minutes! Her lateral quickness, vertical and overall mobility have improved tremendously in one year and it is really showing. She finishes strong through contact and is constantly pursuing the ball for rebounds. She had a tough defensive assignment with Kam Grant but fared well and did a decent job keeping her off of the boards. The one-two punch of Bruce and fellow sophomore Voni Bethel will be tough for Fisher Catholic the next two years.
Emily Bratton (5'8 PG / Bloom Carroll / 2024) - Bratton is the best pure shooter (and point guard) in the 2024 class in Central Ohio. She is a stat stuffing machine, tallying three assists, a block, a steal and a rebound on Wednesday. She scored from both the three point line and at the rim thanks to some insane ball handling and a nasty cross over that sent a defender flying. She was the girls winner of the three point contest, shooting lights out until the final round when she faced an unstoppable James Nowell. Bratton can pass and handle the ball equally well with both hands, one aspect that really sets her apart. The Division II District Player of the Year will look to repeat as such and take the Bulldogs back to the District Final.