COLUMBUS, Ohio - - Action from week 3 in the Central Ohio Fall League presented by Nova Village tipped off at Reynoldsburg’s Summit Campus on Saturday morning and the action picked up from the very beginning with a couple of bangers. Players are stepping up and making plays for their teams and whether they know it or not, they are impressing the writers that are in the building. Let’s take a look at what players stood out in week 3 of the Central Ohio Fall League
Evan Allgood ( 2028 / Grace Christian MS / G): A big guard that plays under control and does not get rushed with the ball in his hands. He was a versatile defender as he defended both guards and bigs, making things tough for both with his strength and his smooth feet on that end of the court. He can also flat out stroke it from the three point line, nailing multiple jumpers from range with confidence in every shot he takes. Allgood never showed panic in the face of tight ball pressure, getting them off him then using his shiftiness to create separation to score. He was a poised and cerebral player that excelled in multiple ways on the offensive and defensive end.
Javen Allen ( 2027 / Grace Christian MS / F): This kid was a defensive game changer, helping his team run away with a huge win in their first game. He had a giant block in the paint that emphasized that drivers can’t just come around him without thinking the shot was going to be rejected. This young man moved his feet very well defensively in the lane, controlling the paint and contested every shot that came his way. Allen also finished at the rim with power and athleticism, with a nice floater from about five feet out and a couple layups as well. While it is hard to stand out as a defensive player, it’s not hard when you play as hard and physically as he did.
Carlton Harris ( 2027 / Baldwin Rd. Junior High / G): Showed that he could get to the rim and shoot the ball from deep. His handle was legit and he was able to get by defenders with his shiftiness on the perimeter. He used his ball handling ability to shake loose of the guy guarding him to swing it to a teammate for an easy bucket as well. He also knocked in a couple jumpers from deep, making the defense respect his range which opened up more opportunities for everyone else. He showed some competitive spirit as well, never quitting despite his team being down the entirety of the contest. His mature demeanor on the court will help propel him to great heights as he continues his basketball journey.
Remy Trautner ( 2028 / New Albany MS / G): This small guard has a solid build and showed that he could run the offense with efficiency as well as poise. He used his active hands and grabbed some steals on defense and even some assists in transition that showed how unselfish he was.He was also able to track down long rebounds to get his team on the break as well. He hit numerous deep jumpers, including a step back three that left the other ballers in attendance in awe. His first step allowed him to get by defenders, getting in the lane and being able to make plays for himself and his teammates. A really fun player to watch on Saturday with a high basketball IQ and a tough demeanor.
Brody Brockel ( 2027 / Lancaster MS / F): A long, rangy athlete that was able to be effective on both ends of the court, scoring inside and outside on offense while being someone who can defend inside the paint. He started on the defensive end with a few huge blocks, being quick leaper and using his long arms to swat away shots. He also moved very well laterally in the lane, covering ground down low and forcing players to think twice when shooting around him. On the offensive side of the ball, he showed that he was able to stretch the floor with mid-range jumpers. He had good feet and used them to get around defensive players in the post. This young man can flat out go on both ends and was one of the most impressive players in the building on Saturday morning.
Jacob Arriaga ( 2029 / Big Walnut MS / F): A glue guy that was instrumental in his team’s chemistry, playing his role in a major way. He defended the paint very well on defense and helped space the floor on offense while being an active cutter without the ball in his hands. On the defensive end, he had to guard bigger young men and held his own by playing with underrated strength, even drawing a charge on an opposing big. Arriaga drained a corner three and got some tough offensive rebound putbacks too. Even though his numbers were not off the charts, his presence was vital to his team and they needed every second of his play.
Myles Mertz ( 2027 / Teays Valley MS/ F): His energy sparked a rally in his team, and was a key piece in erasing a 10+ deficit and defeating a really good team in the first game. The way he crashed the glass seemed to inspire his team, and his motor did not stop as he continued to snag down boards the rest of the morning. He finished around the rim and through contact as well, with a soft touch and knowing how to use the glass to his advantage. His constant motion on offense allowed him to get open at the rim. He also showed some range too, knocking in some mid-range jumpers. His team could not have won either game without the stellar play of Myles.
Christian Williams ( 2027 / Licking Heights MS / G): The speed he played with in this open court really stressed out the defense and put his team in position to get back in the game. He was able to put so much pressure in transition during his team’s comeback, making the defense make decisions quicker than they would like and he took advantage of that with good passes to teammates and drawing fouls as well. In the half court, he was able to get in the lane with a quick first step. On the defensive end, Christian played strong after a sluggish start, not backing down from drivers, taking contact from them and forcing tough shots over him. His quick hands also got him some steals on that end as well, which helped his team overcome the double-digit deficit and win. Christian will always be the fastest end-to-end player on the court, the way he uses it could be special.
Winnie Garnett ( 2028 / Licking Heights MS / F): Lived at the rim early in the game, using his handle and shiftiness to get by defenders and finish at the rim with ease over the top of smaller defenders. His long arms made it difficult for ball handlers to get around him and he contested every shot that went up around him. He had a good feel for how the defense was guarding him and he was able to play around that and still find ways to be effective on the offensive end. Garnett didn’t play outside of himself and never allowed the defense to speed him up, taking his time and getting where he wanted on the court. His potential is off the charts, and as he continues to expand his game, he’ll be able to reach that potential.
Lavon Wilborn ( 2027 / New Albany MS / G): Another glue guy who’s impact was felt more in the final score more than the stat sheet. He guarded the perimeter against a team that was loaded with guard talent as his team rolled through them, taking down an unbeaten team while staying unbeaten themselves. His length for a guard disrupted things and caused matchup problems for the opposing team. He was an excellent passer off the dribble, swinging it to the three point line when he drove and kept the floor open for his big men. Wilborn’s tenacity and willingness to be the defender that takes the toughest assignment made him a standout player.
Joe Cropper ( 2029 / St. James MS / G): He was poised in his approach to the game, setting up his team to score when needed to and scoring on his own as well. He hit some tough shots from the mid-range and even got to the rim off the dribble a few times and finished through contact. He guarded the best player on the opposing team and made everything tough for him, forcing the offensive player to make difficult shots over him. He moved well without the ball in his hands, getting himself open around the basket for easy shots. Cropper was vital in his team’s play on the court, showing up in every aspect of the game.
Ryan Coates ( 2029 / Columbus Academy MS / G ): One of the fastest players in transition in his age group, he showed tremendous handle of the basketball and the ability to get his teammates involved with some sweet upcourt passes and a no-look for a bucket as well. His sweet in-and-out move on the way to the basket lost defenders and allowed him to get to the rim where he finished with some nice layups. Coates drained numerous open jumpers and confused defenders with ball fakes once he got in the lane. A fun player to watch with a smart approach to the game and all the confidence in the world, this young man will be one to keep an eye on in the future.