COLUMBUS, Ohio - - Week 4 of the Central Ohio Middle School Fall League, powered by Nova Village was one of excitement and adrenaline as the young men filled the gym and looked to make an impact on the court. These are the young men that stood out and impressed on Saturday morning:
Bishop Piper ( 2027 / Genoa Middle School / F): This young man showed that he has good instincts on the defensive side of the court, with good timing and being able to contest every shot in his area. He picked up a couple blocks in the paint during his time on the court as well, using his length to swat the ball away. He has a strong upper body and used it to not get overpowered in the paint. He showed to be a good rebounder, getting in good position and boxing out with strength to snag the ball coming off the glass like a maniac. He found gaps in the defense and was able to get his shot off quickly in the paint or swing it around to open teammates where he could find them. One of the best defenders in the building, this young man took pride on that end of the court.
Jett Cornelius ( 2027 / Olentangy Shanahan / G): He was a shifty point guard with an electric handle and extremely quick feet on the court. His good handle of the ball and his speed with the ball in his hands allowed him to blow by defenders and get in the lane to make plays. He made solid decisions and did not turn the ball over, despite moving a high rate of speed the entire day. He also moved well without the ball, getting him an easy layup when the defense was asleep because he was a player that did not stop moving on the court. He played strong as a lead guard on both ends of the court, not getting the ball taken from him while not allowing ball handlers to get around him off the bounce. Saturday morning was an impressive outing for this young man.
Jackson Bowers ( 2027 / Big Walnut Middle School/ F): A rangy athlete with long arms, and massive potential, this young man did some of everything for his team in route to their victories on Saturday. He was good on the glass and had a huge offensive rebound putback to keep his team up during the middle of the game. He showed good touch around the rim by hitting multiple shots around the basket as well, using his length to get shot off in that area. He drained a huge three to break a tie and go up by 3 with just over 2 minutes in the game, a lead that they would never relinquish the remainder of the first game. His size along with his smart play on the court makes him one of the most intriguing prospects that was in the building on Saturday morning.
Dez Jackson ( 2027 / Licking Heights / G): This shifty guard can get it done in a multitude of ways, he attacked the basket in the halfcourt and got to the rim when he wanted. Once he got into the lane, he caused fouls on defenders and was still able to finish at the rim through the contact. He displayed a good handle, using it to create space and get his shot off or getting past defenders that got too close. He used his quick hands as a defender to get a steal then a finish in transition. He helped his team pick up the win, using his basketball IQ and undeniable will to get in the lane.
Tyler Herman ( 2027 / St. Puix X Middle School / G): He played with effort and toughness on both ends of the court, hustling on the defensive end while trying to make plays for his teammates on the offensive end. He got on the floor and dived for the ball, giving the effort needed to be a quality player. His motor ran hot all morning as he was flying all around the court, trying to disrupt and cause havoc for the offense. He displayed a solid handle of the ball and was able to get in the lane off the bounce too. He played strong, and despite his team coming up short, his hustle and passion for competing was evident.
Jake Pitcock ( 2027 / St. Puix X Middle School / F): Played very well inside and outside the lane, making plays for himself and his teammates while he was on the court. He was the only source of consistent offense for his team, draining numerous shots from deep with a quick release, good looking shot and the size that made sure his shot did not get blocked. He could break down slower defenders off the dribble, he also posted smaller players and finished over the top of them. In the open court, he filled the lane correctly and was able to finish at the rim a couple of times in transition. His team came up short on Saturday morning, but this kid showed that he could be a serious player in the coming years.
Lavon Wilborn ( 2027 / New Albany Middle School / G): A fast athlete that was instrumental to his team’s success on Saturday morning with his spacing on the offensive end and his versatility on the defensive end. He could break down bigger defenders off the dribble, he also posted smaller guards and easily shot the ball over them. His quick hands caused problems for the offense as he continued to poke at the ball and even came up with a couple steals that put his team out on the break. He played with energy and showcased his speed on the court. This young man has great upside and was a true glue guy that contributed to his team’s wins.
Maddox Hoban (2027 / Licking Heights Middle School / F): He came in the game with energy off the bench and upped the level of play for his team. He entered the game and began flying around on both ends and creating turmoil for the opposing team while his team continued to stretch the lead. He was heavily involved in the contesting of shots and altered even more with his sheer competitive energy on the court. He also almost threw down two dunks, getting up there by the rim and just barely missing but also showing off his athleticism on the court. This young man has a tremendous upside if he continues to get better at the pace he is at now.
Luca Filia ( 2028 / Olentangy Berlin / G): One of the best point guards in the building, he ran his team efficiently and did everything correctly on the court. He was smooth in his approach and never let the defense speed him up, using his shifty handle to get free from tight ball pressure while not turning the ball over. His jumper was as pure as it got, to go along with a quick release. He hit jumpers off the bounce, off the catch and even drained a step back three as well that got his team hype. He was able to get in the lane and finish over length while showing that he could make plays for his teammates as well, swinging the ball to the perimeter where his teammates could hit open shots. One of the better players overall in the building, and one of the best lead guards, this young man has a bright future ahead of him.
Beckham Kirk ( 2030 / : Smallest guy on the court and had one of the biggest impacts on the scoreboard as he glided his way through defenses on Saturday morning. He seemed to be the first player up the court in transition and finished at the rim numerous times with a soft touch off the glass. He pressured the ball on defense and forced offensive players to shoot the ball over him or get rid of it. The diminutive guard flew up the court with the ball in his hands and moved well when the ball was not in his hands, getting open or taking his man away from the play. This young man was a blur on the court and played smart for someone so young, definitely one to keep an eye on as he grows.
Ja’Brae Bowers ( 2030 / Indianola Informal Elementary / G): A big part of the most fun team to watch, regardless of age group, this young man started the game by sinking a deep three which got his team going early and they did not look back the rest of the afternoon. The guard was smooth in the open court, getting out in transition and flying past defenders or creating space on the floor for his teammates to get in the paint. He finished at the rim with a good touch and created turnovers on the defensive end with his long arms and quick hands. In the halfcourt, he showed he could operate his team as he brought the ball up the court and got his team in the correct spots. The lefty created plays for his teammates off the dribble, getting into the lane and swinging it out for open shots on the perimeter. His team continues to route teams, and he continues to be one of the better players on the team.