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Battle For The City: Boys 2026 Top Performers

By Greg Glasser and Mark Francis, 04/16/23, 3:30PM EDT


The freshman kicked off the event with some notable standouts

GROVE CITY, Ohio -- The annual 270 Hoops' Battle for the City presented by E.E. Ward Moving took place last week at Central Crossing High School.

The showcase puts top players from each class from the OCC against the various leagues to make up the Central Ohio team.

On Tuesday, the 2026 class kicked off the two-day event, as the OCC notched a 107-87 victory over Central Ohio.

Below, our prospect scouts highlighted their favorite performances from the day.

Brody Hatfield (Big Walnut / 5'9 G) The MVP of the day, Hatfield's combination of sharp-shooting, good court vision and strong effort made him a somewhat easy choice for the top honor. The freshman guard scored 22 points, had five assists and showed off a sniper, as he made multiple threes, with a trio that were a good foot or two behind the arc. Hatfield paired his deep-ball accuracy with a collection of nice feeds, most notably in transition. While not necessarily towering in height, Hatfield has a strong frame and a strong base for his age. In his first varsity season for Big Walnut, Hatfield earned second team OCC honors. After an accomplished freshman year and a standout performance on Tuesday, Hatfield should be a guard to seriously keep an eye on for the 2026 class. GG

Jorden Bowens (Reynoldsburg / 6'6 PF) Typically big time dunks are seen more frequently from the upperclassmen at this event, but the freshman Raider had a bounce beyond his age on Tuesday. Bowens showed off an explosiveness with a variety of dunks, including the highlight of the day, a power slam over a defender in transition. Not all of his production was at the rim, as Bowens also connected on a couple of jumpers from mid-range as well. As a freshman, Bowens gained valuable playing time this past year for the Raiders. When you factor in his size, athleticism and growing skillset, Bowens has high potential and is safely one of the top forward prospects in the area for the 2026 class. GG

Daneal Krylov (Reynoldsburg / 6'4 SG) Bowens wasn't the only standout freshman Raider, as he was joined by his teammate, Daneal Krylov, a 6'4 shooting guard that finished with 20 points, good for the second highest total on the OCC team. Krylov scored in a variety of ways, with four recorded triples with a couple in the corner and one from deep range. His athleticism was on display as he did a nice job of getting to the rim and showed off his vertical with an open-court dunk as well as on a nice block attempt. While Krylov played sparingly in his first varsity season, expect his role to grow next year as the evolving Raiders look to contend for a district title. GG

Marquis Lucas (Linden-McKinley / 6'2 Wing) You'd be pressed to find a more well-rounded athlete in the City League than the three-sport participant Lucas, who was named honorable mention all state in basketball, a state qualifier in wrestling and a contributor on the gridiron. But since we're a basketball site, let's highlight the already decorated freshman for his performance on the hardwood. Lucas showed his versatility as an aggressive guard that did a little bit of everything. Lucas had fantastic handles, which allowed him to get into the paint and connect on an assortment of floaters and mid-ranges. His game-high 24 points also included four made attempts from long range, but his wrestler physicality also allowed him to be active on the glass. Lucas is clearly an all-around athlete that should earn him dozens of awards in his various sports for years to come. But if he chooses to pursue basketball at the next level, he has the makings to be a special player for the Panthers that's worth keeping a serious eye on. GG

Tyreke Ruffin ( Groveport Madison / 6'0 Guard) An All-OCC Buckeye first-teamer, Ruffin is a stat sheet stuffer to the max! The athletic guard scored an efficient 13 points, grabbed down eight boards and dished out four assists as well for the OCC freshmen team. Reke showed an explosive handle, attacking the rim relentlessly and was able to finish at the rim with some acrobatic swoops around the basket. Ruffin, like every freshman in the game, played extremely hard and was able to come away with some valuable experience from this event. The first team all-division performer has an incredibly bright future. MF

Xavier McKinney (Pickerington Central/ 6'2 Wing) Plays the game the correct way on both ends of the floor, McKinney was raised on basketball principles and skill that he puts on film every time he steps on the court. Finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals, McKinney is a rangy athlete with nice anticipation and good instincts on the defensive side of the floor, he saw things before they happened and he ended up in the correct place to make a play almost every time. McKinney stretched the floor and knocked down multiple three-pointers, making him a matchup nightmare with him mixing up the diet of buckets he passed out on Tuesday evening. MF

Jovon McBride (Hamilton Township / 6'1 Guard) An honorable mention all-state player already, as well as an all-MSL Buckeye first team performer, McBride put on an excellent show in the first game. Ending the game with 18 points and snatching down eight boards, McBride lived around the rim but was also able to knock down outside jumpers as well. He used his quick first step in the half court to get around defenders and his pace in the open court to get to the rim where he was a great finisher. He tossed out three assists and each one was on the money and on time where his teammates could get their shot off. McBride showed that he is apart of a young and talented crop of Mid-State League players that not only showed up at Battle for the City, but showed up all season long as well. MF

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