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Battle For The City: Boys 2025 Top Performers

By Greg Glasser and Mark Francis, 04/16/23, 5:15PM EDT


These standouts should be major players to watch next season

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 2025 class was the Central Ohio team's lone win of the series, as they defeated the OCC 136-93.

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

Noah Knostman (Whetstone / 6'4 Wing Forward) A 23-point, 18-rebound performance made an easy decision for MVP honors for the sophomore from Whetstone. In an all-star game that allowed many players to show off their skills, Knostman's athleticism and effort clearly stood out. The 6'4 wing has serious bounce and scored a majority of his points at the rim, as his collection of dunks put on a show for fans in attendance. Knostman showed an ability to go coast-to-coast and his commitment to defense allowed him to intercept passes, connect on block attempts and gather any rebound in reach. The 6'4 (and growing) wing also hit on a couple three-point attempts. Already named first team in the City League as a sophomore, Knostman is the type of do-it-all player with an attractive size that should not only help Whetstone compete in the City League-North, but make him a rising prospect for the 2025 class. GG

PJ Noles (DeSales / 6'4 Combo Guard) Noles played a significant role in the Central Ohio team's sound victory over the OCC, as he scored a team high 31 points from all areas from the court. After a solid sophomore season, in which Noles was named honorable mention all state, the combo guard showed an athletic offensive skillset that allowed him to average over 16 points per game this past year. Noles comfortably finished above the rim on a handful of dunks, connected on a handful of triples and displayed an active motor that generated a ton of offensive production. Over the past year, Noles has gained significant strength and has gifted athletic traits. The Stallion guard could very well be the best player next season in the Central Catholic League and has the makings of a future scholarship player. GG

Brandon Roddy (Harvest Prep / 6'1 PG) After he helped lead Harvest Prep to a regional title and state tournament appearance, Roddy capped his sophomore season with a complete 12-point, 11-assist performance on Tuesday. Like most talented point guards, Roddy has a sound feel for the game and did an excellent job of finding an open teammate as he consistently would push the ball and look up court. He also showed evolving athleticism on a couple of finished dunks. Roddy is not only difficult to guard, he's difficult to be guarded by, as he moves his feet well and has active hands. After the event, the 6'1 guard received the 270 Hoops Co-Player of the Year award for the 2025 class. As Roddy continues to expand his offensive game, his consistent improvement on the court is an encouraging sign for a prospect that looks to become one of the more talented players, regardless of class, in the area. GG

Amare Spiva (Pickerington Central / 6'1 Combo Guard) A bonafide spark plug off the bench for the Division 1 state runner-up Tigers, Spiva had a smooth, quiet and efficient 14 points, six rebounds and dished out four assists in his time on the court. The athleticism is effortless and he can switch speeds in transition as well as any player in his class. Spiva seemed to be enjoying playing with and against the other players, as he played with joy the entire evening. His strength and quick feet make him a constant threat on the defensive end and with his ability to create turnovers, Spiva has to be considered one of the best defenders in his class. The young guard has some amazing basketball still to come in the years ahead. MF

CJ Collins (Dublin Coffman / 6'2 SG) One of the most pure shooters in the class, Collins dazzled spectators, players and staff alike with his blazing-hot shooting in the sophomore game. His 23 points led his team in scoring, he did it while knocking in seven three-pointers, with five straight at one point. His fearless mindset and quick release makes him a threat from any spot on the court. Collins has good size and length that helps him defend and can anticipate well on that end of the court as well. The way Collins moved without the ball was great, always trying to find the sport on the floor to get open and knock down jumpers. With the shooting skill he has and the range that he possesses, Collins will surely be on the radar of schools very soon. MF

Reggie Bagley (Whitehall / 6'4 SG) One of the better natural scorers at the event, with his silky movements and deep bag, Bagley showed why he was able to have so much success this past season for the Rams. Pouring in 23 points, grabbing five rebounds and throwing three assists, Bagley put a little bit of everything on display for the Central Ohio team in their big win over the OCC team. The lanky guard was a matchup nightmare during the evening as he weaved through the defense when the ball was in his hands and knocked down three triples in the process as well. Bagley was the best one-on-one player in the sophomore game, breaking down defenders off the bounce and staying in attack mode with constant pressure as the Central Ohio team looked to make a statement. A very high ceiling for Bagley, local schools need to be placing phone calls immediately. MF

Damon Griffin (South / 5'9 PG) The all-state quarterback put his athletic prowess on display the entire evening, with some jaw-dropping dunks and the ability to weave through traffic like he does on the football field. Griffin chipped in an all-around game with 14 points, five rebounds, two assists and three steals, while giving his team another athletic finisher at the rim. The Bulldog star athlete is explosive and powerful with the ability to get his shot off in traffic amongst taller players. Griffin is a capable floor general and showed some of those quarterback leadership skills by talking on defense and doing the little things on offense. Even though his skill on the gridiron made him an all-state quarterback, his skill on the basketball court gives him a chance to earn a scholarship in either sport. MF

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