POWELL, Ohio -- With the regular season of the 270 Hoops Fall League coming to a close on Sunday, the playoff picture became a lot more clear. With lower ranked teams like Shift Team and Tar Heel Elite going 2-0 yesterday, the spoilers shook up the seedings heading into next Sunday's championship tournament.
Let's take a look at the top seeds and how they performed on Sunday.
Winning its last five games by a combined 119 points, Offers Only is the hottest team heading into the playoffs. Seniors Cameron Brooks-Harris (6'7 SF / Zanesville) and Taevion Kinsey (6'4 SG / Eastmoor) have led the charge, while sophomore CJ Anthony (6'0 PG / Harvest Prep) has been the pacemaker in the backcourt. This team has played great team ball and have all consistently shown up, which has been the biggest difference maker thus far.
Game 1: W, 70-42 over Arch City Clippers
Brooks-Harris, Kinsey and Anthony combined for 55 points as Offers Only rolled over Arch City. Senior center Ross Ryan (6'9 / Pickerington North) dominated the boards, finishing with seven points and 10 rebounds.
Game 2: W, 63-39 over Team Work
In a game that Offers Only never trailed in, four players scored in double-figures, as Anthony led the way with 19 points and five assists. Brooks-Harris added 17, while Kinsey had a strong all-around performance, finishing with 12 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Junior Sean Marks (6'0 PG / Olentangy) added 10 points to continue a productive season.
Playoff matchup: Sunday vs. #8 Next Gen (2-8), 2 PM, Court 2.
Nearly losing both games on Sunday, 270 Hoopers had its worst outing of the season thus far. The group of entirely seniors has what it takes to make a run to a championship, but will need to improve on its performance on Sunday.
Game 1: W, 52-50 (OT) vs. Next Gen
Going up against a spirited Next Gen team, 270 nearly lost to a team that came in with just one win on the year. In that matchup senior Nick Carlson (6'5 PF / Dublin Coffman) led the charge with 18 points, while senior JT Shumate (6'7 SF / Newark) added 13 points, 12 rebounds and four assists to avoid disaster.
Game 2: L, 72-77 vs. Tar Heel Elite
Running into the buzzsaw that was Tar Heel Elite on Sunday, 270 dropped its first game since the opener, as a trio of juniors from Tar Heel Elite completed the upset. In the loss, senior Jerome Hunter (6'7 SF / Pickerington North) was the hot man, going into beast mode in the second half to make what was once a 20-point game into a tight one at the end. Hunter would finish with a game-high 25 points, while Shumate and Tariq Brown (6'6 PF / Eastmoor) each added double-figures.
Playoff matchup: Sunday vs. #7 Arch City Clippers (3-7), 2 PM, Court 1
With leading scorer Max Martz (6'7 SF / Upper Arlington / 2019) away on a recruiting visit, Team Work struggled on Sunday, losing both games by double-figures and falling out of contention for a top two seed. With its top playmaker Chris Mayfield (6'4 SG / Hilliard Bradley / 2020) and Martz again gone next week for the same reason, championship Sunday could be challenging for Team Work.
Game 1: L, 50-70 vs. Shift Team
In a game where Team Work did not have the advantage on the glass for the first time all season, the darlings of the regular season struggled, as senior Eli McNamara (6'9 PF / Pickerington North) scored 20 of Team Work's 50 points in the loss. Struggling with the length and athleticism of Shift Team's group of seniors, Team Work took its first lopsided loss of the year.
Game 2: L, 39-63 vs. Offers Only
In a matchup that coming into Sunday looked to be the best on the day, Offers Only ran away from Team Work early on and never looked back. As the opposition doubled down on McNamara to make Team Work's supporting cast beat them, only one player would finish in double figures as freshman Kobe Buford (6'2 CG / Upper Arlington) scored a season-high 12 points in a strong showing.
Playoff matchup: Sunday vs. #6 3's Up (4-6), Court 1, 2:35 PM
With a group entirely consisting of juniors minus senior Curtis Clinger (6'4 SG / Thomas Worthington), Tar Heel Elite played its best ball of the season on Sunday, competing hard on both ends to climb to the No. 4 seed.
Game 1: W, 67-51 vs. 3's Up
The duo of juniors Morgan Safford (6'3 SG / Bishop Hartley) and Ben Wight (6'8 C / Thomas Worthington) dominated as Tar Heel Elite rolled over 3's Up. Safford continued to torch the league, finishing with 24 points, while Wight notched a double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Four players had three assists for Tar Heel Elite, who moved the ball exceptionally well as a team.
Game 2: W, 77-72 vs. 270 Hoopers
Picking up its biggest win of the year, Safford, Wight and junior Jaidon Lipscomb (6'0 SG / Pickerington Central) were incredible, combining for 58 points as Tar Heel Elite led by as many as 20 points in the game. Safford got them going early with his scoring, while Wight controlled the interior once again, finishing off several big slams while also pulling down eight rebounds and blocking two shots. Lipscomb added 16 points, stretching the floor with his three-point shooting. As a team, Tar Heel finished with 19 assists, compared to just eight for 270.
Playoff matchup: Sunday vs. #5 Shift Team (4-6), 2:35 PM, Court 2
Shift Team looked like a team capable of making a championship run, rolling in both of its games to finish at No. 5 on the year. Despite only having five players, Shift Team got it going early on and never looked back. Since the addition of senior Jelani Simmons (6'5 SG / Beechcroft), Shift Team is 4-2 and has been one of the more exciting teams in the league.
Game 1: W, 70-50 vs. Team Work
Playing its best game of the season, Shift Team took control of Sunday's matchup vs. Team Work and executed late to get the job done. With four of its five players scoring in double-figures, it was a complete team effort for Shift Team in dispatching Team Work. Simmons, senior Wesley Williams (6'8 PF / South) and senior Collin Kimbrough (6'4 SG / Worthington Christian) each scored 17 points, while senior Dondre Palmer (6'5 SF / Pickerington North) added 13 points. Senior point guard Corey Baker (6'0 / Pickerington North) added six points, a game-high 10 rebounds and six assists as he controlled the tempo on both ends.
Game 2: W, 74-57 vs. Arch City Clippers
Shift Team stayed hot in the second game, as five players scored in double-figures, including senior PJ Jones (6'2 PG / Grove City), who came off the bench to finish with a team-high 18 points. Simmons (15 points), Williams (15 points), Palmer (11 points) and Kimbrough (10 points) all scored in double-figures, while Baker controlled the tempo once again, finishing with five points, six rebounds and five assists.
Playoff matchup: Sunday vs. #4 Tar Heel Elite (4-6), 2:35 PM, Court 2
After a 3-0 start to the season, 3's Up is skidding at the worst moment, dropping its last six of seven games, including two more losses on Sunday. A team that started out with promise has been affected by injury and no shows from some of its top players, which has them at the No. 6 seed.
Game 1: L, 51-67 vs. Tar Heel Elite
Scoring 31 of his team's 51 points, senior Nate Ward (6'6 SF / Gahanna) had a career game, but the rest of his teammates struggled to pick up the slack, as 3's Up dropped its fourth game in a row. For as great as Ward was all game long, Tar Heel Elite was that much better as a team, pulling away in the second half. Ward's 31 points tied the league record for most points in a single game this season.
Game 2: L, 46-71 vs. Next Gen
In an embarrassing loss to Next Gen, 3's Up finished off the regular season on a low note, as the loss was its fifth in a row. Ward was again the only player to score in double figures, finishing with 11 points. Seniors Jalen Bethel (6'7 PF / Olentangy Orange) and Elijah Bishop (6'6 SF / Beechcroft) combined to score 17 points in the loss. There is hope for 3's Up, however, as Sunday's playoff matchup is against a Team Work team that also lost both games to end the regular season and will be down two of its top three players.
Playoff matchup: Sunday vs. #3 Team Work (7-3), 2:35 PM, Court 1
The youngest team in the league, Arch City has been up and down this season, as the group of youngsters dropped both games on Sunday to finish the regular season at 3-7.
Game 1: L, 42-70 vs. Offers Only
Without its top scorer and rebounder in sophomore Von Cameron Davis (6'5 PF / Walnut Ridge), Arch City struggled as junior Jordan McMillian (6'1 PG / Westerville South) and sophomore Qian Magwood (6'0 PG / Walnut Ridge) led the way with 25 combined points in a big loss. Against a bigger Offers Only team, Arch City was outrebounded 27-19 in the game.
Game 2: L, 57-74 vs. Shift Team
In another double digit loss, Arch City struggled against the length and versatility of Shift Team. Senior Thomas Hickman (6'2 PG / Westerville Central) led the way with 18 points, while freshman Chance Groce (6'3 SG / Linden-McKinley) set a 2021 mark for scoring, going for 17 points and six rebounds in the loss. Fellow freshman Tyreese Hughley (6'6 PF / Licking Heights) also had a solid outing, finishing with eight points and five rebounds.
Playoff matchup: Sunday vs. #2 270 Hoopers (8-2), 2 PM, Court 1
Next Gen finally got back in the win column to end Sunday's action, rolling over 3's Up behind some big scoring performances. With arguably the top post player in senior Tre Williams (6'7 PF / Reynoldsburg) and athletic freaks in junior Will Mfum (6'2 PG / Northland) and Marcus Johnson (6'4 SF / South) on the roster, this team has enough talent to pull off an upset if they can get everything clicking.
Game 1: L, 50-52 (OT) vs. 270 Hoopers
Taking the first place 270 Hoopers to the brink, Next Gen nearly pulled off the upset of the season, but fell just a bucket short in overtime. The duo of Reynoldsburg seniors in Williams and Jamiel Goliday (6'0 PG) led the way with 38 combined points. Johnson added eight points in his debut, as Next Gen got things rolling against a quality opponent.
Game 2: W, 71-46 vs. 3's Up
Taking the momentum of the opener into the second game of the day, Next Gen looked like a team that should not be seeded eighth in dispatching 3's Up in blowout fashion. In that matchup, Mfum (25 points) and Williams (24 points) combined for 49, while Johnson added 12 points. Next week will mark the return of sophomore point guard Dominiq Penn (6'0 / Dublin Coffman), which will give Next Gen even more firepower to give Offers Only a challenge in the first round.
Playoff matchup: Sunday vs. #1 Offers Only (8-2), 2 PM, Court 2