LEWIS CENTER, Ohio -- Week 3 of the Open Division offered perhaps the most intense competition yet this season. We saw a few upsets, some major scoring performances and just an overall gritty type of basketball all afternoon.
Let's take a look at the top performers from Week 3.
Riley Gibson (5'10 PG / Circleville / 2021) - Stock rising sophomore guard from Circleville who has been the top breakout guard so far in his class. Gibson is a knockdown perimeter shooter who doesn't need much space to make you pay. He's one of just four players in the Open Division to average double figures and had his best performance with 19 points to lead The Academy over a senior laden Nova Morgan team this past Sunday. If The Academy keep winning, Gibson could be up for MVP honors in the league.
Grant Somers (6'0 G / Newark / 2022) - The Newark freshman was impressive in Team Bron’s opening win, helping the club move on to 6-0. Somers is a talented guard who has a good feel and can knock down shots. Thanks to players like Somers, Team Bron plays with the best chemistry of any team in the league thus far.
Chase Poston (6'4 SF / Fairfield Union / 2020) - Lanky forward from Fairfield Union who was active and productive in helping lead The Academy to its fourth and fifth straight wins on Sunday. Poston has good length at 6-foot-4, is a reliable shooter and plays both ends. With guys like Poston, Evan Conley and Huston Harrah, Fairfield Union shouldn’t lose much momentum from last year’s team.
Koby Gourley (6'0 G / Westerville South / 2020) - The junior guard had his best weekend yet, helping the Warriors go 2-0. Reliable outside shooter who plays hard, has a good feel and makes the right play consistently. Competes on both ends and is a high IQ player. Could have a chance to get into the Westerville South rotation this winter.
Mason Purvis (5'9 G / Millersport / 2021) - Skilled and flashy sophomore guard had a breakout game for the Warriors on Sunday. Has a tight handle and a nice skill set. Finished a few tough floaters and was able to get into the lane whenever he wanted. Also a capable shooter. Could be a guy to really breakout over the next few years at Millersport.
Derrick Hardin (6'2 G / Worthington Christian / 2020) - High motor wing guard from Worthington Christian who has been pretty productive as of late for the Warriors. Hardin plays with great energy and confidence. Capable outside shooter who can also slither by defenders and get to the rim.
Cooper Davis (6'2 G / Reynoldsburg / 2022) - Davis had his breakout performance on Court 1 in leading Team Bron over Nova Morgan. The son of Reynoldsburg coach Scott Davis knocked in five threes for a season-high 17 points, showing off his sweet stroke and quick release. Davis has intriguing length and seems to only be improving. Could have a chance to see some varsity action this year, as his outside shooting will be much needed for the Raiders.
Carson Carpenter (5'11 G / Mount Vernon / 2019) - The old man on Team Bron, Carpenter has provided a veteran presence to a team with mainly freshman, which has been a big reason for their 6-0 start. Carpenter is a composed guard who plays with good pace. Has a nice feel and understanding for the game. Gives Team Bron yet another offensive weapon on the perimeter when he's feeling it, which was the case on Sunday.
Carter Jones (6'3 WF / Centerburg / 2021) - Intriguing wing forward out of Centerburg who really impressed us on Sunday. Plays with an edge and can score it in a variety of ways. Has a smooth post game, can consistently hit the mid-range jumper and seems to always make the right play. Rebounded like a mad man in our viewing of him on Sunday. Could be a breakout sophomore among rural prospects in the 2021 class.
Mario Davis (5'6 G / Harvest Prep / 2021) - Davis was really good down the stretch to help the Celtics knock off the previously unbeaten NC Bullets. Has a tight handle, with the unique ability to change speed. Skilled shot maker! Good things happen when the ball was in his hands. Also filled in for Michigan State in the Invite Only Division and showed no fear going up against a senior backcourt.
Vic Searls (6'7 C / St. Charles / 2020) - Perhaps the breakout junior in the event. Searls is a skilled big who filled in for Michigan State in the Invite Only Division and proceeded to score 10 points and help them fend off North Carolina for a win. Searls has a big body with soft touch. Does a good job of sealing defenders on the block. Keeps the ball high and tough to keep off the glass. Good rebounder and defender. Could be due for a breakout year in the CCL.
Zaveon Croff (6'2 WF / Reynoldsburg / 2021) - Croff just makes winning plays. Does a great job of defending and rebounding. High IQ player with great court vision and has the ability to make pinpoint passes before the defense can react. Chess player playing basketball. Very good at getting to the basket and a great athlete.
Eli Burke (5'10 G / Africentric / 2021) - YesU knocked off the NC Bullets in their first game on Sunday and Burke was a big reason for it. The Africentric guard made plays for himself and others, while also turning in a great game on the other end of the floor. Confident shooter who has improved in that area. Burke plays the game the way it's supposed to be played and has really matured over the last few months.
Will Cordle (5'11 G / Bexley / 2021) - Watched Cordle for the first time on Sunday and were very impressed. Strong guard who plays with a lot of confidence. Knocked down four deep threes and didn’t take a bad shot. Has a nice feel and competes on both ends. Could have a chance to really help Bexley this winter.
Hervon Jacobs (6'4 PF / Africentric / 2020) - Jacobs seems to get better by the week. Had his best performance this past week, going for 21 points in the final game of the day. Tough post player who goes hard on both ends. Competes on the glass and plays with a great motor. Knocked down a few shots and showed more versatility on offense.
Josh Wilhelm (6'2 G / Westerville Central / 2020) - Wilhelm had a great day on Sunday and vaulted himself to the top of the league in scoring by going for 21 points to lead the Lakers over the Rockets. Wilhelm has been on fire lately, scoring 54 points in his last three games combined. The 6-foot-2 guard has a good motor, can hit shots from the perimeter, while also showing more aggressiveness to score in the last two weeks.
Ike Disbennett (6'8 C / Watkins Memorial / 2019) - Big bodied 6-foot-8 center. Has a soft touch around the basket and has continued to improve. Didn’t play last season at Watkins Memorial, but could have a chance to provide the Warriors with real minutes this year. With Block and Disbennett, Nova Morgan has one of the biggest front lines in the league.
Drew Bryant (6'1 F / Dublin Scioto / 2020) - The Dublin Scioto forward stood out on Sunday, scoring 25 points in two games and providing the Rockets with another go-to scorer outside of Jacobs. Bryant should have a chance to crack the rotation for the Irish this season and could really help Scioto continue to elevate themselves in the OCC with performances like he had last week.
Ben Wilhelm (6'4 PF / Westerville Central / 2020) - Tough, composed forward who went for 18 points in the Lakers' final game of the day. Passes, defends, rebounds and just makes plays all over. Had his fingerprints all over the win on Sunday and was also solid in the opener as well. Should receive plenty of time this season for a Westerville Central team that lost a lot to graduation.
Brandon McLaughlin (6'6 PF / Heath / 2022) - Productive freshman forward from Heath. Has good hands and feet, controls the block and can stretch out to the mid-range area. Has an advanced handle for his size and runs the floor well. Might just be the best freshman in the Licking County League.
PJ Daniels (6'0 G / Bishop Hartley / 2021) - Played with good feel and pace to his game. Willing passer, did a great job setting his teammates up. Also made big shots when needed the most. Daniels received quality experience off the bench for Hartley's varsity team last year and could be a starter this winter. Tough kid.