LEWIS CENTER, Ohio -- We are already a few days away from the Open Division championship tournament on Sunday at Olentangy Orange. Before we get there, let's take a look at the top performers from Week 4 of the 270 Hoops Fall League!
Kade Bafford (6'0 PG / Newark / 2021): Bafford did what not many point guards have done at Newark in a long time and that was to start every game as a freshman. The experience Bafford gained was evident on Sunday as he returned to the open division after missing the last few weeks due to injury and flat out dominated. The most physical guard on the floor in both matchups, Bafford made everyone around him better, commanding the game on both ends and making plays happen. Bafford is a physical defender who moves his feet well. On the other end, Bafford can get places off the dribble, is a superb passer and will make open shots. Playing for Jeff Quackenbush is not easy for young guards but Bafford took the challenge in stride and should really blossom as a sophomore.
Heath Jeffries (6'5 WF / Newark Catholic / 2019): Playing on the wing for the first time, Jeffries has shown some legit promise as Sunday was his best showing yet. Proving to be too quick for his defenders, Jeffries put together a terrific performance in the opener before going out with an ankle injury. Getting by defenders and finishing with grace at the rim, Jeffries also was a threat from the perimeter, knocking down a pair of threes and showing a consistent stroke. At 6-foot-5, Jeffries has great size on the perimeter and is only going to get better out there. We think he would be a steal for Division III programs looking for a big wing who can score it in different ways.
Zaveon Croff (6'1 WG / Reynoldsburg / 2021): Croff has been one of the more consistent sophomores in the event and Sunday was no different. A skilled guard who can do everything, Croff impressed with his ability to get by people and score at the rim. Croff has a good IQ for the game, makes the right plays and can take over when he has to. Croff is a better scorer than what we previously thought, as he can really get to the rim and finish with either hand. Look for him to have a chance to get into the Raider rotation this season.
Adam Benschoter (6'2 G / Teays Valley / 2020): Tough junior guard who has improved this season for The Academy. Benschoter, who also excels in golf, went for 18 points as The Academy took down the Thunder on Sunday. Benschoter, Circleville sophomore guard Riley Gibson and Amanda Clearcreek senior guard Will Rifle form a terrific backcourt trio for The Academy. Benschoter will need another big performance to help the No. 3 seeded Academy take down No. 6 seed YesU, who defeated them last week.
Troy Scowden (6'5 WF/PF / Buckeye Valley / 2022): Scowden has a mature game with athleticism and physicality of that of a senior. Fortunately for Team Bron, Scowden is a lot like the rest of the team in that he is only a freshman. Scowden was terrific in an opening win over the Warriors, using his size and strength to punish the opposing team on the interior. Scowden is the best prospect to come through Buckeye Valley in quite some time and should help the Barons become a threat in Division II this winter and for years to come.
Jack Beer (6'1 WF / Olentangy Liberty / 2021): Strong, physical wing who exploded for 21 points in a win over the Celtics. Beer finished it strong at the rim, knocked down a few shots and was the benefactor on several dimes from Newark's Bafford. Beer's hard nosed play style fits in well with what Olentangy Liberty has been known for over the last few years.
Jared Frey (6'3 WG / St. Charles / 2022: While the Celtics have struggled with team chemistry and consistency, Frey has been a standout throughout. A big guard who can knock down shots with unlimited range, Frey has shown by many are excited about a freshman class for St. Charles that begins and ends with him. Capable of putting it on the floor and scoring at the rim, Frey has a lot of promise on the wing and could be the new face of the Central Catholic League in a few years.
Lewis Robertson (6'2 CG / Pickerington Central / 2022): Robertson had a breakout week, going for 34 points in two games. Robertson is a score first guard with some polish to his game. Can score it on a few levels and can really get going when his confidence is up. Should have another solid outing in the first round as the Warriors get top-seeded Team Bron. Robertson seems to have found his groove, which means good things going forward for himself and his team.
Grant Yeater (6'0 WG / Dublin Coffman / 2019): Yeater has really impressed for the NC Bullets this season, proving to be their most consistent player out on the perimeter. The Dublin Coffman senior is a knockdown shooter and plays with plenty of confidence. Behind his play, the NC Bullets should really contend for the Open title on Sunday, as he can score it as well as anyone in the league.
David Maughmer (6'1 WF / Northland / 2021): Some guys get recognition based solely off effort and toughness and Maughmer was that guy in Nova Faieta's win over the Celtics. Maughmer defended an opposing big six inches taller than him and gave up no ground. Plays a physical brand of ball, rebounds, defends and can score it inside. Someone to keep an eye on at Northland over the next few years.
Anthony Bowman (6'2 WG / Africentric / 2019): Bowman was the star in YesU's win over The Academy, which might've been the upset of the day. Bowman is a shifty guard who can really score it in transition. The biggest improvement in his game is his increase ability to score in half court setting, showing a better overall feel. Bowman has plenty of natural gifts and it seems as if the mental aspect of the game is catching up now. Look for him to be a key piece to an Africentric team that reloads with a new identity after a run to the state title game in Division III.
Nash Hostetler (6'2 WG / Dublin Coffman / 2021): Hostetler entered Dublin Coffman as the program's best freshman last season, however injuries kept him off the court for most of the year. Finally healthy with his confidence regained, Hostetler has been one of the top sophomore stock risers in the division, leading Hidden Gems 2021 this past weekend to an upset win over Team Bron. Hostetler has good size on the wing, is an above average athlete and can knock down shots from all over. Hostetler fits the identity of Coffman basketball and should have a productive career going forward.
Cam Kerns (6'5 PF/C / Dublin Jerome / 2019): Kerns was arguably the NC Bullets' best player last weekend, using his size and physicality to bully opponents underneath. Consistency has always been a problem for Kerns, however, he seems to be improving in that regard. Kerns is a plus level athlete who competes hard on both ends and should be a major reason why the NC Bullets are a favorite to win the division. As Dublin Jerome has a vacancy in the front court with the graduation of Andrew Golda, look for Kerns to fill that void and then some.
Josh Wilhelm (6'2 WG / Westerville Central / 2020): Wilhelm has shown up and shown out, as he finished the regular season as the league's leading scorer. While the Lakers have struggled through eight games, Wilhelm has been pretty consistent, especially heating up in the last five games. As Westerville Central graduates the majority of last year's offense, look for Wilhelm to have a chance to earn a permanent spot in the rotation.
Robert Dorsey (5'10 PG / Northland / 2022): In a rather unforgettable day for the Thunder, Dorsey was a bright spot as he had his best scoring performance yet. The Northland freshman has a tight handle and is a reliable shooter from the perimeter. Despite playing against plenty of upperclassmen, Dorsey has held his own and made a mark on the league. Look for Dorsey to lead the Northland backcourt here in the next few years as the Vikings bring in the next generation.
Brayden Blanchard (6'0 PG / Bishop Hartley / 2021): Getting our first look at Blanchard on Sunday, we were impressed with his shot making ability and overall offensive game. Blanchard plays with good pace, has a tight enough handle to get places off the dribble and showed a good feel in our viewing. In a Bishop Hartley program that will give young guys a shot, look for Blanchard to have a chance to make the varsity rotation this year.
Ethan Stearns (6'1 G / Watkins Memorial / 2019): Stearns has been a model of consistency this season for Nova Morgan and continues to put up good numbers. A tough guard who can make shots, Stearns is a crafty finisher and plays hard on both ends. We look for Stearns to have a strong senior season and help Watkins Memorial take the next step as a program and contend for a Licking County League title.
Chase Poston (6'4 WF / Fairfield Union / 2020): Poston has been one of the most improved players in the Mid State League this offseason and has been pretty productive for The Academy, especially as of late. Poston has intriguing length and athleticism and has begun to add more skill to his game. As Fairfield Union graduates a very accomplished 2018 class, look for guys like Poston to lead the program back to the top once again.