GAHANNA, Ohio -- With a total of 10 games taking place at Gahanna and Pickerington North on Saturday, the All-Ohio High School Hoops Showcase was a platform for plenty of the area's top players to showcase their talent.
Taking in the action at Gahanna, let's take a look at the top prospects from the four games on Saturday. Stay tuned for more coverage from the action at Pickerington North on Sunday!
Game 1: Whitehall 60, Dayton Dunbar 58
Game 2: Cincinnati Taft 74, Olentangy Liberty 73
Game 3: South 65, Bishop Hartley 50
Game 4: Gahanna 65, Richmond Heights 52
Marcus Johnson (6'3 WG / South / 2020): Johnson was absolutely outstanding on Saturday, as he put together his best all-around showing that we've seen from him. Providing great energy on both ends of the floor, Johnson showed off a high IQ, as he made plays on and off the ball, defended like crazy and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Johnson finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, one block and two steals on the day. Adding more perimeter skills to his already elite athleticism, Johnson is ready for a breakout season where he could add to the three Division I offers that he currently holds already. We were really impressed with Johnson's ability to zip passes on a dime, as he helped South establish great movement on the offensive end. On a South team that defends at an elite level, Johnson is the straw that stirs the drink, as he can lock down guards, wings and bigs and is always a threat to be in the passing lanes.
Tre Watkins (5'11 CG / South / 2019): With a quick 10 points in the first quarter on Saturday, Watkins set the tone for South by knocking down two threes and hitting two tough mid-range jumpers to begin the game. Defending with passion on the other end, Watkins played a great two-way game on Saturday, finishing with a game-high 22 points in addition to two assists and three steals. Knocking down four threes, Watkins hit from way deep a few times, showing off his quick release and pinpoint accuracy. Leading South in scoring for the past two seasons, Watkins has a chance to really put up big numbers this year as the Bulldogs have their most talented collection of players yet. It's honestly a mystery how Watkins doesn't have a single junior college offer right now, however, if he keeps playing efficient basketball like he did on Saturday, you can expect that to change.
Sean Jones (5'10 PG / Gahanna / 2022): After beginning his career with a 9-point performance in a win over Watkins Memorial on Friday, Jones took it to the next level on Saturday. Scoring a game-high 17 points in a win over Richmond Heights, Jones showed to be more assertive offensively, getting into a rhythm and putting up a great scoring performance. An elite level ball handler with cat-like quickness, Jones also stood out on the defensive perimeter where he made it tough for opposing ball handlers to get much of anything going.
Ben Roderick (6'6 WG / Olentangy Liberty / 2019): With Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann in the house on Saturday, Roderick played with great confidence despite his first real taste of live game action since tearing his ACL last season. Going for 29 points, Roderick was in attack mode all game long, finding a way to get to the line several times and finishing a few tough buckets inside. While he struggled to knock down shots from the perimeter, Roderick never lacked for confidence, as he nearly put Liberty in a position to win the game late. With Dayton and Toledo also in the house on Saturday, Roderick is drawing plenty of attention from mid and high major programs in the region. After leading the area in scoring a year ago, Roderick is looking to do just that once again. Roderick looks to have a stronger upper body this season, which allowed him to power through the defense for scores all afternoon long.
Nick Nakasian (6'4 WF / Olentangy Liberty / 2019): Fresh off committing to Division III Carnegie Mellon on Thursday, Nakasian played like someone with the stress of picking a college behind him. Playing a great all-around game, Nakasian finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds, which included a powerful two-hand slam against the Cincinnati Taft defense. Nakasian is a high motor player with difference making athleticism for the Patriots. With Mitchell Kershner out on Saturday, Nakasian stepped up for a Patriots team that should have every chance to win an OCC title.
Morgan Safford (6'4 WG / Bishop Hartley / 2019): In an otherwise unforgettable night for Bishop Hartley, Safford was a bright spot, as he led the team with 21 points. The Hawks struggled to find much of any offensive rhythm, as Safford was the only player able to consistently find offense. The unsigned wing guard did not knock down a three but hit a few shots from mid-range and got to the rim and scored on several occasions. In order for Hartley to play to their potential, Safford will need help on the offensive end, and the Hawks will need to find outside shooting after knocking down just four threes on Saturday.
Royal Sibly (6'5 WG / Whitehall / 2021): Sibly certainly passes the look test, as the 6-foot-5 wing with broad shoulders and a long wingspan has all the measurables to be a very good player down the line. Fortunately for the Whitehall sophomore, his production is beginning to match his upside. Stepping up in the second half of a win over Dayton Dunbar, Sibly put together a solid performance, finishing with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Sibly showed an ability to beat defenders off the dribble and get to the basket, while also knocking down a three in the second half. On a Whitehall team with plenty of youth, Sibly is the best prospect on the roster. Alongside him, look out for fellow sophomores Kei'von Wiggins and Taion Lowe, who all played meaningful minutes, highlighted by Wiggins' game-winning layup in transition.
Taylon Cofer (5'11 PG / Whitehall / 2019): Ever since seeing Cofer for the first time a year ago, we have been impressed with his motor and toughness. Cofer's aggression paid off in a big way on Saturday, as he forced a steal which led to the game-winning bucket in the final 10 seconds of the game. The 5-foot-11 senior finished with 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and four steals on Saturday. On a Whitehall team that is still figuring itself out, Cofer will have to step up as a leader to bring along the intriguing underclassmen. A tough kid who plays with a mean streak on defense, we are excited to see how Cofer and the Rams will fare in the MSL this winter.