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46 thoughts from Week 1 of the high school basketball season

By Zach Fleer, 12/06/18, 7:15PM EST

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Thoughts from the first seven days of the season

One thought for every single point that Von Cameron Davis scored in breaking the Walnut Ridge single game school record for scoring last Saturday.

  1. Von Cameron Davis is playing out of his mind right now. The 6-foot-5 forward has entered the high school season in the best shape of his career and is dominating. As long as he keeps averaging 39 points per game, he can flex on anyone that he wants to.

  2. Could Mr. Basketball return to the City League? As long as Davis is playing like this, the odds could be in his favor.

  3. Walnut Ridge really impressed me with the way they shot the ball on Tuesday. Hitting nine threes, the Scots did everything you have to do to beat a team like Bishop Watterson in their home gym.

  4. That game against South on Tuesday is going to be a war. Get there early. It’s going to sell out. South already played an all-world game on Saturday in running over Bishop Hartley. The Bulldogs swarm opposing ball handlers and force them to make decisions on the fly.

  5. Will South go zone against Ridge? That’s the hot button question right now. Me thinks that South will throw a mix of defensive packages at the Scots.

  6. Juniors and sophomores are putting up big numbers right now. Guys like Pickerington North’s Jack Sawyer, who exploded for 31 points in his debut last Saturday, have stolen the show early.

  7. The 2020 class has some big-time guards. Dominiq Penn, CJ Anthony and Matt Allocco are all in the top five in scoring so far. All three guys should go over 1,000 career points this season. Dom in particular is only 132 points away from doing so.

  8. I cannot wait to get down to Hamilton Township on Saturday afternoon for their game against Circleville.

  9. I’ve never seen Circleville during my career and they have a sophomore named Riley Gibson who is lighting it up right now. Riley played in the 270 Hoops Fall League Open Division and was an MVP candidate. Now he’s averaging 21.3 points per game through three games.

  10. The OCC-Ohio is figuring to be an absolute dog fight. Pickerington Central, Pickerington North, Reynoldsburg and Gahanna are all undefeated and will do battle on Friday. As a whole, the league went 11-1 in its first 12 games through Week 1.

  11. Friday’s games will tell us a ton about what the Ohio division is going to be like. Pickerington North is ready to prove that they are here right now and not just a young team in a transition year.

  12. Pickerington Central is looking to prove that they are the team to beat but it’s going to be tough against a North team that swept them a year ago.

  13. Reynoldsburg is the biggest unknown in the division. Graduating Tre Williams, Jamiel Goliday, Malcolm Murphy and Cole Crosby, the Raiders have plenty of new pieces but Ben Fort seems ready to take on the scoring load.

  14. Sean Moore is a breakout player for them, take stock now. He’s built a lot like Fort and has big-time scoring ability in transition.

  15. I’m a big fan of Josiah Mobley. He can really handle the ball, puts up more shots on the shooting gun than maybe anyone on that side of town, and seems to play his best basketball during the high school season.

  16. Gahanna has a lot to prove tomorrow. With Josh Corbin out, many became not as confident in the Lions as they were before. Elijah Thomas and Sean Jones are more than capable of running the show.

  17. Phillip Pontious is a junior to keep an eye on. He came on strong last year and is ready to be a primary guy within Gahanna’s system.

  18. Will Hilliard Bradley ever lose an OCC-Cardinal game?

  19. Doesn’t seem like it. They are the runaway favorite but programs like Delaware Hayes, Thomas Worthington (who they play on Friday), Dublin Jerome and Dublin Scioto look to challenge them this year.

  20. Matt Allocco is a winner. Think about it. He’s a junior. He’s never lost an OCC game while at Bradley.

  21. Newark also has a 20-game OCC winning streak. The Wildcats seemed like they would take a step back this year but instead they rattled off back-to-back wins last weekend against quality opponents in Westerville South and Dublin Jerome.

  22. The OCC-Capital is not as bad as people think. Programs like Big Walnut, Canal Winchester and Groveport should be improved from last year, while Newark won’t be as dominant as a year ago when JT Shumate had his way with the entire area.

  23. I like Big Walnut. I think they can really surprise people and possibly make a run for the OCC crown. They have a team full of seniors and are playing confident ball. If they can get by Canal Winchester and Mifflin this weekend, they could enter a matchup at home vs. Newark at 4-0. Would be big for the program.

  24. Brady Snyder deserves his respect. He’s put up big numbers the last two seasons and is not slowing down. He could make a statement this year by helping the Indians compete for a league title.

  25. Groveport may be super young, but gosh damn those dudes defend. Javon Miller has an inspirational story about performing through tragedy. He lost his father this past fall and began his season with a career-high performance against Westland a week ago. I am rooting hard as hell for that kid. He deserves everything he’s going to earn this year.

  26. Westland. I’ve seen them twice in the past seven days. That’s more than I’ve seen them in the past two years.

  27. Kalil Camara is an intriguing athlete. High flyer. Great kid. Not sure how so many in Philadelphia slept on him. He can play.

  28. The OCC-Buckeye is anyone’s to grab. I’m excited to see how Ben Roderick evolves his game this season. His legs seemed heavy last Saturday in his first game back from a torn ACL. I see him getting into better playing shape and having a chance to really dominate. Nobody, and I mean nobody, in that division is a good matchup for him.

  29. Olentangy is the sleeper. Sean Marks is as good of a scorer at the guard position as we have in the area. He’s not alone though. Sophomore Tavian James has been a breakout player thus far. Noah Gossett can also stroke it from deep. The Braves hit you at all angles.

  30. Westerville North and Westerville South both took L’s on the first Friday of the season. They quickly redeemed themselves in the follow up game. I’m excited to see how they fare in the conference after each falling short in the district finals last season.

  31. Westerville Central and Olentangy Orange lost some major pieces from last season. Orange seems more ready to compete. They have experience in the backcourt with seniors Bryson Lane and Luke Ballinger. The play of sophomore Andre Irvin has been encouraging so far. We’ll see how good they are on Saturday at home vs. Walnut Ridge.

  32. The OCC-Central has been Upper Arlington and Dublin Coffman’s to lose as of late. I think Hilliard Davidson could be someone to compete in the top two of that division this year. We’ll see how ready they are tomorrow against Coffman. The Wildcats have a ton of size and plenty of senior leadership. They knocked off Hilliard Bradley last season, can they do the same to Coffman?

  33. Luke Bartemes is that dude. His story is insane. No offers, minimal recruiting interest at the end of the AAU summer. A few open gyms and 270 Hoops Fall League performances later and BAM, he’s committed to Lincoln Memorial. He’s been their most impactful player on both ends through two games. Dom Penn though. Sheesh. He’s playing at an elite level right now, too. Teams will see a different version of him this year.

  34. The CCL is going to be an all-out dog fight this year. We all picked Bishop Hartley (except for Darkell who picked DeSales) in our magazine, but we might have gotten it wrong. Bishop Watterson looks ready to compete. Watterson in March is an animal every year. The team I saw on Tuesday was good, so I can’t imagine the level they’re going to play later on.

  35. The City League North has really struggled so far. The division went 3-12 this past week as a whole. That included an International win over Madison Christian. Northland had a nice showing against Harvest Prep on Saturday. Beechcroft lost a ton and is still inexperienced. Centennial had a nice opening win in overtime at Highland. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in this division. I still think the City title will come down to Walnut Ridge and South though.

  36. The LCL is an interesting conference. Johnstown figures to be a threat. Licking Heights has the talent to do damage. Granville is going to be tough once again. Newark Catholic should be improved. Watkins Memorial has a nice collection of talent, is this the year they get over the hump? Excited to see how it all plans out.

  37. The MSL-Ohio is as tough of a five team conference as there is in the area. It’s anyone’s guess who will win it. Grandview Heights made a statement by rolling past Africentric on Saturday. They get a tough road test at Worthington Christian on Saturday.

  38. Luke Lachey. D1 football player. D1 basketball prospect. There I said it. He’s an elite athlete. And he’s 6-foot-6. That helps. Brian Collier has game too though.

  39. Worthington Christian is ready to be relevant again. Freshman guard DJ Moore has been as advertised so far. He’s averaging 22 points per game through two games. Stud. Hardly do you see freshmen have this kind of impact this early.

  40. Bexley, Whitehall and Columbus Academy are no slouches either. There’s no easy league game in this conference. Whitehall is young but I love how hard Taylon Cofer plays. He’s the heart and soul of the team, but keep an eye on sophomore Royal Sibly. Bexley has a bunch of tough guards. Damian Davis and Ryan Callahan are the real deal. Columbus Academy is the sleeper, somehow. It’s almost as if they weren’t undefeated well into the new year a season ago. Chris Boyle and Dorrian Moultrie can play! Do they have enough depth to compete at the top end? We’ll find out.

  41. The MSL-Buckeye is another gauntlet. I love the makeup of this conference. I’m dedicated to seeing every team in this division this season. Amanda-Clearcreek has players, Teays Valley has players, Fairfield Union has players, Bloom-Carroll has players. Logan Elm has a great sophomore class. Remember the name Jason Sailor. He’s a ball player.

  42. Amanda-Clearcreek seems primed to make a run for a division title. They have seniors, experience and can defend like crazy. Will Riffle is also that dude. Look for them to be a team to beat in Division III.

  43. The MSL-Buckeye is Harvest Prep’s to lose. CJ Anthony is going to have a D3 Player of the Year season. I see the Warriors favored in double digits for every conference game they play this year. Fisher Catholic and Wellington should challenge them though.

  44. I absolutely love watching new players. I’m very happy with the job our staff has done with the prospect scouting reports and we hope you guys enjoy them. It makes going to obscure games on Wednesday night totally worth it. Seeing guys like Javion Williams of Briggs and Cole Crager of Grove City makes me excited. There’s talent all over this area. We just have to find it. And we will.

  45. I’m making a big effort to get out to rural areas this season. I have games at Mount Gilead, Newark Catholic, Logan Elm, Amanda-Clearcreek, West Jefferson and Buckeye Valley, among many others, on my list. I will not rest until every area of this region gets equal coverage. The city and suburbs get a lot of love but there’s guys who can play out in the sticks. Guys like Heath Jeffries of Newark Catholic, who scored 32 points against Crooksville on Monday, have game too.

  46. 270 Hoops has never been bigger than what it is right now. No matter how far we expand and grow, we will never lose sight of the original purpose of this all. We just want to make Central Ohio proud and create a platform bigger than what this area has ever had for its players. I think we’ve done a great job at doing that but there’s still so much more work to do. See you guys tomorrow night.

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