COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In a game that started an hour and a half early, Beechcroft took care of business against Linden-McKinley before trekking down I-71 and watching Cougars alum and Youngstown State freshman Jelani Simmons take on Ohio State.
Forcing a litany of turnovers early, Beechcroft turned Linden’s offensive woes into transition points, leading to a 79-67 victory.
Beechcroft started the game off on the attack, forcing eight turnovers in the first two minutes of the game. That trend continued, leading to a good home win for the defending City League champions.
Davon Wooden (5’10 G / Beechcroft / 2020): Davon got the defensive intensity going early for the Cougars. He had an insane five steals within the first two minutes of play . Davon was able to turn his defense to offense finishing in transition. He also had some nice finishes in the half court. Wooden, an all-state defensive back, brings a toughness and edge to this Beechcroft team. He finished the night with 20 points, six rebounds, and seven steals.
Na’elle Simmons (6’7 F / Beechcroft / 2019): Simmons took advantage of his matchup as he dominated inside. Simmons is a lengthy athletic forward with some upside. He’s a kid with so much potential that we’ve been waiting for a breakout. He’s been off to a hot start, averaging 20.8 points per game so far. He finished right at that mark with 20 points, 11 rebounds and a block.
Chance Groce (6’5 WG / Linden / 2021): Chance picked and chose his spots being face guarded and double teamed constantly. Although he struggled from the perimeter he still had a good game. Groce got out in transition and at 6-foot-5 with great athleticism, he had no problems finishing at the rim. Chance was more efficient with his handle, using one or two moves to get past his defender and into the lane. Already receiving Division I interest, Groce will see his recruitment heat up even more if he is able to become a consistent perimeter threat. Groce finished the night with 17 points, four rebounds and a block.
Shamarion Rogers (6’1 W / Linden / 2021): Rogers caught my eye last year as a JV guy for Linden. He’s a lanky 6-foot-1 with an unbelievable motor and some nice athleticism. You can always find Shamarion all over the place, especially on defense. The sophomore is one to watch going forward. He finished with 11 points , six rebounds, three blocks and two steals.