With high school hoops playoff season in full swing, Matta's 2008 incoming freshmen continue to make their mark.
McDonalds All-American BJ Mullens of Canal Winchester led the Indians to the Division II Central District Championship with 19 points and 26 rebounds in a 63-51 win over Buckeye Valley. The game was televised locally and I was impressed with his ability to run the floor and his footwork on spin moves close to the basket. He wasn't as fluid when starting moves at 12+ feet but he's got a pretty sturdy frame and looks more comfortable with his back to the basket as opposed to facing up on defenders.
Canal (21-2) plays St. Paris Graham Local (24-0) for a shot at a regional championship tonight (6:15) in Dayton.
In other Division II action, Buckeye-to-be William Buford recorded 27 points, 8 boards and 5 steals in just three quarters of action against lowly Bryan. Buford put an exclamation point on his night with a dunk and three at the third quarter buzzer to put Toledo Libbey up 55-28.
The blowout gave Libbey (21-2) a birth in the regional final tonight (8pm) against Columbus Eastmoor Academy (20-2) in Bowling Green.
Buford earned Division II Player of the Year honors in addition to his previously noted selection to the McDonald's All-American squad.
On the East coast, point guard Anthony Crater led his Brewster Academy squad to the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class A championship and a berth in the National Prep Championships being held at Fordham University.
Brewster won their first tilt against American Christian getting 8 points from Crater but fell 103-92 to #1 seed Hargrave Military Academy last night. Unfortunately, my elementary 'net skills fell short of locating Crater's numbers.
The elite competition can only help Crater as he steps into the starting PG spot next season. Hopefully, The Lantern will bone up on their Noopy Knowledge before his arrival. A New Hampshire native? Survey says...X
Elsewhere, Walter Offutt says he's recovering nicely from a second torn ACL suffered last December but its hard to imagine he wont find himself behind Turner, Lighty, Diebler and Buford in the wing rotation in the early going. That said, it does sound like he's confident in his progress which is a good thing considering the mental hurdles of an injury and rehab can be as debilitating as the physical injury.