COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State High School championships were played this past weekend and, as usual, there was a lot of excitement and great basketball.
1. We are the champions
In the small school division (Division IV), New Madison Tri-Village defeated Canal Winchester Harvest Prep. Tri-Village was led by 6-foot-3 senior SG Colton Linkous (Ashland commit) with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Harvest Prep was led by PG/SG David Dennis (West Liberty commit) with 14 points. In Division III, Cleveland Villa Angela St. Joseph downed Lima Central Catholic. Villa Angela St. Joseph was led in scoring by 6-2 senior SG Brian Parker (Marist) with 17 points. Nortwestern commit Dererk Pardon added 15, and 6-9 Kansas commit Carlton Bragg added 12. Lima Central Catholic was led by 6-6 Jr. SF/PF Dantez Walton with 13. The Division II game featured upstart Defiance versus Cleveland Central Catholic. SF Katwan Singleton (Findlay) led Defiance with 18 while SG Antwon Lillard led CCC with 24. The big school (Division I) matchup featured Huber Heights Wayne against Westerville South. Wayne won the up-and-down affair behind 19 points from 5-11 senior PG/SG D'Mitrik Trice. Sophomore center Kaleb Wesson led Westerville South with 15 points.
2. Like father, like son(s)
As Huber Heights Wayne was winning the state title with D'Mitrik Trice leading them on the court and Travis Trice Sr. coaching them to victory, oldest son and big brother, Travis Trice Jr. was leading Michigan State to the Final Four. The Trice family has been running all over the country following Trice Jr. and handling the Wayne basketball team. Now they can all be together in Indianapolis as the Spartans take on Duke and continue their quest for a national championship. Quite a year for the Trice family.
3. Signed, sealed and committed
The Ohio State tournament featured a lot of big-time talents, many of which are signed/committed to various schools. 6-8 senior PF Xeyrius Williams (Huber Heights Wayne/Dayton), 6-6 senior PF Ahmad Wagner (Huber Heights Wayne/Iowa), 6-5 senior SF Katwan Singleton (Defiance/Findlay), 5-8 senior PG Amos (A.J.) Harris (Dayton Dunbar/Ohio State), 6-9 senior PF Carlton Bragg (Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph/Kansas commit), 6-7 senior PF Dererk Pardon (Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph/Northwestern), 6-2 senior SG Brian Parker (Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph/Marist), 6-1 senior SG/PG David Dennis (Canal Winchester Harvest Prep/West Liberty), 6-3 senior SG Colton Linkous (New Madison Tri-Village/Ashland), 6-2 senior SG Alan Vest (Dayton Chaminade-Julienne/Wright State) and 6-4 junior WG Trey Landers (Huber Heights Wayne/Dayton commit) round out the list.
4. Unsigned talent
There are a few hidden gems left around the country and a few played in the Ohio State Championship. Senior WF Kipper Nichols (Lakewood St. Edward), at 6-7, is a versatile forward that is skilled and gives great effort. He is a borderline high-major player that is going to make some coach very happy in the late signing period. SP/PG D'Mitrik Trice (Huber Heights Wayne) is a top-end shooter with a great basketball IQ. He is a combo guard that should find a home at the low- to mid-major level. Senior SG Antwon Lillard (Cleveland Central Catholic) is a solid athlete and a solid scorer that mid-major programs should be all over this time of year. PF Damion Cook (New Madison Tri-Village) is an undersized 4-man, at 6-3, but has a lot of toughness and productiveness. Senior PF Montel McRae is a great combination of size, length, athletic ability and skill. He is a bit of a project but the talent is unmistakable. He has enough of a package to at least play mid-major basketball.
5. Future stars
The future is bright in the state of Ohio. Junior SG Frankie Hughes (Garfield Heights) had 14 points and 11 rebounds in his semifinal loss to Westerville South. He is a skilled wing and a very good shooter. Junior SF/PF Willie Jackson (Garfield Heights) is a mid-range dynamo. He had 20 points and nine rebounds in the same loss, dominating inside the 3-point line. Kaleb Wesson (Westerville South) just might be the next big thing in Ohio as he averaged a double-double (16 & 10) in two tournament games. Junior PF Derek Funderburk (Lakewood St. Edward) has a lot of tools and a lot of talent. He will be a high-major recruit in the 2016 class. Junior PG Roderick Caldwell (Huber Heights Wayne) is the straw the stirs the drink for Wayne. He is at least a mid-major talent. SF Dantez Walton (Lima Central Catholic) is one of the most improved players in Ohio. Sophomore SG Ethan Linder (Haviland Wayne Trace) is a super small-school sleeper with a great upside while 6-6 Jr. WF Andre Wesson (Westerville South) is a skilled up and comer that should be a Midwest mid-major priority.