Ohio Valley Hoops Classic Recap: Nate Johnson, Max Land, Kionte Thomas shine

MASON, Ohio — The annual Ohio Valley Hoops Classic kicked off today and the event featured some top programs and prospects that the midwest has to offer. Let’s take a brief look at how the contests featuring Cincinnati teams played out.

Wilmington vs Licking Heights – Friday, 12:30 PM

Kicking things off for the OVHC was Wilmington taking on Licking Heights from the Columbus area. Senior guard Cam Coomer, the Hurricane’s top leading scorer a year ago, was the high point man in the contest with 21 points. Unfortunately for the Hurricane, the disparity in the second period was just too much to overcome as they outscored the Hornets in every other quarter and ended up falling short despite a last ditch effort, 68-61.

Results

Team1234T
Wilmington Hurricane187181861
Licking Heights Hornets1622131768

Winton Woods vs Roger Bacon – Friday, 2:15 PM

The first contest involving two area teams on Friday came when the Warriors and the Spartans went toe-to-toe in a game that took more than regulation to complete. Roger Bacon had their way with Winton Woods all game until the fourth quarter came about. The Warriors pressured the ball all the way up the floor and got some timely takeaways and defensive stops when they needed it most. They rode the hot hand of senior forward Aaron Ward (21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists), who put together the best performance of the contest, and were able to make up a 14 point deficit to send it to the extra period. However, it was the Spartans that got it done in the overtime period. The Roger Bacon trio of senior center Mason Cromer, senior forward Josiah McGee, and junior guard Marjoni Tate helped pave the way to the Spartans 62-57 victory.

Results

Team1234OTT
Winton Woods Warriors12131318157
Roger Bacon Spartans1718165662

Lakota East vs Taft – Friday, 4:00 PM

In a contest between two of the very best that Cincinnati has to offer, it was the Senators that initially got off to a good start in this one. However, once the second quarter arrived, it quickly turned into the Nate Johnson show for the better part of the game as the junior guard for Lakota East completely took over. The aggressive and attacking Johnson finished the contest with 28 points and shot almost 77% from the floor. The Thunderhawks also got solid contributions from sophomore guard Kobe Peck (12 points) and senior forward Alex Mangold (15 points, 11 rebounds). Despite a late run from Taft and senior forward Nekhi Smith, who finished with 18 points of his own, Lakota East was able to hang on and walk away victorious, 75-65.

Results

Team1234T
Lakota East Thunderhawks1126211775
Taft Senators199122565

Moeller vs Lutheran East – Friday, 5:45 PM

Coming into their regular season opener, on Friday, Moeller was looking to extend their 53-game winning streak against Lutheran East, who made the trek down from Cleveland. Despite a slow start for the Crusaders that resulted in just a two point advantage after the first quarter, it was their performance in the next two periods that pushed them out of reach from the Falcons. Moeller junior center Logan Duncomb (18 points, 13 rebounds) and senior guard Max Land (25 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) proved to be too much to handle in this one as the Crusaders rolled, 79-58.

Results

Team1234T
Moeller Crusaders1325192279
Lutheran East Falcons111462758

Mason vs Carmel (IN) – Friday, 7:30 PM

After waiting for the completion of four contests on Friday, it was finally time for the Comets to protect their own home floor against the Greyhounds. Mason senior forward Jack Cooper gave Carmen (IN) all they could handle with a line that featured 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists. The seesaw affair resulted in Mason being on the losing end of a tight contest as the opposition came in and defeated the Comets, 61-54. It was the Greyhounds ability to get to the charity stripe that was a deciding factor in this one.

Results

Team1234T
Moeller Crusaders1325192279
Lutheran East Falcons111462758

CHCA vs Fairland – Saturday, 11:15 AM

On Saturday, the OVHC got things started with Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy facing off against Fairland. The first half featured a tight one between the two programs. But in the end, Clayton Thomas‘ ability to knock down timely triples loomed large as the Dragons outpaced senior forward Billy Southerland (19 points) and the Eagles, 59-50.

Results

Team1234T
CHCA Eagles815111650
Fairland Dragons1312122259

Turpin vs Canal Winchester – Saturday, 1:00 PM

This was a contest that I feel was under appreciated at the event this weekend. It was a battle between the junior backcourt of Dominic Cantrella and Jackson Holt against the Indians duo of Cole Metzler and Bilal Sow. Both of the respective duos combined for 32 points in the game but it was the Spartans night thanks in part to some big buckets late by the aforementioned Cantrella to secure the victory, 57-51.

Results

Team1234T
Turpin Spartans1111161957
Canal Winchester Indians716121651

Hughes vs London – Saturday, 4:30 PM

One thing I personally was looking forward to on Saturday was getting a glimpse what Hughes had to offer against London and their star Trey Woodyard. It’s safe to say that the Big Red opened plenty of eyes in this one. Hughes was able to get the contributions from junior guard Camron Mckenzie and senior forward Anthony Felder, who spent last year at Shroder. But it was the clinic put on by senior guard Kionte Thomas that will be remembered in this one. Thomas torched the Red Raiders for 23 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists and would lead the Big Red to an impressive win, 67-53.

Results

Team1234T
Hughes Big Red1912201667
London Red Raiders713102353

Woodward vs Jeffersonville (IN) – Saturday, 6:15 PM

The capper for the Cincinnati area teams came in a contest that came down to the wire. Early on, it was all Jeffersonville (IN), as the Red Devils led by 12 after the first 8 minutes of action. Looking back, that was probably the difference in this one. The Bulldogs dug themselves in a hole thanks in part to the monsterous showing by senior forward Tre Coleman (Nevada commit) of Jeffersonville. All in all, I thought the ability for Woodward to handle adversity and claw their way back into the contest was impressive alone. Sophomore guard Paul McMillan IV led the Bulldogs with 20 points despite being on the short end of the 57-53 defeat.

Results

Team1234T
Woodward Bulldogs712112353
Jeffersonville (IN) Red Devils199171257

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