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Dawg Days Crowns Five Undefeated Champions
August 8, 2020
By Morgan Wenger
Tournament Director

The high school division continued its trend of having the most parity of all youth divisions in 2020. The Hooperz, highlighted by their opening game win against defending champion Details, were the only team to escape pool play unscathed. Channer Wells led the way against Details with 13 points while Jalen Wenger had 13 in a losing effort for Details. The defending champs righted the ship with three consecutive wins to advance to the semifinal round against the Tropics. The Tropics were no stranger to close games. All of their pool play games were decided by one basket. After surviving a quarterfinal scare against Winners, they forged out to a 26-16 lead against Details in the semifinals. A free throw by Zach Geiser (20 points) helped them fend off a ferocious rally from Details and clinch a spot in the championship game with a 30-26 win. Jalen Wenger led Details’ last-ditch effort at defending their championship with 20 points. The other side of the bracket saw Team 1 advance to the finals with a convincing 30-13 win over the previously unbeaten Hooperz squad. Carter Piatt and Jack Steiner scored 23 of their team’s 30 points in the triumph.

From Home Page The championship game saw Team 1, led by the hot shooting of Carter Piatt, blitz Tropics early to get out to a 13-0 lead. With their leading scorer, Zach Geiser, battling cramps on the sideline, the situation looked bleak for the Tropics. Ezra Miller came to the rescue for the Tropics in a big way. Miller scored inside and out as the Tropics forced their way back into the game. Geiser re-entered the game and provided support with his trademark sharpshooting. Miller clinched the 30-23 win, and the division title, with a long three pointer from the right wing. Miller led the Tropics with 16 points in the championship game. Carter Piatt had nine to lead Team 1. Details’ Jalen Wenger led the division in scoring with 17 points per game.

Although heavily populated with quality teams, the Young Bucks division turned into a collision course between two teams who went undefeated during pool play. Details earned the top seed on the bracket after defeating 4 Freshmen, Ohio Laces, and the Vikings. Ohio Laces gave them all they bargained for and more during their second pool play game. Brody Border exploded for 18 points for Ohio Laces in the back and forth affair. Not to be outdone, Braylon Wenger scored 21 for Details to lead them to the 30-25 win. The Generals also went undefeated during pool play by beating the Vikings, Ohio Gold, and Half Court Hoopers. The game against Half Court Hoopers was the most hotly contested of the three. Zane Conner led a balanced attack for Half Court Hoopers with 11 points while Ethan Hann simply took over for the Generals down the stretch. Hann scored an impressive 26 points to lead his team to a 30-28 victory.

This set the stage for some very competitive bracket play. Ohio Laces, with their only pool play loss coming to Details, had visions of a rematch with Details in the finals. Led by Owen Emig’s (14 points) sharpshooting from long distance, they were able to discard Half Court Hoopers in the quarterfinal round. This set up a semifinal showdown with the Generals. The matchup lived up to its billing, as the Generals overcame an early deficit to earn a hard fought 30-25 win. Details, on the other side of the bracket, were able to pull away late from Ohio Gold to claim their spot in the championship round with a 30-18 win. Josh Greer scored 10 points to lead Ohio Gold, while Braylon Wenger led a balanced Details attack with 11 points.

Behind some hot shooting early on, the Generals got out to an early 10-3 lead against Details. Facing their biggest deficit of the day, Details began to work their way back into the game behind the offensive prowess of Braylon Wenger and timely scoring from Kyrie Gaut and Ethan Stutz. Details took their first lead as the game reached the 20-point mark and pulled away to complete the 30-22 victory. Braylon Wenger scored the last of his game high 17 points on a free throw to seal the championship game win for Details. Ethan Hann finished his impressive day with seven points in the championship game for the Generals. Hann led the division in scoring with 18 points per game.

The 8th Grade division had several hotly contested games throughout the tournament. However, none of those close games included Northeast Elite. Northeast Elite rampaged their way to the championship without having a team reach 20 points against them. Their closest game of the day came in the semifinal round when the Bulls gave them their biggest challenge of the day. Luke Wolf scored 11 points for the Bulls, but it was not enough as Northeast Elite pulled away for the 30-18 win. Kaleb Platz led the winners with 12 points.

Bulldog Elite and Not Big both reached the bracket with only one loss. This set the stage for a competitive semifinal game. Bulldog Elite removed all doubt in this game early as Jerome Cox (13 points) and Jordan Harris (10 points) dominated in the 30-9 victory. Sammy Tomlinson led Not Big with four points in defeat. This set up Bulldog Elite with a chance to avenge their only loss of the day against Northeast Elite. In the opening round of pool play, Bulldog Elite fought the eventual champions hard before succumbing by a 30-17 score. Whereas Northeast Elite had balanced scoring in the first matchup between the two teams, Charlie Christopher was simply unstoppable in the championship game. He overwhelmed Bulldog Elite with 19 points to lead his team to the 30-14 clincher. Christopher was the division’s leading scorer at 11 points per game.

Gurus of Go won the Junior division in convincing fashion a year ago and had aspirations of winning the Biddy Ball division this year. Things got much tougher in a hurry this year as the defending champions found themselves in a dogfight with the Grizzlies right off the bat.  Behind Tyler Pappas’ 10 points, Gurus of Go was able to squeak out a thrilling 27-26 win. Grady Hughes led the Grizzlies with 10 points in defeat. OPA 2026 emerged as the division front runner early on as they posted 30-6 and 30-4 wins in their first two games. In what was almost certain to be the first of two matchups between the two, OPA 2026 defeated Gurus of Go 30-15 in their final pool play game.  Damere McClellan and David Thompson III combined for 26 of their teams’ 30 points in the victory.

Gurus of Go defeated Average Joe’s 30-19 in the semifinal round of bracket play to punch their ticket to the championship game. Tyler Pappas led a balanced Gurus of Go attack with 13 points while Conner Newell paced Average Joe’s with 11 points. OPA 2026 had their closest game to date in their rematch with the Grizzlies. After losing 30-4 in pool play, the Grizzlies gave a spirited effort against OPA 2026 this time around. In the end, Kodah Allen (12 points) and Damere McClellan (12 points) were just too much to handle as they led OPA 2026 to the 30-20 victory.

The championship game went back and forth as the game entered its midpoint. A Brady Lucey free throw cut the OPA 2026 lead to 14-12. From that point on, it was all OPA 2026 as they stormed to the finish line with a 16-4 run capped off by a Damere McClellan layup to finish off the 30-16 win. McClellan led the charge for the winners with 14 points while Kodah Allen added 11. Lucey scored 10 points in defeat for Gurus of Go. McClellan led the division in scoring at 13 points per game.

The Junior division was filled with a multitude of talent for the second year in a row. Big Orange Valley and Norwayne emerged from pool play with undefeated records. In one of the most competitive pool play games, Norwayne was able to hold off a talented Warriors squad 24-22. Jaxon Gasser (11 points) led the charge for Norwayne, outdueling Carter Hignight (10 points) of the Warriors.

This set the stage for what was sure to be extremely competitive bracket play. Norwayne opened bracket play with a convincing 30-6 victory over the Bobcats. Cade Leach and Braylon Arnold led the winners with 10 points each. The Warriors were able to eliminate the Defenders 21-20 to earn a rematch from their pool play battle with Norwayne. Carter Hignight and Jake Howman both scored seven points for the winners while Case McDaniel led his Defenders team with 8 points in defeat. Norwayne made quick work of the Warriors in the semifinal round as they racked up a 30-6 victory to advance to their anticipated matchup with Big Orange Valley in the finals. Carter Mellor scored 12 points to lead the way for Norwayne.

The championship game was very competitive in the early stages as Norwayne showed that they would be Big Orange Valley’s toughest game of the day. Braylon Arnold displayed his long-range marksmanship as he tried to keep Norwayne in the game. In the end, Big Orange Valley was simply too much as they overpowered Norwayne by the score of 30-17. Carter Myers and Eli Stumpf combined for 22 of their team’s 30 points in the championship game. Arnold paced Norwayne with eight points. Stumpf averaged 11 points per game to lead the division in scoring.

The Puppy division never seems to disappoint as the rising 3rd and 4th graders wage battles with each other. This year saw some notable talent in this division. All Ohio Red established themselves as the team to beat early on as they racked up convincing wins in all three of their pool play games. The closest of these games was against the Panthers. All Ohio Red had all four of their players score between six and eight points during the game as they took down the Panthers 26-10. Ty Wohlheter hit a couple of bombs in defeat for the Panthers on his way to scoring six points. Another riveting pool play game saw the Phenoms defeat Norwayne 16-12. DaJon McClellan led the way for the Phenoms with eight points in the game, outpacing his counterpart Cole Gasser (6 points) from Norwayne. CIX Direct was also able to secure a thrilling 19-18 win against the Panthers during pool play.  Caiden Soss led the way for CIX Direct with 10 points while the Panthers got six points each from Parker Simonson and Jett Rohr.

With this many close games during pool play, bracket play was sure to have more hard-fought contests. CIX Direct dispatched the Panthers 30-16 in the first round behind 20 points from the duo of Caiden Soss and Sam Schantz. Ty Wohlheter went down swinging as he scored 10 points in defeat for the Panthers. The Phenoms were able to pull away from Norwayne 30-16 in their rematch to earn a berth in the championship game. Dionte Clark-Walker led the Phenoms with nine points in the win while Cole Gasser paced Norwayne with a game high 12 points. All Ohio Red lived up to their top seed with a 30-16 win over CIX Direct in the other semifinal. Tyson Cornett exploded for 18 points in the contest while Quincy Balcomb-Pritchard chipped in 11 points for the winners. Caiden Soss and Xavier Babcock had six points each for CIX Direct. The Phenoms were ready to avenge their earlier loss against All Ohio Red in the finals. The game was very close in the early stages, but All Ohio Red was simply too much down the stretch. Quincy Balcomb-Pritchard had multiple finishes around the rim as his team finished off their 30-20 triumph. Norwayne’s Cole Gasser was the leading scorer in the division at 13 points per game.

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