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Top Underclassmen Performers from the Battle of the Cities
by Jason Morrow, Future150 (1:14 PM CT, Fri October 31, 2014)
City Prep's Jerome Hunter is top dog in talented 2018 class
City Prep's Jerome Hunter is top dog in talented 2018 class
Jason Morrow
Jason Morrow:

Future150 National Editor/ Midwest Recruiting. Covering high and middle school basketball. OH,IN and IL.

COLUMBUS, OH (Future150) -- Last weekend in Columbus, some of the best players from all around the state came together for the annual All-Ohio Nike City Series, a competition between the major cities in Columbus to showcase their talent and put on a show. There were many great players in Reynoldsburg High School on Saturday and Sunday, and here is a list of the notable performers from the event:

Jerome Hunter (2018/City Prep): Touted by most as the top prospect in Columbus in 2018, Hunter showed why he deserved that praise all weekend long. The 6-foot-6 forward led his Columbus Red team to the title on Sunday, and dominated on both ends of the floor with a confidence that is rarely seen in players at this point in their development. Hunter is aggressive offensively, and with his athleticism he can finish at the rim with a smooth layup or throw it down with force.

Devon Baker (2018/Dayton Dunbar): There is never a shortage of talent coming from perennial-Division II power Dayton Dunbar, and Baker is certainly proof of that. The 5-foot-10 freshman has a strong presence about him when he has the ball in his hands, and in the open floor he is very versatile with the ability to either pull up and hit jump shots or take it to the rim with a great physicality. Playing at Dunbar, Baker will certainly grow into an even better player than he showed this weekend in Columbus.

Nelly Cummings (2017/Lincoln Park [PA]): Arguably the best scorer in the 2017 class this weekend was the Pittsburgh-native Cummings, knocking down shots from all around the court. In his first game on Saturday against the Dayton squad, Cummings knocked down three triples in the first half, including the buzzer-beater to end the frame, giving his team a commanding 53-39 lead. He would finish with 31 points and seven rebounds as his Columbus team cruised to a 110-81 victory.

Nathan Ward (2018/Gahanna): The 6-foot-3 Ward is the younger brother of top-100 player Nick, and he certainly has some of the tools of the 2016 power forward. One characteristic that he possesses is his ability to be scrappy around the rim, fighting for loose balls in the paint and definitely can step out and hit a mid-range jumper when he needs to as well.

Coryon Rice (2018/Stow): The 2018 class has plenty of talent all across Ohio, and Cleveland definitely has some very skilled players. Coryon Rice from Stow was a big-time performer for the Cleveland squad, and the first thing that was noticeable about his game was on the defensive end. Rice has extremely quick hands, forcing dribblers into many turnovers. After one steal in transition on Sunday, Rice showed off his court vision, throwing a long cross-court pass to a teammate for a quick layup.

Robert Brown (2017/Toledo St. John’s): Standing at 6-foot-5, the sophomore’s game quickly stood out on a solid team this weekend in Columbus. His height was not was stood out, as his 2017 Toledo team had plenty of height as four players stood at 6’5 or taller, but his game certainly did, as he used his lengthy frame to dominate at both ends. With his wingspan and athleticism, the 2017 forward had the ability to affect any play on the defensive end. The sophomore had solid post moves, and was able to finish around the rim with layups or tip-ins with ease, but can also step out and hit the occasional jump shot.

Griffin Lutz (2017/Athens): Playing on the Columbus A team, Lutz certainly showed he is one of the best players when it comes to attacking the rim in the half-court. The Athens HS guard has a very quick first step and had defenders on their heels before they were set. In an overall sense I was very impressed with his IQ of the game as well, as his knowledge of the game is certainly on par with his ability at this moment.

Myonne Turner (2018/Reynoldsburg): In the opening game of Saturday’s action, the 5-foot-6 Turner certainly showed that he has the tools to be a good point guard. Playing in his home gym, the shifty point guard displayed excellent ball handling abilities and was low to the ground, quickly moving around defenders and finding his open teammates. As Turner continues to develop and grow, he could become a solid point guard for the Raiders in the future.

Logan Swackhammer (2018/Unioto): Playing on the Columbus A team in the 2018 class, Swackhammer definitely was a key component on the championship team. The fearless 6-foot-1 guard showed his high motor, playing hard on each and every possession. His game is not just about the intangibles, as Swackhammer also showed his range, knocking down shots from outside with ease.

Other notable players: Sincere Carry (2018/Solon), Justin Johnson (2017/Cincinnati Roger Bacon), Caleb McConnell (2018/Dayton Dunbar), Darius Quisenbarry (2018/Tecumseh), Austen Yarien (2017/St. Ignatius), Will Yoakum (2017/Delaware Hayes).


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