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Akron Beacon Journal

OHSAA boy basketball state tournament: A look at Buchtel, Hoban, and how they got to Dayton

By Michael Beaven, Akron Beacon Journal,


Akron will be well represented in the Ohio High School Athletic Association boys basketball state tournament this weekend with Buchtel and Archbishop Hoban set to compete at University of Dayton Arena.

As expected, Buchtel and Hoban are playing their best ball at the absolute best time of the season in cutting down the nets the past two weeks as district and regional champions. Hoban takes a 10-game win streak into the Division I state tournament. Buchtel brings a seven-game win streak into the Division II state tournament.

Both teams are led by a coach who is an alum. Rayshon Dent graduated from Buchtel in 1986. T.K. Griffith graduated from Hoban in 1989.

Here's more on each team, as well as who else will join them in the Division I and II final fours:

Who starts for the Buchtel boys basketball team?

Buchtel features a starting lineup with seniors Khoi Thurmon, Amire Robinson, Marcel Boyce Jr. and Jayden Maxwell and sophomore Stevie Diamond.

  • Thurmon is Buchtel’s leading scorer at 19.1 points, 4.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game. Thurmon is a Purdue Fort Wayne basketball recruit.
  • Boyce, a Wayne State football recruit, is averaging 14.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
  • Robinson, a Nevada basketball recruit, is at 13.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
  • Maxwell is averaging 7.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.
  • Diamond is contributing 4.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. Diamond has started the past three games after being a reserve.

Buchtel’s reserves are juniors Diaire Pride Jr., Qi’Marreon Marks, Dakota Taylor and Damien Johnson; seniors Tajh Poole and Marques Turner; sophomores Arman Gable and Demetrice Coates and freshman Mal’si Pearson. Pride is averaging 5.2 points and 2.3 assists per game.

Marcel Boyce Jr. tears it up during Buchtel basketball's winning streak

Boyce is averaging 23.7 points per game in Buchtel’s seven-game win streak, which began with a win over East in the City Series postseason championship game. Here's a look at his last seven games:

  • 24 points vs. East
  • 31 points vs. Canton McKinley
  • 19 points vs. Bedford (sectional)
  • 20 points vs. Bay Village (district)
  • 22 points vs. VA-SJ (district)
  • 21 points vs. Chaney (regional)
  • 29 points vs. Gilmour Academy (regional)

More on Marcel Boyce Jr.:Buchtel's Marcel Boyce Jr. brings 'tenacious attitude' to basketball court just like dad

Who starts for the Hoban boys basketball team?

The Hoban starting lineup consists of seniors Will Scott Jr., Andrew Griffith and Logan Vowles, junior Jonas Nichols and freshman Sam Greer.

  • Nichols is Hoban’s leading scorer at 16.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game and is receiving plenty of college interest.
  • Scott is averaging 14.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game this season.
  • Griffith led Hoban in scoring in a district final win over Nordonia with 15 points. He is averaging 6.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.
  • Vowles is averaging 8.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.
  • Greer is contributing 5.1 points and 4.1 rebounds. He joined the starting lineup in the middle of January.

Hoban’s reserves are seniors Colin Coyne, Lamar Sperling, Brody Franjesh, I’vante “Mookie” Barclay and Nate Korwin; juniors Joey Hardman and Josh Greer, and sophomores James McCarthy and Kamran Ensley.

Jonas Nichols, Will Scott Jr. each capable of big scoring nights for Hoban basketball

Scott and Nichols have been one of Northeast Ohio's best one-two scoring punches all season, so it's no surprise they've continued doing it in the postseason.

Scott has used the tournament to show opponents (and some college coaches) he can fill it up. He put 27 points on St. Edward in the regional semifinal. He dropped a career-high 30 on Massillon in a sectional final win.

Nichols had his own 27-point tournament game. He scored 27 to lead Hoban to a district semifinal win over GlenOak, which had beaten Hoban earlier in the season. In the regional final, Nichols led the way with 18 points against Walsh Jesuit.

Ohio's Mr. Football Lamar Sperling plays basketball, too, for Hoban

Lamar Sperling scored touchdowns at a stunning rate last fall, leading the Knights to a Division II state runner-up finish. He earned Ohio's Mr. Football award for setting a state record with 59 TDs. The Buffalo football recruit does not fill up the scoresheet in hoops, but he finds ways to make contributions.

Buchtel basketball OHSAA tournament scores

  • Buchtel 72, Bedford 43 (sectional)
  • Buchtel 83, Bay Village 41 (district)
  • Buchtel 70, Villa Angela-St. Joseph 44 (district)
  • Buchtel 62, Youngstown Chaney 56 (regional)
  • Buchtel 71, Gilmour Academy 55 (regional)

Hoban basketball OHSAA tournament scores

  • Hoban 71, Massillon 40 (sectional)
  • Hoban 81, GlenOak 46 (district)
  • Hoban 58, Nordonia 44 (district)
  • Hoban 44, St. Edward 40 (regional)
  • Hoban 56, Walsh Jesuit 37 (regional)

Who is playing in the OHSAA boys basketball state tournament in Division II

Buchtel (21-6) plays Columbus Bishop Ready (28-0) in the second game of the tournament at 2 p.m. Friday. The first semifinal, at 10:45 a.m., features Lutheran West (24-3) and Dayton Chaminade Julienne (26-2).

Friday's winners return at 10:45 Sunday morning to play for the title.

Buchtel boys basketball wins regional:'A great moment': :Led by Marcel Boyce Jr., the Griffins advance to the state final four

Buchtel basketball tournament run:Marcel Boyce Jr. leads Buchtel to win over Chaney in OHSAA basketball regional semifinal

Who is playing in the OHSAA boys basketball state tournament in Division I

Hoban (24-3) plays Toledo St. John’s (19-9) in the 8:30 p.m. semifinal Saturday. The other semifinal, at 5:15, features Centerville (25-3) and Pickerington Central (23-5).

Saturday's two winners return for the title game at 8:30 Sunday night.

Hoban boys basketball wins regional:'We are not done yet': Led by Jonas Nichols, the Knights beat Walsh and are headed to the state final four

Hoban basketball tournament run:Will Scott Jr. leads Hoban to win over St. Edward in OHSAA basketball regional semifinal

Have Buchtel or Hoban won an OHSAA state championships in boys basketball

Hoban won the Division III state championship in 1989 and also played in the state tournament in 1998.

Buchtel is seeking its first state championship after also making the state tournament in 2019, 1997, 1940, 1939, 1938 and 1936. The 1997 Griffins were the Division II state runner-up.

Michael Beaven can be reached at mbeaven@thebeaconjournal and is on Twitter at @MBeavenABJ.

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