EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the eighth in a series of articles on the second annual Ohio Valley Hoops Classic, Nov. 27-28 at Wilmington College’s Fred Raizk Arena. Twenty teams from around the area will converge on the WC campus to compete in this year’s event.
Indianapolis Park Tudor vs Mansfield Senior, 4:30 p.m. Saturday
Indianapolis Park Tudor is in the midst of one of the most dominant runs in the history of Indiana High School Basketball. The Panthers have won four of the last five Indiana Div. II state championships, including the past two years.
The Mansfield Tygers are sixth on the all-time wins list for Ohio High School basketball, so to say that this is a matchup of teams with storied basketball traditions would be an understatement.
Former Wright State coach Ed Schilling won the first two state championships for Park Tudor in 2011 and 2012. Current coach Kyle Cox has guided the Panthers to back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015. During the run, Park Tudor has produced several Div. 1 players including Yogi Ferrell at Indiana, Travon Bluiett at Xavier and Bryce Moore at Western Michigan.
But, the most highly-regarded prospect yet may be current 6-10 junior, Jaren Jackson Jr. Jackson, whose father starred at Georgetown and went on to a long NBA career, already has a Who’s Who offer sheet, including such teams as Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Xavier and a host of others.
And, most recruiting experts feel the list will grow longer as Jackson progresses. And, Jackson isn’t the only D-I prospect on this year’s squad. Point guard and fellow junior Kobe Webster currently owns offers from Ball State and Cornell.
In spite of Park Tudor’s resume, don’t expect coach J.T. Reese and his Mansfield Tygers to run and hide. The Tygers were an Ohio Div. I Elite 8 team in 2014 and finished last season 18-6 with a victory over the Dunbar Wolverines.
Mansfield returns an All-Ohio player of their own in 6-1 guard Mario Young, who led the team in scoring last season with 17 points per game. The Tygers also have a budding star in 6-5 wing David Hall who averaged 9 points per game last season.
This is truly a game of two teams used to winning basketball games. Jackson will be the best player on the court, and arguably he is the most highly-regarded player in the entire event. Webster is a D-I talent at point guard. The rest of the Park Tudor team is young, though talented.
Mansfield is used to playing high level talent and the Tygers will challenge Park Tudor with an aggressive, in your face style of defense. Young and Hall are exceptional athletes capable of playing with anyone. It should be an outstanding game and one that will likely attract numerous college scouts.