St. Francis Summer League Article

July 23, 2015
Toledo Prospects Gaining the Attention of College Coaches
·         2016 G Gabe Kynard of Toledo St. Johns High School has long been thought of as one of the better guards the city of Toledo has to offer, regardless of class. Now approaching his senior season Kynard is starting to gain the attention of college programs and will continue to do so until his recruitment ultimately lands with a commitment. Kynard reports the latest interest coming from Wheeling JesuitLake ErieOhio Dominican, and UNC-Pembroke. He also informed that he will complete the AAU season playing with a talented All-Ohio Black team.
·         2016 PG Ricky Lightner of Holland Springfield High School is one of a number of quality point guards in his respective class in the city of Toledo. Known for his flashy style and pesky style of play, Lightner has began to gain attention from a handful of college programs while playing for a solid Hidden Gems Northwest AAU squad this summer. He currently reports interest from Alabama-HuntsvilleSouthwesternLake Erie, and Colgate.
·         2016 F Montrece Collins of Toledo Whitmer High School reports interest from Wayne StateGrand Valley StateFindlayHigh Point, and Stone Hill College. Collins will arguably be the top post prospect in the city, and looks to lead a talented and rejuvenated Whitmer squad to a very successful upcoming season.
·         2016 PG Cameron Copeland of Toledo Rogers High School has reported interest from AshlandFindlayFairmont StateWayne State, as well as Longwood Universities. Copeland is highly thought of by many and is considered to be Toledo's top prospect in his respective class.


On Tuesday, June 23, 2015 11:49 AM, Ethan Knopp <> wrote:

Host Program Takes Crown As St. Francis Summer League Concludes
The 2015 St. Francis Summer League concluded last night in a single elimination tournament to determine the champion. After all was said and done, it was the host school Toledo St. Francis that was crowned champion and deservedly so as they knocked off some very talented teams consecutively. They would beat Bedford (MI), Bowsher, Scott, and Anthony Wayne to shock virtually everyone who had followed the league over the past month.
It was the 2/3 zone that worked wonders for St. Francis on Monday night and they probably owe their tournament run to the problems that it created for their opponents all evening long. That, along with their solid guard play and the ability to stretch the floor with the three point shot made them unbeatable on the final night of the summer league.
There were a number of close games on Monday that provided plenty of entertainment for the nice sized crowd that was on hand all night, however none was perhaps better than Springfield and Scott who matched up in a quarterfinal game. In a game featuring a number of the best guards in the area (Banks/Green for Scott, Lightner/Durden for Springfield) it was the play of one particular big man that determined the games outcome. For Scott nobody played bigger than Jay Wells all game, and all evening long. The big fella, with the feathery touch from the outside, and the footwork of a D1 lineman on the football field, was a bully in the paint. When he wants to get to the rim, or wants to grab a rebound on either end, there are very few in the area that can stop him. In this particular game, senior guard Mason Durden single handedly kept Springfield in the game, even getting them a one point lead with seconds remaining. However, it was Scott's Wells who would convert a huge 'and one' to give Scott the one point victory in the end.
The Summer League proved to be a big opportunity for many teams in the area and it became clear week to week that most used it to improve and take positive steps in the right direction as we move forward into July and the final month of AAU. The champion St. Francis visibly got better, as did teams like Anthony Wayne, Toledo Christian, Scott, and Start among others. Many individuals used the opportunity to show that their names would be heard this coming winter, some of those include: Jay Wells, Chance Hawkins, Larry Green, and Carl Banks of Scott; Mason Durden of Springfield; Hunter Sieben of Ottawa Hills; Deonte Henderson of Start; Keith McClure Jr. of Toledo Christian; Jalen Elliott, Delonte Brown, and Rob Brown of Bowsher; while Alontay Gould proved he could be an impact transfer for St. Francis, as did Ki'Shawn Syph for Start.
All in all, the St. Francis Summer League was generally a step in the right direction for Toledo basketball, and another step towards what could potentially be a special and exciting upcoming High School season in the area.

On Tuesday, June 16, 2015 8:07 PM, Ethan Knopp <> wrote:

St. Francis Summer League - Week 3
The third week of the St. Francis Summer League took place Monday night and was the final regular evening of play as the League ends next week with a Tournament format. It is becoming clear some teams and players are using the opportunity to improve, while others aren't so much. Here is what stood out on the third night of the League:
Scott High School looks ready to surprise some people in the City League and throughout the area this upcoming season. Many are counting them out as they lost a solid senior bunch and First Team All-Ohio guard Chris Darrington (now at JUCO powerhouse Vincennes). However, last night the Scott backcourt looked to be in good hands with senior to be Larry Green sliding over from the point guard position to the two guard where Darrington relished a season ago. Taking over the reigns for the Dogs will be sophomore Carl Banks, an undersized but gifted player that saw limited action as a freshman at the varsity level last season. Green looks very comfortable at the two guard position, one which could be argued is his more 'natural' position. He was knocking down outside shots with consistency last night, getting out in transition for some easy scores at the rim, and being a disruptive defender. Banks will bring a better court awareness to the lineup as he can handle the ball well enough to deal with virtually any ball pressure thrown his way, while setting up teammates. Mix in big bruiser Jay Wells, a 6'2" forward in a football players body, and bouncy wing Chance Hawkins, and the reigning City League Champions shouldn't surprise anyone if they end up close to the top once again.
Springfield High School is literally developing a team chemistry right before the audiences eyes in this League thus far and Week 3 was more of the same. Ricky Lightner who will be asked to carry the point guard duties looked the part of a capable scorer but must get stronger around the rim. Mason Durden was the most impressive for Springfield throughout as he was hitting outside shots at an improved rate, playing under control, and he carried a poise that his team certainly could use in the coming months. A more than capable slasher to the basket, Durden has the potential to pick up a lot of the scoring left on the table with the departure of Bowling Green State University signee Demajeo Wiggins. Springfield has been known as of late to play more guard oriented, for better or worse, and this coming season they will truly need to do just that. However, with guards like Lightner and Durden bringing a wealth of experience and with the help of a few other solid pieces that return, they should see a nice deal of success this upcoming season.
Ottawa Hills has been one of the more successful small school programs in Ohio throughout the past few seasons, even producing a handful of D1 players at the next level. While this team doesn't look to have the firepower to experience the success of teams past; they may just have another D1 prospect in combo guard Hunter Sieben. He is special with the basketball in his hands, and can just about create a shot for himself on every possession. While his outside shot was off for the majority of play last night, he showed he can knock it down with ease at times and has great rotation on the ball. The clear leader of the team only as a soon to be junior, Sieben has many of the tools to produce at the D1 level someday.  

On Wednesday, June 10, 2015 12:10 AM, Michael Duncan <> wrote:

Thank you, will post tomorrow.
I owe you $20.00

Sent from my iPad

On Jun 9, 2015, at 8:34 PM, Ethan Knopp <> wrote:

The second week of the St. Francis Summer League took place last night at Toledo St. Francis High School; as anticipated the basketball this time was much improved from the week before. Here are my observations from the evening:
Toledo Christian senior point guard Keith McClure Jr. showed flashes that make me believe he can be one of the best in the area this coming season. The coaches son sees the floor well and does a nice job of setting up teammates. Correct decision making every possession should be a priority area of improvement. A very disruptive defender, who carries himself with a certain swagger on the court make him a fun one to watch and one to keep an eye on for the upcoming season. McClure would be a quality get for one of the many area D3 programs in Ohio or Michigan.
Start High School was without their clear leader in senior Deonte Henderson for Week 1, but they had him back this time around and what a difference it made. Running the point for the majority of the night Henderson showed maturation on the court and made the right play more times than not. One who needs to be respected as one of the better scorers in Toledo, Henderson forces the defense to be disciplined allowing his teammates to get open looks at the rim and from the outside.
Rossford was probably the most impressive team in Week 2 in the games I was able to see. While most basketball minds in the area would be hard-pressed to name one guy on their roster, it is their teamwork and disciplined style of play that make them tough to beat. With some good size on the block and a nice cast of capable scorers from the perimeter Rossford will once again rely heavily on the three point shot. They did a really nice job of playing 'inside out' on Monday nightwhich is what they will need to do to get the most out of their team offensively. Transition defense will be a point of emphasis for this team while they do a pretty nice job in the half court. Look for this to be an improved basketball from last season.

On Wednesday, June 3, 2015 9:19 AM, Michael Duncan <> wrote:

Posted the article, I can pay on weekly, 2 weeks or monthly. Thank you. 

Sent from my iPad

On Jun 2, 2015, at 12:17 PM, Ethan Knopp <> wrote:

Monday night kicked off the Toledo St. Francis Summer League, the league will be played on Monday evenings throughout June ending in a tournament in its final week. Fourteen teams make up the league; Scott, Waite, Ottawa Hills, Rossford, Springfield, St. Francis, Toledo Christian, Bowsher, Genoa, Start, Central Catholic, Northwood, Anthony Wayne, and Bedford (MI). 
On the opening night I was able to see Bowsher, Start, Scott, Toledo Christian, Bedford, and St. Francis. Here's what stood out to me:
By now everyone knows the potential of Bowsher's two studs in Delonte and Rob Brown, each of who should find their way onto a D1 roster at the next level. Both owned the game I was able to catch in transition, and Rob was a man down in the paint corralling rebounds with force and taking opponents to the rim with ease. However, the X Factor for them this season may be fellow junior Jalen Elliott. Elliott, who stands around 6'3" will be a huge asset from them out on the perimeter. He showed flashes last season of what he could do, catching fire from deep and scoring in a flurry. Last night he had a high motor, was in tune defensively in a setting where defense usually lacks, and took the ball to the basket a time or two. The key between a good and great season for Bowsher will probably fall on the point guard position as they lack a true ball handler. It is extremely early still so we will see how that plays out in the coming weeks. 
Start was without the player who many believe they will have to rely on the most in Deonte 'DBo' Henderson, but a transfer stole the show for them last night in his absence. Ki'shawn Syph, who saw limited action this past season for Scott, will be making the switch to Start, and he looks to be right up their with Henderson as their go to guy. Syph was all over the place on both ends, causing turnovers, and getting to the rim. He showed off a pretty consistent jump shot as well. It doesn't look like he and Henderson will have much help this season but the duo should be good enough to pick up some W's. 
Chance Hawkins will be a name that should burst onto the season in the upcoming season for Scott. The bouncy athletic forward looked in form last night and should have an All-City League season on the horizon. Expect him to become a highly sought after JUCO prospect in the coming months.
Toledo Christian, while not having a standout or particular go to player just yet, looks to have quite a few pieces that will allow them to compete and have success in their league of smaller schools. Fundamentals and togetherness will be the key for TC as they continue to move in the right direction as a program. 
St. Francis looked out of sorts in the time I got to see them. Having lost Dontay Ellison to graduation, and senior Devon Beale to transfer (Whitmer), St. Francis saw virtually their two best players walk out the door and now must discover a new identity. They have some size and some guards that see the floor adequately, but it is easy to see they have some work to do in the coming weeks and months leading up to the season.

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