The Central District high school boys basketball tournament remains about a month away, but 12 teams that expect to make postseason runs are about to get a sample of what’s to come.
Beginning at noon Jan. 27, the Jared Sullinger Ohio Scholastic Play by Play Classic will feature six games at Ohio Dominican.
Of the teams in attendance, all but one has a winning record and eight are ranked in their respective division of the area coaches poll.
Here’s a look at the matchups:
•Reynoldsburg vs. Westerville North, noon — The opening matchup features a Raiders team with one of central Ohio’s top inside players against a Warriors squad with one of the area’s best backcourts.
Senior post player Tre Williams averages 18.5 points for the Raiders, who are 10-5 heading into their matchup Jan. 26 at Grove City.
Junior point guard Jeremiah Keene and senior shooting guard Julius Brown average 16.5 and 14 points, respectively, for the Warriors, who are 12-3 heading into a matchup Jan. 26 against Olentangy. North is sixth in the Division I area coaches poll.
•Dublin Coffman vs. Olentangy Liberty, 1:45 p.m. — One of the area’s top scorers will lead Liberty against a Coffman team that is ranked second in the Division I area poll.
Junior guard Ben Roderick averages 24.5 points for Liberty, which is 8-6 heading into a matchup Jan. 26 at Westerville South.
Coffman is 13-2 as it prepares to play Westland on Jan. 26. Guard Dominiq Penn averages 17.5 points and is perhaps central Ohio’s most polished sophomore. Senior forward Nick Carlson averages 11.5 points.
•Africentric vs. Gahanna, 3:30 p.m. — In the area polls, the Nubians are fourth in Division III and the Lions are fifth in Division I.
Gahanna, which is 12-2 heading into its game Jan. 26 against Pickerington North, has three players averaging between 13 and 14 points in senior guard Chase Rankin and junior guards Elijah Thomas and Josh Corbin.
Senior guard Tre Baumgardner averages 17.5 points and senior post player Jah Bennett averages 15 for the Nubians, who are 10-4. Baumgardner has committed to Minnesota State and Bennett has committed to Kentucky State.
•Newark vs. Northland, 5:15 p.m. — Led by senior forward J.T. Shumate, a Walsh signee, Newark has emerged as a Division I district title contender and is eighth in the area poll.
Shumate averages 22.5 and senior point guard Antonio Watson averages 12.5 for the Wildcats, who are 13-2 heading into their game Jan. 26 at Franklin Heights.
Northland, which is 9-5 as it prepares to face Whetstone on Jan. 26, features a pair of talented guards in senior Jejuan Weatherspoon and junior William Mfum. Both average 16 points.
•Hilliard Bradley vs. Pickerington Central, 6:45 p.m. — Bradley is 11-1 and ranked third in the Division I area poll.
Central was expected to be among the district’s top teams but has played all season without junior point guard Jeremiah Francis, a North Carolina recruit who has been recovering from a left knee injury. The Tigers are 6-7 heading into their game Jan. 26 against Lancaster and are led by senior forward Adrian Nelson, a Detroit Mercy recruit who averages 11.5 points.
Senior forward Isaiah Speelman and sophomore guard Matt Allocco both average more than 14 points for the Jaguars.
•Eastmoor Academy vs. Upper Arlington, 8:30 p.m. — The finale pits Eastmoor, which is second in the Division II area poll, against a UA team that is fourth in Division I.
Senior guard Dane Goodwin, a Notre Dame recruit who averages 23.5 points, and junior wing player Max Martz, who averages 14.5 points, lead the Golden Bears.
Eastmoor senior guard Taevion Kinsey has offers from several mid-major Division I programs, including Akron, Marshall and Ohio University, and averages 18.5 points.