Central Ohio High School Sports Awards: Finalists announced for Super 12 boys basketball

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Central Ohio High School Sports Awards

The ThisWeek Super 12 boys basketball team consists of players who bring a wide array of skills to the court.

All the honorees are finalists to be named Captain – our boys basketball Athlete of the Year. That honor will be announced during the Central Ohio High School Sports Awards online show at 8 p.m. June 30.

Finalists should register at sportsawards.usatoday.com/centralohio. Bios for previous honorees are available by clicking on the H.S. Sports Awards link at ThisWeekSPORTS.com.

Next week, we’ll announce the Winter Coaches of the Year.

Below is the Super 12 for boys basketball:

Tasos Cook

Tasos Cook, Westerville Central 

With this 6-foot-2 senior guard leading the way, Central advanced to its first state tournament. 

Cook, a Stetson commit, was named district and OCC-Ohio Division Player of the Year and first-team all-state in Division I. He averaged 19.5 points and 5.3 rebounds, helping Central go 23-3, and finished with 1,016 career points. 

He scored his 1,000th point in a 51-42 win over Cleveland St. Ignatius in a state semifinal. The Warhawks lost to Centerville 43-42 in the final.

In the regional final, Cook hit a half-court shot at the buzzer to beat Gahanna 45-44. 

“With the maturity, leadership and growth Tasos has developed the last three years, there is no wonder why he was so productive his senior season,” coach Kevin Martin said. “He has a relentless work ethic and is always working to be better.”

Casey George

Casey George, Pickerington North

George, a 6-0 senior point guard, averaged 18.4 points and 2.4 steals as the Panthers had their second consecutive Division I district runner-up finish.

George was named first-team all-OCC-Ohio and second-team all-district as North finished 13-6 overall and 7-3 in the league. George started each of the past two seasons and saw considerable playing time as a sophomore, a stretch in which the Panthers went 57-16.

“Casey George was the heart and soul of our team,” coach Jason Bates said. “Playing multiple positions on offense and defending all five positions, Casey’s leadership and toughness led us to a district (final) for a third straight season. He consistently scored and defended at an elite level in one of the toughest (leagues) in the area.”

Jaiden Guice

Jaiden Guice, Westerville South 

This 6-0 senior guard helped lead the Wildcats to a share of the OCC-Capital title. 

Guice, a Shawnee State commit, averaged a team-high 19.2 points and was first-team all-league, second-team all-district and honorable mention all-state. 

“Jaiden is an elite shooter with great range,” coach Ed Calo said. “He’s one of those guys who has a knack to score. He is a young man who was born to be a Wildcat. You could see how important it was to wear red and white by his effort.” 

The Wildcats reached a Division I district semifinal, losing to Hilliard Bradley 41-37 to finish 11-3 overall. They finished 8-2 in the OCC-Capital and shared the league title with Worthington Kilbourne (12-2) by virtue of the teams splitting two league contests. 

Henry Hinkle

Henry Hinkle, Olentangy Liberty 

After being a contributor in 2018-19 when Liberty reached the Division I state tournament for the first time, Hinkle was named OCC-Buckeye Player of the Year as a junior. 

This winter, the 6-0 senior guard was first-team all-OCC-Central and all-district and special mention all-state as the Patriots won a district title and went 20-6. 

Hinkle, an Ohio Wesleyan commit, led Liberty in scoring average (14.5), assists (4.6), steals (2.1) and free-throw percentage (85.0). 

He scored his 1,000th career point in a 65-51 victory over DeSales on Feb. 17 and finished with 1,066. 

“He had a super senior year as our leader and most consistent scorer,” coach Greg Nossaman said. “He hit some big free throws late in close games (and was) the centerpiece to our program the last two years.” 

Sean Jones

Sean Jones, Gahanna Lincoln 

Already a 1,000-point scorer as a junior, this 5-10 guard earned a trifecta of first-team honors this winter: all-state, all-district and all-OCC-Ohio.

Jones, who will enter his senior season with 1,124 career points, averaged 17 points, 4.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals as the Lions went 22-3 and were Division I regional runners-up.

He became the sixth player in program history to surpass 1,000 points.

“Sean really elevated his overall point-guard play this season,” coach Tony Staib said. “Yes, he can get buckets with the best of them, but he was a tremendous coach on the floor this season, making the guys around him better understanding time and score and doing all the little things a point guard does to win games and elevate his team.” 

D.J. Moore

D.J. Moore, Worthington Christian 

Moore, a 6-4 guard, earned Division III district Player of the Year and first-team all-state honors. 

A junior who is graduating early to begin his college career at Liberty, Moore averaged 17.5 points as the Warriors went 28-2 and earned a state runner-up finish. They lost 61-56 to Cleveland Heights Lutheran East in the state final. 

Moore finished his prep career with 1,333 points, 377 rebounds, 382 assists and 195 steals. 

“In my experience as a coach, very few players are willing to take coaching the way he did for me,” coach Kevin Weakley said. “In addition to his desire to be coached, he has an elite work ethic to go along with a competitive spirit that can lead teammates to heights they didn’t know they were capable of reaching.” 

Keaton Norris

Keaton Norris, Hilliard Bradley

Behind the leadership and all-round play of this 5-11 senior point guard, Bradley captured its fifth league championship in a row and third Division I district title in four seasons.

Norris, a Wright State signee, led the Jaguars in scoring (17.8 points), assists (4.0) and 3-point percentage, making 55-for-125 for 44.0 percent. He also averaged 5.9 rebounds.

He was second-team all-state, first-team all-district and OCC-Central Player of the Year.

“As Keaton developed physically, you saw his game just take off,” coach Brett Norris said of his son. “He’s worked hard, and he is a player who has earned everything he has gotten.” 

Bradley finished 18-5, losing to Westerville Central 56-44 in a regional semifinal.

Darius Parham

Darius Parham, Ready 

The starting quarterback for the Silver Knights’ football team the last two seasons and a four-year letterwinner in basketball, Parham is a 6-2 senior guard who has committed to play basketball for Concord. 

He averaged 18.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals this winter as Ready finished 12-7. 

He was first-team all-CCL and all-district and third-team all-state in Division III, closing his prep career with 1,292 points. 

“Darius has been a serious anchor for our program,” coach Tony Bisutti said. “While his scoring abilities are obvious, he has done so much more. His playmaking and rebounding often go unnoticed to the casual observer. His combination of skill and natural athletic ability makes him one of the most talented players I’ve coached.” 

Ian Schupp

Ian Schupp, Worthington Kilbourne  

This 6-5 senior wing player was a key factor in the Wolves’ breakout season.

He averaged a team-best 17.1 points and 8.0 rebounds as Kilbourne finished 17-5 overall and won the first league title in program history with a 12-2 record in the OCC-Capital. 

Schupp, who is undecided on whether he will play basketball in college, was named OCC-Capital Player of the Year, first-team all-district and third-team all-state. 

Coach Tom Souder said Schupp was the first player in program history to earn league Player of the Year honors.

“Ian Schupp is an outstanding basketball player,” Souder said. “He created a difficult matchup for every opponent. His skill set and strength separate him from a lot of players. He is also an outstanding young man.” 

Ajay Sheldon

Ajay Sheldon, Dublin Coffman 

Sheldon developed into one of central Ohio’s top all-around guards as a junior, averaging a program-record 23.5 points to go along with 4.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 steals. 

Sheldon, who is 6-1, was first-team all-OCC-Central and all-district and third-team all-state in Division I as the Shamrocks went 12-7. 

He’ll enter his senior season with 682 career points. 

“Ajay had one of the most impressive offensive seasons in school history,” coach Jamey Collins said. “We turned the keys over to him after the first few games and let him run our offense. His ability to see the next play and pass is what separates him. He has always been a great passer and this season his ability to score caught up with his ability to create shots for others.” 

Jalen Sullinger

Jalen Sullinger, Thomas Worthington 

This 5-11 senior point guard was the centerpiece of a team that enjoyed a 15-game winning streak before finishing 18-5 overall. 

Sullinger averaged 18.1 points and 3.1 rebounds and led the Cardinals with 32 steals. He finished his career as Thomas’ all-time leading scorer with 1,310 points.

A Kent State commit, he earned first-team all-league and all-district honors, as well as second-team all-state recognition. 

“Jalen was obviously a huge reason for our program’s success the past three seasons,” coach Sean Luzader said. “Not only was he our leading scorer but he was a coach on the floor, a strong leader and became a very good defender.” 

Thomas won the OCC-Cardinal at 10-0.

Desmond Watson

Desmond Watson, DeSales

Watson, a 6-5 senior guard and Davidson recruit, finished his prep career as the Stallions’ all-time leading scorer and led them to a Division II state runner-up finish.

Watson averaged 24.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists and graduates with 1,722 points. He was named first-team all-CCL and all-state and district Player of the Year as DeSales went 19-8, winning its second consecutive district championship and losing to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 72-50 in the state final.

“He is the best player in the history of our school and our school has an illustrious tradition,” coach Pat Murphy said. “He’s the best, and everyone knows that. It’s not even a debate. It’s about so many things, great parents and a great work ethic. He works hard for everything.”

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