Hometown stars on display at 20th Flyin’ to the Hoop

This weekend’s prime-time games at the 20th Beacon Orthopaedics Flyin’ To The Hoop high school basketball showcase feature the two teams — and players — generating the most local buzz this year.

On Saturday at 8:15 p.m., unbeaten Chaminade-Julienne and George Washington III face Flyin’ regular Pace Academy of Georgia. The 14-0 Eagles have sold out their gym three times, played in at least two road sellouts and established themselves as the team to beat in Division II in Southwest Ohio.

On Sunday at 8:15 p.m., Centerville and Gabe Cupps and Jonathan Powell face SoCal Academy in a rematch of last year’s Flyin’ matchup won by the Elks 62-52 when Rich Rolf, now a freshman at Charlotte, made seven 3-pointers and scored 29 points. The Elks are 10-1 this year and seeking a third straight trip to the Division I state tournament.

SoCal, which also plays at 4:45 on Saturday, requested the rematch.

“We’ve been lucky last couple years to play that prime-time game, and that’s cool because it’s full and you’re waiting all day for it,” Elks coach Brook Cupps said. “But this year SoCal wanted to play us again because we beat them last year. I’m not sure I’m big on rematches like that — they’re talented. But it’s gonna be great.”

In an event known for bringing in five- and four-star talent, Washington, Cupps, Powell and Wayne senior Lawrent Rice are hometown stars. Washington signed with Michigan, Cupps with Indiana, Rice with Murray State and Powell, a junior, has multiple offers, including Dayton, Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan State, Indiana and Notre Dame.

On Thursday, Cupps and Washington were among the six boys in Ohio to earn nominations for the McDonald’s All-American Game on March 28 in Houston. The boys and girls teams — 24 players each — will be announced Jan. 24.

Flyin’, s four-day, 19-game event, begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Fairmont High School’s Trent Arena. Combine Academy, N.C., plays Keystone Academy, Pa., followed by Omnia Academy of Finland and Compass Prep, Ariz. at 8;30.

Wayne has played at Flyin’ every year since 2007 and will face Garfield Heights at 3 p.m. Sunday. The two teams both lost close games to CJ. Garfield lost 59-51 to the Eagles in December at a similar event in Columbus at Nationwide Arena. Wayne lost last week to CJ 64-61 on a last-second 3-pointer by Washington, who is averaging 24.6 points per game.

The matchup will showcase Rice and Garfield freshman Marcus Johnson. Rice leads the Greater Western Ohio Conference in scoring (23.4), rebounds (9.2) and steals (3.4) and is second to Cupps in assists (5.9). Johnson is considered one of the best freshman in the country and scored 24 in the loss to CJ.

“We absolutely love the event, it’s first class,” Wayne coach Nate Martindale said. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase what Dayton basketball is about.”

Seven other area teams are on the schedule, starting with the annual 11:30 a.m. Saturday girls game featuring Springboro (9-4) and Beavercreek (9-4). Springboro defeated the Beavers 48-29 last week.

Dunbar (10-3) is unbeaten in city league play and faces Division I Pickerington North (12-1) at 1:15 p.m. Saturday.

Sunday play starts at 11:30 a.m.m with Preble Shawnee (12-1) led by Mason Shrout (24.3 ppg) taking on Oakwood (8-4) and Will Maxwell (20.9 ppg).

Springboro (5-7) faces Lima Senior at 1:15 p.m. Monday. Springboro has won three of its last four behind the scoring of junior guard Maxim Butler. The Panthers lost highly regarded sophomore guard R.J. Greer to a season-ending injury in early December.

Fairmont (6-6) plays Lakota West (4-9) in the traditional finale at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

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