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OSU’s Matta makes appearance to check out top prospect


With the day off, Ohio State coach Thad Matta made the hour-long drive to Dayton for the Flyin’ To The Hoop event at Fairmont High Sunday. It wasn’t a social visit.

Matta was seated courtside at Fairmont to watch HYCA (Tex.) junior Justin Jackson, a 6-foot-8 standout regarded as one of the top prospects in the Cass of 2014. Jackson didn’t disappoint, scoring 41 points against St. Vincent-St. Mary’s and hitting a game-tying three to send the game into overtime and lift his team to an 82-78 win.

“I didn’t see (Matta) there. I try to focus on the game,” said Jackson, who lists Ohio State among his final six school choices. “But I like Ohio State. I’m going to set up an official visit sometime. The coaching staff is great and it’s Ohio State. That’s all you have to say.”

More recruiting notes: Keep the name V.J. King in mind. Though just a freshman, the 6-7 forward from St. Vincent St. Mary’s is already attracting interest from Ohio State, UNC, Kentucky and others … Aiken’s Austin Grimes was hearing from Dayton as of last summer, but hadn’t heard from the Flyers in recent months before they attended his game last week against Taft. A slashing 6-foot-3 shooting guard who has scholarship offers from Drake, Drexel and Austin Peay, Grimes said he’s hoping the Flyers will begin pursuing him again … Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua was in attendance to watch Our Savior (N.Y.) center Cheick Diallo.

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Massillon Jackson 66, Aiken 61: In a back-and-forth intra-state affair featuring 14 lead changes and nine ties, Jackson used a late surge to overcome a five-point deficit with five minutes remaining. Junior guard Kyle Mottice scored a team-high 15 points for Jackson, while Nick Dillon and Evan Bailey added 13 apiece. Grimes led Cincinnati Aiken with 16.

Our Savior (N.Y.) 64, St. Ignatius 59: Our Savior used a 15-2 third quarter run to take control and held off a frenzied late rally by Cleveland St. Ignatius. St. Ignatius guard Francisco Santiago (game-high 23 points) scored eight points in the final minute to cut a nine-point deficit to three, but his off-balance heave missed and Our Savior secured the win at the free-throw line.

Walnut Hills 70, Roselle Catholic (N.J.) 61: Walnut Hills took control of a close game by dominating Roselle Catholic on the glass, 36-19. Senior center Isaiah Johnson led the Eagles with 23 points and eight rebounds, and senior guard D.J. Wingfield added 20 points.


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