breaking news

Photos, videos of possible funnel cloud in West Liberty, Urbana area

Future Buckeye Justin Ahrens shows off bigger body, expanded game at Flyin’ at the Hoop 


There was more to see of Justin Ahrens at the 2018 Flyin’ to the Hoop than last year’s version — in more ways than one. 

The Versailles senior, who signed with Ohio State in November, said he is an inch taller and about 10 pounds heavier than he was last season. 

The reigning Midwest Athletics Conference Player of the Year now tips the scales at 196 and is measuring in at 6-foot-6. 

“That’s something colleges have been wanting to see me do, add a little weight and strength to help me at the next level because Ohio State is looking for me to make an immediate impact,” he said after the Tigers topped Sidney 65-50 on Sunday

He is also trying to expand his game beyond being a three-point marksman and a fast-break scorer. 

“I’ve been trying to show everybody I’m not just a shooter. I’m not just a guy who runs in transition and dunks occasionally,” Ahrens said. "I can handle the ball too and that’s what college coaches are seeing from me doing, coming off ball screens, feeding the bigs, moving the ball across the floor and really spreading the floor.” 

With growth there have been pains, though. 

“It’s something hard to admit to but I feel like I’m a little out of shape,” he said. “I’m not quite strong enough to where I want to be so I’ve got to stay in the weight room during the weekend to get to where I want to be.” 

Ahrens’ game did have a certain work-in-progress feel to it Sunday against Sidney. 

He scored 26 points but missed 18 of his 29 shots from the floor. 

RELATED: Springfield downs Cleveland Heights in Flyin’ nightcap

Ahrens was only 2-for-13 from the free-throw line but scored from all over the floor. 

There were drives to the basket, contested layups on cuts through the lane and even a smooth fadeaway from the baseline. 

He also whipped passes all over the floor, resulting in five assists, and hauled down 11 rebounds. 

Will making changes to his game now pay off when he gets to Columbus next season? 

New coach Chris Holtmann apparently is counting on it. 

“He wants us to come in and make an immediate impact,” Ahrens said. “He’s willing to make the leap, to have us freshmen make mistakes and have it pay off in years to come.”

There’s business to take care of at home first, though, for Ahrens. 

Along with twin brother A.J., he wants to take the Tigers to Columbus in March for a shot at a state championship. 

Justin Ahrens also has the all-time MAC scoring record in his sights as his senior season continues.

He has 1,712 points and is 33 behind 2004 Versailles graduate Kyle Gehle for the top spot. 

He also trails Greg Kahlig, who scored 1,727 points for Fort Recovery. 

The Tigers play host to Fort Recovery on Friday night but first have a trip to Lima Central Catholic scheduled for Tuesday night. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Kirkpatrick on veteran Iloka’s release: ‘It was a real shocker’
Kirkpatrick on veteran Iloka’s release: ‘It was a real shocker’

Dre Kirkpatrick said he was shocked when he found out Sunday the Cincinnati Bengals were releasing veteran safety George Iloka. A seventh-year player, Iloka appeared in 83 regular-season games with 76 starts for the Bengals over the past six seasons, and there had been no indication the Bengals were thinking of letting him go. “I was very...
Report: Springfield loses two key boys basketball players to transfer
Report: Springfield loses two key boys basketball players to transfer

JuJuan Rodgers and Sam Towns, both of whom figured to be Springfield High School senior starters in basketball this coming season, have transferred to Pickerington Central, according to Zach Fleer of 270 Sports. Both Rodgers and Towns are Columbus natives. Springfield athletic director Mike Dellapina confirmed they had not attended class since school...
Urban Meyer investigation: Ohio State Board of Trustees meeting set
Urban Meyer investigation: Ohio State Board of Trustees meeting set

Ohio State announced Monday its Board of Trustees will hold a 9 a.m. meeting Wednesday to discuss the results of the investigation into football coach Urban Meyer.  The meeting will convene in public session per state law, but the board will hold its discussion behind closed doors in executive session at the Longaberger Alumni House. ...
Bengals’ Dalton giving back to Buffalo community that supported his foundation
Bengals’ Dalton giving back to Buffalo community that supported his foundation

Months after Andy Dalton hit Tyler Boyd for a touchdown on fourth down late in a Week 17 win over Baltimore to help Buffalo advance to the 2017 postseason, the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback still gets praise from Bills fans whenever he comes across them. The Ravens’ loss meant Buffalo made the playoffs for the first time in 17 years, and...
DPS names former East St. Louis administrator as assistant AD
DPS names former East St. Louis administrator as assistant AD

Dayton Public Schools on Monday announced Ramon C. Johnson has been named the second assistant athletic director. Previously, Shawna Welch was named the DPS director of athletics and last month former Ohio State University women’s basketball standout Marscilla Packer also was named an assistant AD. »RELATED...
More Stories