Penn Still A Summer League Star
As the schedule shook out for the McDonald's Central Ohio Summer League, it turned out Thomas Worthington High School had a high-profile game to showcase Tuesday night. In fact, it resembled a Scarlet and Gray Game.
Buckeye Corner, appropriately named for its large contingent of Ohio State basketball players past and present had a date in the main gym with DSW Shoe Warehouse, which happens to be coached by ex-Buckeye Ronnie Stokes and features OSU's two key returtnees -- Tony Stockman and Terence Dials -- as well as the team's two key newcomers -- Jamar Butler and Matt Terwilliger.
Thanks to its veteran play in the backcourt, Buckeye Corner won the tilt before a packed-in crowd, 80-66. Scoonie Penn was spectacular as always with 29 points, several crowd-pleasing plays, and, according to BuckeyeSports.com's kept statistics, added four rebounds, five assists and three steals.
But it was a two-headed monster that did in Stokes' crew as another former OSU star, Brent Darby, played like the perfect compliment to Penn. Darby, in fact, set up more plays with seven assists and logged 13 points. He and Penn blew out a close game late with several defensive gems that led to fastbreak points.
After Butler nailed a three with 5:51 left, DSW trailed just 64-61. However, Buckeye Corner stunned DSW with a closing 16-5 run. Darby started it with a free throw and moments later Penn intercepted a telegraphed pass out high by Butler and took off for a layup. Another Penn steal then led to a jam by Darby with 2:40 to go.
Up 69-61, the Corner was not satisfied. J.J. Sullinger blocked a shot, tore down court and dunked a feed from Darby to wow the crowd in his old high school gym. That set off Stokes, who earlier in the game had been hit with a technical foul. He called a timeout with 2:16 to go to chew out his team.
"If you don't want to play then come back over here and sit down. Play the game!" he screamed.
Immediately out of the timeout Penn stole the ball from DSW's Quinton Brooks and scored another breakaway. He added a basket after juking Stockman and Darby whapped a three at the buzzer just for kicks.
"This was a lot of fun," a very fit-looking Darby told BuckeyeSports.com. "It's always great to play with Scoonie and to do well against the other guys. I just wish my game was at this level when I was in college."
Buckeye Corner augments its major talent at guard with a twin tower look down low in the form of ex-Buckeye 7-footers Velimir Radinovic and Ken Johnson. Radinovic played under control and logged 13 points, nine rebounds and a blocked shot. Johnson had four points, seven boards and a trademark block.
The Corner has the wing position covered, too, as current Buckeyes Sullinger and Ricardo Billings are playing with confidence. Sullinger had eight points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks. Billings recorded 10 points, three rebounds and a steal.
Stockman led DSW with 21 points and five three-pointers but had his usual struggles on defense. Dials held up well to the height inside and contributed 10 points and nine rebounds. Butler had six points and Terwilliger just two. Michael Redd, who certainly could have shifted the balance of power, did not play for DSW and doesn't plan to after an All-Star season with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.
"I'm done, man," Redd told BuckeyeSports.com after watching the game.
That would lead one to believe that Buckeye Corner is the team to beat.
"I hope so," Johnson said. "It's always great to win."
There were some other Buckeyes with performances of note.
Brian Brown scored 17 points and Will Dudley added 16 in OMNI Elite/Jump 25's 67-64 win over Berwick Party House.
Brandon Fuss-Cheatham had 20 points, including four three-pointers, for A&E, Inc. in a loss and Matt Sylvester had 25 points for Andrew Insurance in a win.
Also, HER-Shakhan King, coached by Carlos Davis, fell to 0-3 after getting 10 points from Jason Singleton, just two from Andrew Lavender and only one from Neshaun Coleman.
"This probably has been harder than I thought," Davis said.