COLUMBUS - Sophomore O.J. Mayo - tabbed as "The Next LeBron" almost before the real LeBron was out of high school - headlines the 2004-2005 Associated Press Division III and Division IV All-Ohio basketball teams announced yesterday. Archbold senior Dan Borcherdt joined Mayo on the D-III first unit, and Jake Fanning of Danbury and Kurtis Brown of Continental made first team in D-IV with Brown one of three players of the year.
Woodmore's Tyler Rosenberger (6-4, sr., 20 points per game) was third team in D-III and Van Buren's Marty Baird (6-1, sr., 21.7) was third team in D-IV.
Mayo, a 6-6 sophomore, has led Cincinnati North College Hill to consecutive AP poll titles and to this week's state tournament at Value City Arena.
In Division IV, the players of the year also are headed for the final four: Columbus Africentric's Donald Suel, Continental's Brown and Sam Liggins of Cleveland Heights Lutheran East.
Mayo, the Division III player based on the recommendations of a statewide panel of sports writers and broadcasters, averages 28.9 points a game for one of the state's highest-scoring teams. Of course, he played varsity basketball as a seventh and eighth grader across the river in Kentucky before transferring to North College Hill, which had won just two games the year before he moved in.
Just to take a look at his most recent game, Mayo had 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in Saturday night's 75-53 win over Middletown Fenwick.
North College Hill (25-1) takes on Loudonville (22-3) in Friday's first semifinal. In the second game, Ironton (25-0) meets Archbold (24-1), with the winners meeting Saturday.
Joining Mayo on the first team are Nate Davis, Bellaire (6-3, jr., 27.0); David Lighty, Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph (6-5, jr., 24.5); Jordan Petraitis, Akron Manchester (6-3, sr., 23.6); Joe Guiler, Johnstown-Monroe (6-9, jr., 11.2); Brett Beucler, Sardinia Eastern Brown (6-1, sr., 23.0); Borcherdt (6-0, sr., 22.6); Erik Marschall, New London (6-7, sr., 18.3); and Richard Semrau, Rocky River Lutheran West (6-9, jr., 22.3).
Roger Zornes, who has guided Ironton to a perfect season including a trip to the state's final four, shared coach of the year honors with West Jefferson's Ray Miller and Rootstown's Mike Fuline. West Jeff's 15-4 record under Miller was its best since 1970 and its first season over .500 since 1982. In his second year at Rootstown, Fuline led the way to a 17-3 mark.
Suel is a 6-3 senior who put together 22.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.4 assists after transferring in from Eastmoor Academy.
Brown, a 6-1 senior point guard, notched 20.4 points, 7.4 assists and 5.9 rebounds a game for Continental.
A 5-8 senior guard, Liggins contributed 21.4 points to Lutheran East's state-bound season.
Lutheran East (20-5) takes on Minster (21-4) in tomorrow's first semifinal, with Brown and Continental (22-3) meeting Suel and Africentric (25-1) in the final game of the day.
Joining those three on the first team were: Matt Poole, South Charleston Southeastern (6-6, sr., 27.5); Scott Moyer, Zanesville Rosecrans (6-2, sr., 16.0); Steve Luckhardt, Shadyside (5-10, sr., 18.8); Nick Aldridge, South Webster (6-7, jr., 27.0); Fanning (5-10, sr., 24.4); Daniel Zacour, Kidron Central Christian (6-4, sr., 22.8); and James Beedle, McDonald (5-11, sr., 21.3)
The coaches of the year are Africentric's Mike Thornton (whose team won the AP regular-season poll crown), Wellsville's David Thompson (an 18-2 seaons after going 7-14 a year ago), and Todd Rock of Zanesville Rosecrans (an 18-2 regular-season record after losing two of the first three games).