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(FREE) Holy Grounds Classic: Preview

By T.J. Peatross, 12/08/23, 1:00PM EST


Holy Grounds Classic (12/9)

The inaugural Holy Grounds Classic takes place this Saturday, December 9th at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School and features four action packed varsity contests. 

Lutheran East and Lutheran West, both who reached Dayton a year ago, will square off against quality opponents on a neutral floor; the two teams play in a combined 18 showcase events this regular season and will likely be tested this weekend by Frederick Douglass (GA) and Holy Name, respectively. 

The host school, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, will face one of the few programs who has been able to match their success over the last twenty- plus seasons, Cincinnati Moeller. The Crusaders are regarded by many as the top team in Cincinnati this season as they look to make their first trip to the Final 4 since the 2018-19 season. 

Key Info

What: NOHS: Holy Grounds Classic

Who: Eight of the Region's Top Basketball Programs 

When: Saturday, December 9th

Where: LeBron James Arena

15 N Maple St, Akron, Ohio 44303

Cost: $12 or $15

Lebron James Arena (Akron, OH)


Time Team 1 Team 2 Location
12:00PM Akron STVM (JV) Cincinnati Moeller (JV) LeBron James Arena
1:45PM Akron STVM Cincinnati Moeller LeBron James Arena
3:30PM Brush CVCA LeBron James Arena
5:15PM Lutheran West Frederick Douglass (GA) LeBron James Arena
7:00PM Lutheran East Holy Name LeBron James Arena

Eric Mahaffey (Moeller)

Games of the Day

Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary vs. Cincinnati Moeller @ 1:45PM

Coach Dru Joyce and staff have a lot of new faces this season and they've wasted little time throwing the young pups in the fire, starting their December off by playing three of the top programs in Ohio. Sophomore wing Rayshawn Hamilton has been a bright spot as he's reached the double-digit mark in the first two games of the season, including an 18-point effort in a double overtime loss to Reynoldsburg on Tuesday. Junior guard Noah Chambers, a transfer from Shaker Heights, joins senior Jayson Walker in the backcourt as the two are surrounded by a multitude of young, athletic frontcourt pieces. Junior big man John Whorton Jr. has a chance to break out this season as he continues to get back into playing shape following a minor injury. 

Similar to a year ago, Cincinnati Moeller has been bitten by the injury bug in December and it's still up in the air whether or not they will be at full strength come Saturday afternoon. The Crusaders currently sit at 2-0 after defeating Cincinnati Princeton 54-46 on Tuesday night. They had four out of five starters reach double-digits, led by senior Noah George, and Akron commit Eric Mahaffey chipped in 10 points along with grabbing 5 rebounds. 

Lutheran West vs. Frederick Douglass (GA) @ 5:15PM

The Astros of Frederick Douglass make the trip to Akron to face off against Lutheran West, last year's Division 2 runner-up, in a game that features a plethora of college prospects. Lutheran West currently sits at 2-0 following a 59-53 victory over a competitive Brush squad at the Great Lakes Classic. Seniors Jayson Levis, Derek Fairley, and Tino Yli-Junnila are joined by an underclassmen trio of Matthew Meyer, his twin brother Joshua, and newcomer Kendall Compton

The Astros match up well with Lutheran West on paper as their starting line up is 6'2 and over, led by senior Noah Treadwell. The 6'4 wing is averaging 16.8 PPG on the season and reportedly holds an offer from Georgia State. Coincidentally enough, the Astros have their own set of twins in Joshua (6'2) and Jacob Mickell (6'3), both are double-digit scorers behind Treadwell. 

Players to Watch

Listed Alphabetically (By Class)

Class of 2024

  • Arnell Edmonds (Brush) 6'3
  • Derek Fairley (Lutheran West) 6'2
  • Aliyy King (Brush) 6'7
  • Jayson Levis (Lutheran West) 6'0
  • Eric Mahaffey (Cincinnati Moeller) 6'5 - Akron commit
  • A.J. McBride (Cincinnati Moeller) 6'5 - Niagara commit
  • Jesse McCulloch (Lutheran East) 6'9 - Michigan State commit
  • Ronald Taylor (Lutheran East) 6'5
  • Noah Treadwell (Douglass, GA) 6'4
  • R.J. Winegarner (Douglass, GA) 6'6
  • Tino Yli-Junnila (Lutheran West) 6'5

Class of 2025

  • Max Bollin (Holy Name) 6'5
  • Noah Chambers (Akron STVM) 5'9
  • Damari Dammons (Brush) 6'4
  • Alex Kazanecki (Cincinnati Moeller) 6'5
  • Kingston Land (Cincinnati Moeller) 6'8
  • Roman Mason (Cincinnati Moeller) 6'0
  • Joshua Meyer (Lutheran West) 6'6
  • Matthew Meyer (Lutheran West) 6'7
  • Jacob Mickell (Douglass, GA) 6'2
  • Joshua Mickell (Douglass, GA) 6'3
  • John Whorton (Akron STVM) 6'8

Class of 2026

  • Kendall Compton (Lutheran West) 6'5
  • Rayshawn Hamilton (Akron STVM) 6'4

Class of 2027

  • Chris Hill (Lutheran East) 6'0