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Top Southeast district teams clash at Beast of the Southeast

Jim Walker

CHESAPEAKE — It’s preview time.
Some of the best teams from the Southeast Ohio district will come together for a post-season preview of the boys’ basketball tournaments on Saturday with five games in the annual Beast of the Southeast hosted by the Chesapeake Panthers.
Admission is $8 for the entire day.
In the first game at noon, the Fairland Dragons (6-4) take on the Division II Jackson Ironmen (9-2) who are led by the trio of 6-foot-3 Cooper Donaldson, 6-5 Treylan Davis and talent point guard Caleb Wallis.
The other starters are top defender Caden Donaldson and 3-point shooting artist Nevan Yates.
Leading scorer and rebounder Cooper Donaldson is the brother of Caden. Their mother is Rio Grande head volleyball coach Billina Donaldson who was an All-American volleyball player for the RedStorm and was invited to the USA Olympic tryouts in 1996.
The second game has Eastern Brown (8-2) against the Minford Falcons (2-8).
Eastern Brown led by Titus Burns — their best player — Gage Boone, Lucas Hamilton and Colton Vaughn.
Minford lost point guard Dairus Jordan to an ACL injury during the summer. The Falcons now rely on 6-4 Cameron Dalton, 6-4 Colin Coriell and 6-1 Kelton Kelley.
The Coal Grove Hornets (7-3) are up next and they face another Division IV top contender in the Trimble Tomcats.
The Tomcats (7-0) got a late start after the football team reached the Division VII state championship game.
The team’s best player is Cameron Kittle — the quarterback in football — but he has been sidelined since Dec. 22 with a foot injury.
Leading Trimble will be Brayden Weber — he scored 28 in a rout of Waterford — along with Jeremiah Brown and Blake Guffey.
The 6 p.m. game has the host Panthers (7-3) up against the North Adams Green Devils (8-2) who are led by the trio of Jayden Hesler, Cameron Young and Elijah Young in a game that should be up-and-now.
In the final game of the day, the Alexander Spartans play the Waverly Tigers.
Alexander (8-1) features 6-foot-10 junior Caleb Terry whose father Jason played at Ohio University along with the NCAA Tournament qualifying team that included future NBA start Gary Trent and Geno Ford.
Senior Dylan Mecum and junior point guard J.K. Kearns — son of head coach Jim Kearns — are considered the Spartans’ two best players.
Waverly counters with 5-9 senior Cobe Marquez who hit six 3-pointers in a 57-48 win on Tuesday against Oak Hill. The 6-4 senior Ethan Dunn added 13 in the win and freshman Trey Robertson added two more 3-pointers.
Beast of the Southeast
Saturday, Jan. 121
Chesapeake High School
Noon — Fairland vs. Jackson
2 pm — Eastern Brown vs. Minford
4 pm — Coal Grove vs. Trimble
6 pm — Chesapeake vs. North Adams
8 pm — Alexander vs. Waverly