Picking the best post basketball player a tall order

Now this was much tougher. Over on the page to the left, I sat down with a pen and paper and compiled those five guys rather quickly without much competition from anyone else.
Mark Hazelwood
Aug 25, 2010

Now this was much tougher.

Over on the page to the left, I sat down with a pen and paper and compiled those five guys rather quickly without much competition from anyone else.

But when figuring out who the best post player I've personally seen play in the area that was taller than 6-foot-5, things were much more difficult.

In about 15 minutes, I wrote down upwards of 14 or 15 names but as I've done now for a third time, will keep the list down to five players, which is no easy task here.

Remember, these were players who were listed at least 6-foot-5 or taller, and the same rules apply as always. My vivid memory banks go back to about the 1990-91 season and it must be players I saw in person, which unfortunately eliminates Sandusky's Orlando Pace (1991-94) from the list because I saw him on television a couple of times, but that was it.

Off we go ...


5. Jake Meisler, Margaretta, 6-foot-6 (2001-04)

The Polar Bears certainly had a talented team in the 2003-04 season in claiming its lone SBC title in the past 45 years, but for myself and a lot of people, 'Big Jake' is often referred to as the biggest reason (literally) as to why Margaretta pieced it all together that season.

Meisler averaged 18.1 points and 12.3 rebounds per game as a senior and was named to the Division III All-Ohio second team. Blessed with great footwork for his size, I saw Meisler burn several teams by pounding it inside physically or by setting for mid-range jumpers around the paint.

Either way, it was often a long night for opponents in what became a special season in Castalia.


4. Chad Stein, St. Paul, 6-foot-5 (1994-97)

As strong as an ox and with brains like Stephen Hawking, that combination proved to be a beneficial one for both Stein and the Flyers.

A 1,237-point scorer, Stein averaged a double-double in points and rebounds over his final two seasons in a Flyer uniform in leading the team to a 46-6 record, two Firelands conference titles, two district titles and the school's only regional championship.

Stein had great talent around him like Kurt Beatty, Frank Van Dresser, Aaron Fries (see page 10) but make no mistake about it, those first two regional qualifier teams at St. Paul started and ended with Stein, who later became a state champion in the Division III discus throw in 1997.


3. Ryan Grose, Norwalk, 6-foot-6 (1993-1996)

Until a player with the last name Diebler that currently plays for Ohio State rolled through Upper Sandusky and the Northern Ohio League recently, Grose put together one of the finest statistical single seasons in NOL history during his 1995-96 senior year at Norwalk.

Grose averaged 22.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game for the 13-win Truckers while also connecting on 79.3 percent of his free throws. He was three rebounds shy of becoming the only player in NOL history to lead the league in all four categories in the pre-Jon Diebler era of the league.

A 1,011-point scorer for his career at Norwalk, what made Grose's sensational cap to his career more impressive was how he got there, as he had to rebound from breaking both his wrists as a freshman and three years later had earned a spot with Division I Wright State before transferring to Walsh College where he had a solid career.

Grose is currently in his fifth year as an assistant coach for the men's basketball team at Notre Dame College in Euclid.


2. Derek Fey, Willard, 6-foot-7 (1998-01)

Much like Stein, Fey had more than your average help with scoring sensation Nick Dials at point guard, but make no mistake about it, a huge reason for the resurgence of Willard basketball rested on the shoulders of Fey.

The Flashes qualified for the regional tournament in Fey's junior (2000) and senior (2001) seasons, and also in his senior season the Flashes advanced to the Division II state semifinals behind the strength of Fey's double-double points and rebounding averages and Dial's scoring.

What made Fey deadly was that he offered that rare combination of an inside-outside game and he could shoot from anywhere on the floor, as evidenced by a 3-pointer he hit against defending state champion Warrensville Heights in that state semifinal game that trimmed Willard's deficit to 65-64 with 90 seconds left of an eventual 69-64 loss.

His shooting continued at the next level as Fey hit 116 3-pointers as a player for St. Joseph's College in Indiana, good for seventh all-time in program history.


1. Erik Marschall, New London, 6-foot-7 (2002-05)

I may take some heat for this one because a popular argument against anyone who dominates the Firelands Conference is it must mean that said player accomplished his accolades against "weak competition."

Those people can have that argument, but I'm taking Marschall as my top choice for many reasons.

First, the Wildcats compiled a 57-8 record over his three years manning the middle with two conference championships; he was a three-time first team FC selection, including Player of the Year in his senior season.

As a junior, Marschall averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds in being named second team All-Ohio and as a senior scored 18 points and 12 rebounds per game to land first-team All-Ohio honors in Division III.

All of that was enough to land Marschall the rare area opportunity at a full-ride scholarship to Division I Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference, where he started 22 games as a freshman before injuries derailed his past two seasons. He is getting back into the swing of things in averaging five points and four rebounds per game for the Falcons.

But what led me to this selection were the interviews I conducted with area coaches for the small vs. tall cover story. They talked about dominant post players having quick feet, the ability to get to the foul line, offensive rebound, create matchup problems, shoot the ball well, have a high field goal percentage, alter and block shots defensively, and on and on.

The more I thought about it, the more I knew everything those coaches described fit Erik Marschall perfectly.



i personally feel one left off the list is gabe schirg in 1995  and 1996 he avg 14 points and 13 rebounds and he pretty much had to get his shot all his off rebounds he was a real good player