Kosta Koufos was dominant once again in leading GlenOak to the Federal League championship with a 64-55 win over Canton McKinley. The win was the second for GlenOak over the 2-time defending state champions in less than a month.
Koufos, headed to Ohio State next fall, showed once again why he's one of the top high school players in the country with yet another triple double. Koufos scored 33 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked 10 shots in the victory.
After the game GlenOak coach Jack Greynolds spoke about the play of his senior superstar.
"Let's face it, he's always been really good," Greynolds began. "But in the last 6 weeks he's taken the next step in his development. He's playing more focused and he's mentally tougher. He doesn't let the pounding he takes every game effect his play. He raises his game every night and I think the mental part has been his biggest improvement. From a skill level, he's always had it, but mentally he's had to grow and mature as a ballplayer. He's only 17 years old, still just a youngster, and he's really taken his game up a couple notches lately. He just continues to get better, as hard as that is to believe."
The 7'2"star preferred to talk about his teammates and their big win rather than himself after the game.
"This was a great win for us," he said. "My teammates and I are just thankful to get the win. McKinley is a great team and they're always tough to beat. Our guys just played hard and stayed confident and I'm really proud of our effort."
GlenOak is ranked as the number 9 team in Division-1 and is hoping to play well enough in the upcoming state tournament to reach the finals in Columbus. How ironic would it be for Koufos to finish his high school career at the place where he'll play college basketball?
"Well we're playing really well right now," Koufos said. "We think winning the Federal League tournament will prepare us for the state tournament. There's a good chance we will play McKinley again, so there's a lot to do before we worry about making it to Columbus. It would be great to make it that far not because I'm going to Ohio State but because that would be really great for our coaches and my teammates. We just have to keep playing the way we are now and focus on each game that night."
Koufos talked about how important it was to win the league championship and also looked back at his career's accomplishments.
"Winning the title in my senior year is great," he continued. "Individually I've had a great career. I've been blessed with great coaches and I've played with great players. It could have been better but overall things have been really good. I wish we had won more games earlier in my career but this year's been great. I've been blessed to have the opportunity to continue my career at a great university like Ohio State. I hope we have a lot of basketball left to play this year though."
Kathy Koufos is understandably proud of her son and she talked about Kosta's development as a person as well as a player.
"He's come such a long way since he was a freshman,' she said. "I'm very proud of him. He's a wonderful teammate as well as a good player. He's a good kid and he always puts his team first. He always tries to bring the other guys up. It's not just about him and the things he can accomplish. He really doesn't care if he scores a lot as long as the team does well and they play the best they possibly can. I always tell him to take one step at a time. He does a good job of living in the here and now. Whatever the future holds will come in its time. I'm just proud of the young man he's become."