Posted On: 02/17/17 11:33 AM
Carlisle is red-hot right now, winners of six straight as they head into the postseason, and Tommy Donovan is a big reason why.
The 6-foot-2 junior had been having a pretty nice season, and then last week he exploded in three wins for the Wildcats; averaging 18.3 points on 68 percent shooting, 9.7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3.3 steals.
It started last Tuesday night, when during a 17 point win over ADM Donovan was sensational; scoring 19 points, grabbing 8 rebounds and dishing out 7 assists.
“I don’t really think about the stats when I’m out there, but with the rebounding and assists, I know that game specifically we had a pretty big size advantage over them one through five, and so coach stressed that we had to rebound the ball,” said Donovan. “And if we could rebound we could run, and so I was able to get a couple of easy assists, just throwing the ball ahead to (Collin) Lister.”
The next night out, Carlisle played rival Pleasantville — the schools are separated by just 15 miles — and Donovan says the rivalry is a big brother, little brother one. The Wildcats were swarming on defense that night, leading to 8 Donovan steals.
“I know that eight steals was a lot, but there was a lot of tipped passes and things like that, we were all over the place on defense,” said Donovan. “We really wanted to show them who the big brother was, I guess.”
Then, on Friday night, the Wildcats avenged an earlier loss to Carroll, and Donovan — despite being just 6-foot-2 — snared a career-high 13 rebounds during the 16 point shellacking.
“As a team we do a good job at that, we’re top five in the state for rebounds,” said Donovan. “They beat us by one at our place earlier in the season, and so we said ‘if we can rebound and we can run, and get easy looks then we should be able to win’. And we were up by 20 the entire game. It was just a really focused effort.”
What was most surprising though wasn’t the Carlisle win streak, or Donovan’s dominance, but the significant comeback he made on Wednesday night to win the Player of the Week poll.
On Wednesday afternoon, South Hamilton’s Marco Balderas had a sizable vote total advantage. By Thursday morning though, Donovan had a sizable advantage of his own.
“I was surprised, I didn’t think I was going to win when I saw the numbers on Wednesday,” said Donovan. “My sister at Central College got some of her friends to vote late, and my brother is at Iowa State and got some of his friends too. And then all the Carlisle people too.”
Tommy Donovan — 1,800
Marco Balderas — 1,430
Trenton Massner — 115
Jason Taylor — 17
Brady Walker — 5