Posted On: 02/5/17 3:08 PM
AURORA — Grandview has yet to lose this season with its full complement of players.
This is a group of players that, while solid last year, was not the title contending outfit the Wolves have become this season.
So what’s changed?
“Experience,” Grandview coach Michael Rogers said. “We’ve been there before, so we keep learning how to win and do it the right way.”
Grandview took another step Saturday with a convincing 62-42 victory over a Cherokee Trail team that had been hot as standout point guard Jaizec Lottie returned to form after an injury earlier this season.
With a strong attention to fundamentals, and a standout performance from big man Gaige Prim, the Wolves pulled away in the middle of the third quarter and never looked back.
Here’s a closer look at the game:
MVP: Gaige Prim, Grandview
The 6-7 unsigned senior forward was dominant, scoring a game-high 26 points on efficient 10-of-16 shooting and owning the glass with 12 rebounds. He also had four blocks and dished out five assists, expertly reading double teams and finding the open man. Rogers says a number of RMAC schools have been checking in on Prim, and he’d be a great fit in that conference thanks to his high motor and skilled footwork. Check out Prim’s awareness to find open teammate Kain Mack for a 3-pointer in the video below:
— Prep Hoops Colorado (@PrepHoopsCO) February 4, 2017
Offensive Player of the Game: Jaizec Lottie, Cherokee Trail
While this honor could certainly go to Prim, we’ll spread the love — just like Lottie spreads the ball to his teammates. The 6-1 senior is one of the best remaining unsigned point guards in the west, and he showed off his ELITE vision during the loss. Lottie finished with 13 points, four rebounds and four assists while battling foul trouble, but it was the kind of passes he made, including several that set up assists, that really stood out. If you are standing anywhere on the court as a teammate of Lottie’s you have to be ready because he has a knack for finding the open guy no matter where he his.
Defensive Player of the Game: Dayne Prim, Grandview
The long 6-3 sophomore, the brother of Gaige Prim, had a block and six rebounds and excelled in defending multiple positions on the floor. Prim has good athleticism and, like his older brother, a motor that keeps churning. His defense was part of what forced Cherokee Trail to settle for a lot of 3-point attempts, and the Cougars hit just 3-of-19 shots from long range.
Run of the Game: Gaige Prim
After a steal and layup that was an impressive feat of athleticism by Cherokee Trail junior guard Deon Barfield put the Cougars up 13-5 toward the end of the first quarter, Prim went to work. The Grandview big man went on a personal 13-0 run spanning the rest of the first quarter and the start of the second, asserting his dominance and swinging the momentum to the visiting team.
Play of the Game: LeChaun Duhart, Grandview
Early in the third quarter, with Grandview leading by just four points, Grandview senior guard LeChaun Duhart saw an opening and darted toward the basket. As he elevated Duhart absorbed the contact from Lottie and finished the tough layup. Not only did Duhart, who finished with 10 points, make the free-throw to complete the three-point play and put Grandview up 38-31, but he also drew the fourth foul on Lottie. With its top playmaker shelved for the rest of the quarter, Cherokee Trail couldn’t keep pace.
Best Under-The-Radar Performance: Gunner Gentry, Grandview
As perhaps the best wide receiver in Colorado, Gentry will have his college education paid for through football. But he could also play basketball at the next level if he so chose. The 6-4 junior forward does a little bit of everything for the Wolves. He finished Saturday with eight points, seven rebounds, three assists and a block, and he plays tough-nosed defense on every possession. He’s a great glue piece for this team.
Best Under-The-Radar Performance, Part II: Deon Barfield, Cherokee Trail
The junior guard is one of the most athletic players in the state, and he put those tools on display Saturday. On several occasions, Barfield went coast to coast to finish at the rim, his blend of speed and leaping ability making him a very tough cover in the open floor. He led the Cougars with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
Quote of the Game: Michael Rogers on Gaige Prim
“It’s just his motor. He never stops. Sometimes it hurts him because he keeps going after so many rebounds, but it’s his motor, just like his little brother, they are both non-stop.”
Moment To Applaud
In a touching halftime ceremony, members of the Cherokee Trail student government presented the work the school had done with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to assist a young girl in the community battling leukemia. The young girl’s dream was to go to Disneyland and see many of the princesses she admires. The CT students built the young girl her own makeshift castle in the school atrium and raised more than $1,000 in donations during the game to help fund the trip for the girl and her family. Kudos to everyone involved at Cherokee Trail — and the Grandview supporters as well — for all they did in this effort.
— Prep Hoops Colorado (@PrepHoopsCO) February 4, 2017
What We Learned
The last two state titles in 5A were won by Overland in large part due to the dominating presence it had inside in the form of De’Ron Davis. While Prim doesn’t have all the tools — or size — the 6-10 Davis had, he’s been a dominating force in his own right while averaging 18 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks per game. His presence should give the Wolves a chance against anyone they face come March. They have a major battle coming up Wednesday against Eaglecrest with first place in the Centennial League up for grabs.
As for Cherokee Trail, Lottie’s excellence as a playmaker will also give them a chance in every game. They’ll have to hit more of the open looks they couldn’t get to fall Saturday afternoon, but an MVP-type player gives them a leg up.
G – Duhart 3-pointer. 3-0.
C – Barfield 3-pointer. 3-3.
G – G. Prim 0/2 FT. 3-3.
C – Lottie backdoor layup. 3-5.
C – Bode transition layup. 3-7.
C – Lottie 2/2 FT. 3-9.
G – Gentry backdoor layup. 5-9.
C – Barfield transition layup. 5-11.
C – Barfield steal/layup. 5-13.
G – G. Prim rebound putback. 7-13.
G – G. Prim rebound putback. 9-13.
G – G. Prim layup/foul. Makes FT. 12-13.
G – G. Prim 2/2 FT. 14-13.
G – G. Prim rebound putback. 16-13.
G – G. Prim jumper. 18-13.
C – Lottie layup. 18-15.
C – Barfield coast-to-coast layup. 18-17.
G – G. Prim turnaround jumper. 20-17.
C – Barfield 2/2 FT. 20-19.
G – Gentry transition layup. 22-19.
G – G. Prim 2/2 FT. 24-19.
C – Patterson 0/3 FT. 24-19.
C – Bode 3-pointer. 24-22.
G – G. Prim layup. 26-22.
G – Duhart jumper. 28-22.
C – Lottie 1/2 FT. 28-23.
G – G. Prim 0/2 FT. 28-23.
G – Mack 3-pointer. 31-23.
C – Lottie 1/2 FT. 31-24.
G – Wilson 1/2 FT. 31-25.
C – Lottie reverse layup/foul. Misses FT. 31-27.
C – Rodgers 3-pointer. 31-30.
C – Lottie 1/2 FT. 31-31.
G – Duhart 2/2 FT. 33-31.
G – G. Prim tip-in. 35-31.
G – Duhart layup/foul. Makes FT. 38-31.
C – Wilson rebound putback. 38-33.
G – Gentry layup. 40-33.
G – Boone 2/2 FT. 42-33.
G – G. Prim layup/foul. Makes FT. 45-33.
C – Patterson layup. 45-35.
G – Boone 3-pointer. 48-35.
G – Gentry 2/2 FT. 50-35.
G – G. Prim layup. 52-35.
C – Rodgers 1/2 FT. 52-36.
G – D. Prim jumper. 54-36.
G – Boone 2/2 FT. 56-36.
C – Lottie 2/2 FT. 56-38.
G – Mack layup. 58-38.
G – Mack 2/2 FT. 60-38.
C – Lottie 0/1 FT. 60-38.
C – Barfield alley-oop BOB from Lottie. 60-40.
C – Barfield steal/layup. 60-42.
G – G. Prim layup. 62-42.