Posted On: 02/16/17 10:13 AM
This game matched-up one of the best 2019 players in the state, Sydney Curry, vs one of the best 2018 players in the state in Eric Hunter. Horizon is a team who is non-IHSAA but has been playing really solid basketball all season long and has knocked off some decent IHSAA teams along the way. In a game where defense was optional it was back and forth the whole way. Horizon lead 51-45 at half, but Tindley used a 23-7 third quarter to really separate themselves. However, Horizon responded and came all the way back to take an 87-86 lead with 20 seconds left, only before KJ Coleman came back to hit the eventual game winner with 6 seconds left to give Tindley an 88-87 victory.
MVP: KJ Coleman (Indy Tindley)
This was by far the best game I’ve got to see this season out of KJ, who is a player I really like. He was able to get in a rhythm with his outside jumper and even got a few buckets going off the bounce. He limited turnovers in a game that was played a frantic pace. He finished with 23 points on the night and hit the eventual game winner. I thought he was a key part of Tindley’s trapping defense that cause Horizon issues, especially in the third quarter when Tindley made their run.
Best Offensive Performance: Hunter White (Indy Tindley)
Hunter continues to play at a high level this season. The junior finished with 29 points in the win. He never really took over the game or anything like that, he would just take a bucket here or there and when you looked up at the end of the night you saw he had 29 points. He’s gotten really good at getting creative around the rim and finishing with either hand. Outside shot is improving, but I would love to see it become a bigger part of his game.
Best Defensive Performance: Yuri Swinford (Horizon)
Yuri is a very active 6’4 junior who did a great job of limiting Eric Hunter, despite the loss. Swinford is very long and wiry and uses that length to play passing lanes and knock the ball away when he’s guarding his man. Makes a lot of hustle plays well. Really good energy throughout the whole game.
Best Underclassmen: Ozzie Johnson (Horizon)
Ozzie is a really strong 2019 player in the state of Indiana. He’s about 6’5, still pretty thin and needs to fill out his body a little more but he’s really got a lot of tools. He’s got a decent outside shot, but doesn’t really look for it all too much. He likes to score it just inside the free throw line in the middle of the paint. Whether it’s a runner or floater or backing his man down and scoring over his shoulder. He’s gotten more athletic, showing that with a big time dunk in the first quarter.
Best Big Man: Sydney Curry (Horizon)
I feel bad not mentioning Syd earlier, there were just a bunch of guys that played well in this one. But big Syd really played great. He finished with 23 points and 23 rebounds. This was leaps and bounds ahead of the performance I saw from him during a holiday tourney. He’s still a little slow moving at times on defense, but you can tell that’s improving. His jumper looks great, very fluid for a big guy. Would like to see him demand the ball a little bit more and just take over games. He’s getting there, and still just supremely talented, just want to see him develop more of a killer instinct and take that next step.
Best Prospect: Eric Hunter (Tindley)
As I’m sure Eric would tell you, this wasn’t his best night. He did finish with 16 points, but he had early shooting struggles, and then picked up his 3rd fould in the second quarter so he had to sit for a while. He did eventually get going in the third and fourth quarter, knocking down some critical shots.
Best Little Guy: Daquan Sample (Horizon)
Coming in at about all of 5’9, Sample doesn’t look like a guy who is going to give you problems, but he sure did that to Tindley. Sample finished with 18 points and was just all over the place on both ends. He knocked down some threes, he finished some tough buckets at the rim through taller defenders. On defense he was always causing or picking up a steal. He was really key when Horizon was rallying in the fourth quarter.
Best Guy off the Bench: Edward Pinkston (Horizon)
Pinkston really provided a spark when he got in. He finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds. High energy guy who really crashes the boards hard and plays solid defense.
Best Play: KJ Coleman (Tindley)
Hard to not give the play of the game to the game winning bucket. Coleman knocked in the bucket while being fouled, even though he missed the free throw it was enough to secure the win.
Best Storyline Moving Forward:
Sydney Curry appears to be back to normal. Earlier this season it seemed like he wasn’t really playing very hard and just didn’t seem to be interested in playing. Didn’t see that last night. Still has some things he could improve upon, but the 2019 big man showed a ton of upside.