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Posted On: 12/16/17 3:32 PM
ROCK ISLAND — A 19-6 run to close out the second quarter helped Davenport North run past Rock Island Alleman in the third game of the 24th annual Genesis Shootout. Trailing 21-16 with 5:45 left in the second quarter, the Wildcats closed the half on a 19-6 run to take a 35-27 lead into the break. They added onto that lead in the final 16 minutes en route to a dominating 72-58 win. The win gives Iowa a 3-0 lead in the Shootout.
The size of Jared Beck on the interior for the Wildcats proved to be a major factor, as he completely took Alleman out of what they wanted to do on the offensive end. The 6-11 big man had five blocks and altered the way the Pioneers wanted to play, as they couldn’t get anything going in the paint.
Four players scored in double figures for Davenport North, led by TJ Vesey, who had a game-high 23 points. VJ Wilmington and Max Taylor each had 12, and Keenan Hollingshed added 10 in the win.
Saurabh Patwal had 22 points for Rock Island Alleman in the loss, going 6-12 from behind the arc. Will Mihm added 13 for the Pioneers, who committed 17 turnovers in the game.
Davenport North: TJ Vesey 23, VJ Wilmington 12, Max Taylor 12, Keenan Hollingshed 10, Jared Beck 8, Corey Prather 5, Payton Henderson 2
Rock Island Alleman: Saurbah Patwal 22, Will Mihm 13, Chase Vanderginst 6, Andrew Barrett 5, Gaurav Patwal 5, Dave Hodge 3, Collin Rogiers 2, Corneille Logo 2
MVP: TJ Vesey (Davenport North)
The 6-1 junior guard is often overshadowed on a team with guys like Max Taylor and VJ Wilmington, but he put together a great performance on Saturday afternoon, scoring a game-high 23 points to go with a game-high seven assists. And he did his scoring efficiently, going 8-11 from the floor.
Best offensive performance: TJ Vesey (Davenport North)
Vesey scored a game-high 23 points, but the most important 10 came in the second quarter, when he jumpstarted the Wildcats on their 19-6 run to take complete control of the game. He shot 8-11 from the floor and 3-4 from the arc, showing the ability to score in the halfcourt and in transition. He also dished out seven assists to just two turnovers. On a team loaded with scoring threats, Vesey is the fourth option most nights. But this time it was his turn to be the big man on the floor, and he delivered in a big way.
Best defensive performance: Jared Beck (Davenport North)
He gets out of position at times, but Beck’s size and length at 6-11 completely change the way that most teams are going to attack the Wildcats. Alleman couldn’t do anything in the paint without it getting blocked or altered. He’s not a major part of the offense for North, but they don’t need him to be. They have plenty of scoring options. His defensive ability is what can help make this team really good. If the North staff can get him to play hard every night, watch out for this group. He finished with five blocks and three steals on the afternoon.
Best passer: TJ Vesey (Davenport North)
A number of players could make an argument for this honor, as the Wildcats dished out 23 assists on 27 made field goals. Vesey led with seven, but Max Taylor (six), Keenan Hollingshed (five) and VJ Wilmington (four) all had great days moving the ball as well. This is a team that can be extremely dangerous on the offensive end when they’re sharing the basketball like this, which is something they’ve emphasized this season – team basketball.
Best shooter: Saurabh Patwal (Rock Island Alleman)
The 6-0 sharpshooter briefly gave the Pioneers some life in the middle of the 4th quarter when he hit 3s on three straight possessions. He has a smooth, quick and repeatable release on his jumper, gets good elevation on his shot and great rotation. He’s a pure shooter who can get red hot in a hurry.
Best rebounder: Andrew Barrett (Rock Island Alleman)
Barrett came in averaging nearly 14 points a game for the Pioneers, but struggled to just five points in this game. But one area he contributed in a big way was on the glass, where he pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds. A 6-3 wing, he has a nose for the ball and does a great job rebounding both in and out of his area. He’s a high-energy player who attacks the ball.
Best intangibles: Max Taylor and VJ Wilmington (Davenport North)
Most nights these two are the ones leading in the scoring column for North, but on this night it was Vesey. And sometimes you’ll see players who are accustomed to scoring in bunches not engaged if they aren’t scoring. That wasn’t the case for this duo, who combined for ten assists, 13 rebounds and three steals, not letting the fact that they weren’t scoring as much as they’re used to bother them or impact the rest of their game.
North’s storyline to watch moving forward: The acclimation of Lacey Watson
Former Rock Island standout Lacey Watson is supposed to become eligible for North after the holiday break. He’s a big-time wing scorer who can also facilitate for others. And he’ll surely be a welcome addition to the North rotation that is already flush with perimeter scoring threats. But this team looks like they’re building pretty good chemistry and playing good team basketball. Will adding another player who needs to have the ball in his hands quite a bit throw that off? We’ll have to wait and see.
North biggest question moving forward: Will they compete defensively night-in, night-out?
There is no question that this group has plenty of scoring firepower, but will they give big effort on the defensive end every night? They’re well built, with lots of athleticism on the perimeter, and Beck allows them to take some chances. This is a team that is playing a lot more together than they have in previous years, and if that continues to carry over to the defensive end, they could make some serious noise.