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Posted On: 12/14/17 1:45 PM
Cardinal Ritter paid a visit to Hazelwood East on Tuesday night in what became one of the most exciting games that I’ve seen during the early part of the season.
Hazelwood East came away with a 77-75 victory in an overtime thriller that featured a little bit of everything from buzzer beaters, clutch shooting, swings of momentum and a dramatic finish. Here are the 10 Best from the game.
MVP: Darrian McBride (Hazelwood East) – The bullish 6’4″ 2018 forward powered his way to a team-high 21 points, including the game winning play when he stole a pass and scored on a driving layup with seconds left in the double overtime period to give the Spartans the victory. The powerful lefty simply strong armed his way to the basket for many buckets and he lived at the free throw line for the entire game.
Best Offensive Player: Malek Davis (Cardinal Ritter) – The 5’10” 2019 guard scored a game-high 25 points, with most of his damage coming in the first three quarters when the Lions built a lead. Davis is quick and crafty with the ball with an old school feel to his game, but he is explosive in the open court as he scored on many full court drives. He also has a nice stop and pop jumper and 3-point range.
Best Defensive Player: Michael Horton (Hazelwood East) – The 6’6″ 2018 forward was a big presence in the paint with his athleticism and shot blocking ability. I had him for six blocked shots, which was big because Ritter constantly attacked the rim. He had two huge blocks in the second overtime period.
Best Shooter: Jordan Gilmore (Hazelwood East) – The 6’2″ 2020 guard has a nice, feathery touch from 3-point range and he hit three on the evening. He is very good off the catch with a lot of range.
Miracle Shot of the Game: Jordan Gilmore (Hazelwood East) – Gilmore’s best 3-pointer of the evening was sort of improbable one when he caught the ball in the corner and let fly are turnaround jumper that banked in as time expired in regulation to send the game into the first overtime.
Clutch Moment of the Game (Jonathan Brown) – The 2021 guard accomplished one of the most clutch plays you could ever see from a young player. With his team trailing 67-64, Brown was fouled shooting a 3-pointer as time expired at the end of the first overtime. This 14-year old calmly stepped to the line and swished all three of his free throws to send the game into the second overtime. Pure ice water in this kid’s veins.
Best Young Prospect: Mario Fleming (Cardinal Ritter) and Jonathan Brown (Hazelwood East) – This game was littered with fine young talent from the 2020 and 2021 classes. Fleming is a 6’3″ 2021 forward who scored 21 points, including 17 in the second half and overtime periods. He was a great finisher around the basket and also displayed a nice float game. In addition to his dramatic free throws at the end of the first overtime period, Brown is also a smooth ball handler who scored 10 points and knocked down a couple of 3-pointers. Both have promising futures.
Best Bench Player: Javon Fultz (Hazelwood East) – The 6’2″ 2019 guard came off the bench and provided 10 points for the Spartans. He was very good off the drive and he also knocked down a nice 15-foot step back jumper that was well defended.
Top College Prospect: Malek Davis (Cardinal Ritter) – At this point, I will go with Davis. He is an excellent point guard with the ability to get buckets and set the tempo of the game. However, these youngsters that I’ve also mentioned also bear watching.
Best Athlete: Ronald Welch (Cardinal Ritter) – The 6’0″ 2018 forward plays much bigger than his actual size. He rose up and threw down an impressive slam dunk in the first overtime period. He plays with a high motor on both ends of the court.