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Posted On: 12/28/17 1:00 PM
In a 16-team tournament, the most competitive game is usually the first round game between the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds. Such was the case on Thursday afternoon when No. 8 Vianney and No. 9 McCluer North met in the first round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament at St. Louis Community College at Meramec.
It was a very entertaining game in which the lead exchanged hands several times. In the end, McCluer North came away with the victory 71-66 to move into today’s quarterfinals, where it will get a shot at No. 1 seed St. Mary’s.
Here is a look at the 10 Best from the McCluer North-Vianney game.
Most Valuable Player: Patrick Evans and Atavian Butler (McCluer North) – This dynamic pair of 2019 wings share the award after combining for 42 points with their athleticism and slashing ability. Butler scored a game-high 24 points while Evans scored 18 points. As a tandem, both are tough to stop on the drive and in the open court.
Best Offensive Player: Atavian Butler (McCluer North) – There were a lot of excellent offensive players in this game, but we’ll give the nod to Butler who scored a game-high 24 points. Most of his points came on slashing drives where he just jumped over taller defenders to finish with a nice touch.
Best Shooter: C.J. Paul (Vianney) – The 6’3″ 2018 guard scored a team-high 21 points, including three 3-pointers. Paul is a talented perimeter player who can dial it up from long distance. He also displayed some nice driving ability when defenders closed out on him.
Best Post Player: Colin Braun (Vianney) – The 6’8″ 2018 post was a force on both ends of the floor with 17 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. The long lefty was a strong finisher around the basket whenever he got the ball. He is mobile and he knows how to operate around the basket. He used his length well on defense to block shots.
Most Pleasant Surprise: Josh Kleinheider (Vianney): The 5’11” 2019 guard had a strong game with 19 points. I was impressed with how he attacked the Stars’ pressure defense with his ball toughness and willingness to get to the rim and score. He also knocked down a couple of 3-pointers.
Best Point Guard: Mekai Ray (McCluer North) – The speedy 5’8″ 2019 point guard scored 10 points and controlled the pace of the game on both ends. He was a blur in the open court as he pushed the ball with plenty of pace. On defense, he was really good at pressuring the basketball.
Best Reserve: Carl Sharp (McCluer North) – The starters on both teams garnered most of the action in this game, so there wasn’t much room for reserves. Sharp came off the bench and contributed four points while supplying some quickness and defensive intensity.
Best College Prospect: Patrick Evans (McCluer North) – The 6’3″ Evans is already a talented player, but I feel that he has a very high ceiling with his combination of size, skill level and explosive athletic ability. He plays all five positions for a team that is small, but quick and tough. If he develops a consistent jumper, his game will go to another level.
Unsung Player: Sylvon Mosley-Mull (McCluer North) – The 6’3″ 2019 forward came through with nine big points in the victory. He did a nice job finishing on the baseline and he also came through with some key baskets in the transition game. He has good length and a big upside.
Best Young Prospect (2021): Ethan Lattimore (Vianney) – The youngest player on the floor, the 2021 point guard did a nice job of standing up against the Stars’ pressure defense. He displayed some nifty handles and did not make any mistakes when defenders pushed up on him.