Posted On: 12/30/17 6:47 AM
Friday night was the championship of The Bernard Eckert Holiday Classic at Patterson High School. Both Perry Hall and Gerstell Academy won their games Thursday night against Patterson and Hammond respectively. Considering that Perry Hall was one of the top ranked teams in the Baltimore area coming into this one, they were heavy favorites against a Gerstell team that was 3-8 overall.
The Falcons ended up shocking the Gators by securing a 61-52 victory and claiming the championship trophy. Let’s take a look at the 10 best from this match up:
MVP: Colin Rimel (Gerstell) (2018)
Rimel led all scorers with 18 points for the game. He carried over his fast start from Thursday night’s game into Friday night’s by continuing to light it up from deep. The 6’1 sharpshooter finished the night with five triples. More importantly, his presence on the floor give the Falcons a huge advantage because of the attention that is demanded from him. Driving lanes open up for Gerstell’s slashing guards to get to the rim and the Gators couldn’t help off of Rimel. Every now and again, they decided to help on penetration and it resulted in Rimel drilling a three to extend their lead.
Best Offensive Performance: Colin Rimel (Gerstell) (2018)
There was some points throughout this game when Rimel would take a ‘heat check’ shot after he connected on a few three’s. Aside from those attempts, he was extremely efficient. Rimel has a quick, smooth release, but if he can’t get his shot off comfortably, he’ll make the extra pass. Due to the hard close-outs from Perry Hall when Rimel would catch the ball, the extra passes that he did make created open shots or driving opportunities for teammates. Having a shooter like Rimel on the floor can make any team much more dangerous and when you pair that with his high basketball IQ, you get the type of performances like we saw Friday evening.
Best Defensive Performance: Anthony Higgs (Perry Hall) (2018)
Perry Hall’s size overwhelms most teams that match up against them. Friday night was no different. Higgs was his usual self manning down the paint defensively swatting away any lay up attempts from driving guards. Even when he wasn’t getting the block, his presence distorted their shots in a way that caused a miss, which is just as valuable as blocking the shot. The majority of Higgs’ blocks were kept in play, creating transition opportunities for the Gators where they shine brightest.
Best Player Off The Bench: Brad Witt (Gerstell) (2018)
After a rough game Thursday night, Witt bounced back with a solid performance against Perry Hall by bringing energy and scoring around the basket off the bench for the Falcons. The senior finished with seven points on the night, but the baskets he made were crucial to the momentum swing for Gerstell. Standing 6’5, Witt had to battle with the Gators’ three-headed monster of 6’9 forwards under the basket for every rebound. While the Gators got theirs, Witt made a couple of impressive snags to give the Falcons extra possession throughout the second half during their comeback.
Best Intangibles: Tyler Holley (Perry Hall) (2018)
Holley is still adjusting to his role as the point guard for the Gators. Initiating sets, setting up teammates and controlling pace can all be very tricky things. What Holley did particularly well was move without the ball once he initiated the set. Gerstell was playing zone for the majority of the game. Whether it was 2-3 or 3-2, Holley continued to find holes in the middle of the zone where his teammates would pass to him for floaters or strong takes to the basket. Often times players get stagnate when the opposition is in zone, but for Holley it makes him more active trying to find the seams.
Best Under The Radar Performance: Khyle Washington (Gerstell) (2018)
Washington finished the evening with nine points, but what he did on the defensive side of the floor was most important. Perry Hall struggles with pressure and bringing the ball up the floor, so Washington looked to capitalize off of that by being a pest with his on-ball defense. Multiple times in the second half, Washington played sound defense without reaching at it resulted in his man turning it over and giving Gerstell a fastbreak opportunity.
Best Underclassman: Ahmad Harrison (Gerstell) (2021)
Harrison is known for being one of the special freshmen in the state because of his skill on the offensive side of the floor, but against Perry Hall it was his grit and IQ defensively that was on full display. The six-foot guard finished with six points on the night, but had the duty of guarding 6’9 forward Laquill Hardnett when the Falcons played man-to-man defense. Perry Hall continuously tried to take advantage by posting Hardnett on the block. Once Hardnett would catch and go to create contact against Harrison, Harrison would pull the chair out from under Hardnett, causing him to travel. Harrison’s constant movement and unpredictability in these situations made what was supposed to be a monumental mismatch into an advantage for Gerstell down the stretch.
Best Clutch Performance: Anthony Carpenter (Gerstell) (2018)
Carpenter played a pivotal role in completing the successful comeback for Gerstell. In the second half, the 5’11 senior went 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. Six of those came in the final frame when Perry Hall had to foul late in the game. Carpenter stepped up and put the nail in the coffin for the Falcons just like a senior is supposed to do. He finished with 12 points for the game.
Best Rebounder: Anthony Walker (Perry Hall) (2019)
Walker has taken on a much bigger role with the Gators this season and has responded well. The 6’9 junior lets his presence be known immediately every game on the glass. His length to go along with his jumping ability at his size gives him the advantage in most games and this one was no different. Whether it was on defense or offense, he always seems to be in the mix under the basket. In this game, he was the beneficiary of a few tip-ins offensively that helped the Gators stay in it as Gerstell made their run.
Best Play: Tyler Holley (Perry Hall) (2018)
In the third quarter, Perry Hall forced a turnover in the halfcourt, which led to Holley leaking out on the right side of the floor. After receiving the outlet pass, Holley sprinted toward the hoop with a Gerstell defender creeping a few feet behind. Once Holley got to the paint he was cleared for lift off as he rose up and slammed home a one-handed dunk that ignited the Perry Hall crowd. This time, the play wasn’t enough to push the Gators to a victory, but it’s those types of plays that usually help give them the momentum they need to finish the job.