Posted On: 12/2/17 9:21 AM
What a wild night in the Ruskin gymnasium in a back and forth game between a scrappy Ruskin and a slept on Ray Pec team. The game was close all night and it came down to the final possession. Ruskin had two great looks from deep, but weren’t able to capitalize and Ray Pec came away with a 61-58 victory.
MVP: Wesley McCullough 2018 Ray Pec
Although this probably wasn’t one of the best shooting nights for Senior Wesley McCullough, he was the clear cut key to the game, and Ray Pec wouldn’t last without him. He played almost the entire game and came up with some key clutch plays late. Being 6’7″ is huge for McCullough especially since he loves to shoot the ball. It’s hard to get a hand up in his face, and he will make you pay if he has an open look. McCullough finished with a game high 21 points and probably had close to double digit rebounds to go with it. This will be a huge season for this young man this year and he might find himself in a couple of MVP races down the stretch.
Best Offensive Performance: Kian Scroggins 2020 Ray Pec
This award has to go to Kian Scroggins who was all over the place Friday night. Not only did he finish with 19 points, but he was on the better end of getting rebounds most of the night. Scroggins finished with a solid double double and had close to 15 rebounds on the night. He was able to use his size on a smaller Ruskin team, and sometimes he was too aggressive which kept him out some of the game with foul trouble. Scroggins made light work when having the ball though, he shot 9-10 from the field which is just insane! I have noticed a huge jump from Scroggins’s freshman year to his sophomore year; watch him over these next 3 years should be fun.
Best Defensive Performance: Ron Tay Hudson 2018 Ruskin
Roy Tay Hudson drew the tough task of guarding Wesley McCullough most of the night, but he did a fantastic job. Although McCullough was able to score 21 points, Hudson made it very difficult on him. We were able to see Hudson out-work the Ray Pec players most of the night, but also found himself in some foul trouble by being a little too aggressive at times. Hudson made sure, no matter who he was defending, they weren’t getting any easy buckets. He bullied his opponents by using his big body to push and move player out of the way. It was great seeing someone work so hard on the defensive end.
Best Player off the Bench: Derionte Roby 2018 Ruskin
Derionte Roby was huge off the bench for Ruskin and also led them in scoring. Ruskin did spread the wealth quite well only have two players in double figures, but Roby led the way with 12 points and a couple of big 3’s. He was able to give the Eagles a big spark off the bench and boost the team morale. When Ruskin needed a big bucket, Roby was one of the go to guys. He was better moving and playing without the ball.
Player with most Upside: Arthur Williams 2019 Ruskin
Arthur Williams brings a lot to this Eagles team, and his ability to shake defenders and score is probably one of his better attributes. Williams struggled in the first half, but finally started to find his rhythm in the later stages of the game. He is great off the dribble and is quick enough to shake and lose his defender when having the ball. He has great size which helped him on both the offensive and defensive end. Williams will need on his long range shot if he wants to be a great player, but his future does look promising.
Best Coaching Decision: Ray Hughes Ruskin Head Coach
This was a great game all night, but Ray Pec was able to get up by 10 points a couple of times. Coach Huges took a couple of key timeouts that helped his team tremendously, but the key was moving to a press on the defensive end. Made buckets and stoppage of time allowed his team to add a little pressure and force turnovers. Those turnovers then led to big time fast-break points which allowed Ruskin to cut into leads when needed. Although Ruskin isn’t the most gifted with huge basketball stars, they are a very scrappy team and Ray Pec was not ready for that.
Best Aspect of the Environment: The Ruskin Gym & Crowd
The entire environment was one of the best I have seen around the area. Ruskin plays their basketball games in an older small gym which has some great advantages. Being as small as the gym was, it allows it to maybe be a little louder than the larger ones. Ruskin was able to rally up a great big crowd, and they really got involved. I could barely hear myself talk most of the night. The crowd was able pump up the Ruskin team and you could see it get to Ray Pec at times.
Best Story to watch moving Forward: Javon Moore 2018 Ruskin
Javon Moore looked to be the best player on this strong and unselfish Ruskin team. He is the most gifted no doubt and was able to rise and create space for great looks on the offensive end. Due to foul trouble, he had to step up on the defensive end as well and guard McCullough at times. He ran the show for most of the night, and you could tell that some of the players looked to him to lead and make the big time decisions. He didn’t have the most fantastic shooting night, but in order for Ruskin to win games this year, they will need Moore to bring intensity and leadership.
Best Under-The-Radar Performer: Kalaun Baker 2019 Ruskin
Kalaun Baker played a great game and played all but the last 10 seconds of the game. He was mainly the point guard for Ruskin, and had some great moves with the ball. He was able to shake by his defender most of the night and that led him to a few easy buckets on the offensive end, but he also missed a couple of easy ones. When he did drive to the bucket, he was very unselfish, and looked to dump it to one of his bigs. He ended the night with 6 points and 6 assists. Being one of two juniors on the team, he played really well and should have a solid couple of years ahead.
Co-Best Underclassman: Kian Scroggins 2020 Ray Pec & Jordan Jermain 2020 Ray Pec
Obviously Kian Scorggins was one of the better underclassman. He has such a great feel for the game and uses his size so well. Scroggins will probably be around 15 and 10 all year, I just don’t see many players and teams getting in his way. His only issue would be him being too aggressive and physical. This isn’t really a bad thing, but he could spend a few more minutes on the bench if he’s in foul trouble. He has really improved so much from last year, and will put in a solid career for the Panthers.
Jordan Jermain is the starting point guard for Ray Pec, and he was able to control the game with a ton of confidence. He didn’t have a great shooting night, but has the ability to get hot and knock down 3’s if needed. He’s very good off the pick and roll which not only benefits him, but will benefit Scorggins and McCullough. It’s great to see a team rely on some of their underclassman so much and this will allow Ray Pec to put together competitive teams for years down the road.