Five Takeaways: Ripley-Whites Creek

High School
Tennessee

Posted On: 12/14/17 10:07 PM

Whites Creek suffered a poor third quarter, but resolved the situation with inspired clutch play.  The Cobras defeated Ripley’s Tigers, 94-84 in overtime.

Bouncy Big

Top playmakers emerged all game long, but one of the more consistent threats was certainly Dylan Wade (Whites Creek).  The hops of Dylan Wade managed to frustrate the bigger Jamari Bostic, while Wade also continuously converted layups in the paint.

Wade is definitely an undersized center at the high school level, but his bounce compensates.  The more foreboding Bostic and his helping teammates could not solve Wade’s second half scoring run.

Bostic

Ripley’s three stars appear to be Tre Alston and Jamari Bostic.  Bostic really made life difficult for the Whites Creek front line.  The lefty big amassed 12 points through the first three quarters and thrived at the charity stripe.

Bostic’s ceiling is modest considering he operates on the low blocks.  Still there are some low-major programs that see undersized talents like Bostic as key recruits.

It comes down to preference in recruiting.  Many Ohio Valley Conference teams have 1-2 undersized bigs in their program.  Some players are so tough and feisty that they comfortably compete against bigger foes.  Bostic didn’t have a monster-sized defender Saturday night, but he might be able to survive against one at the next level.

The Change

Both teams had their moments in the opening half, but Ripley started to pull away in the third quarter.

 

“We haven’t been playing well lately,” said Whites Creek Head Coach Carlton Battle  “I wanted to see if the guys would stick it out and finish the game.”

Stallings Arrives

Senior Cobra guard Dennis Stallings did score 12 points in the opening half, but the dastardly third quarter witnessed his silencing.

When the game tightened up late, thanks to Whites Creek’s constricting defensive pressure, Stallings earned his way to the line.

The senior hit two free throws to capture the Cobras’ first fourth quarter lead, 74-73.  And again with a little over 10 seconds left, Stallings again hit his two free throws to square the contest 76-76.

 

By game’s end Dennis Stallings finished with 27 points.  He was integral down the stretch and the Cobras probably don’t win without him.

“I really challenged him when he got in to the locker room today,” said Coach Battle.  “I asked him what he was going to do today.  He said he was going to ‘ball out.’  Those were his words.”

Pressure

The Cobras extended the pressure most of the night.  It had a cumulative effect for the visiting Tigers.

“I think we did kind of wear them down in the end,” said Whites Creek Head Coach Battle.  “They might not have had the legs just to finish on those shots.”

“The press was effective and we moved some people to different positions on the press and they had to improve to be effective,” said Coach Battle.

Whites Creek will have a tough time reaching their 29 wins of a season ago.  There are several strong pieces on this Cobras team and former Boys Basketball Coach of the Year Head Coach Carlton Battle makes them tough every season.

Since arriving in 2014, Coach Battle completely revitalized a struggling program.  His style of coaching inspires the individual, but holds the whole team accountable too.  While 29 wins seems unrealistic the Cobras do have a top 30 player in Tennessee (Stallings) and competitive teammates ready for action every night.