Posted On: 12/19/17 11:22 PM

Washburn outlasted Roosevelt 72-63 to open up Minneapolis City Conference play tonight. Despite a great effort from Deszi Sims, Luke Barnes and others, Washburn’s energy and all-around performance wore down the Teddies.

It’s a New Era For Washburn

The Millers are 4-2 under new coach Tommy Davis, and the energy was there. Players responded to him and assistant coach Ryan Mikiska when they barked out orders. Charles Cook-Gordon has very visibly taken captain leadership onto himself, as he is way more vocal and supportive. Charles Johnson is also a key component of the positive vibe.

Deszi Sims Can Score The Ball

The junior point guard averages 20 PPG this year and went for a healthy 25 in this contest. He showed an ability to attack the rim as well as hit some bombs from outside. He drove to the hoop very frequently, perhaps too much. Some of the takes were wild, but other ones panned out as baskets and/or and-one opportunities. He’s dynamic with the ball and almost brings back memories of Roosevelt point guard Arione Farrar a few years back.

Both Teams Have Promising Youngsters

Eighth-grader Muja Burton is 6-foot-1, long and shows a lot of promise. He had a nice JV game before scoring five for the Roosevelt varsity. Freshman forward Cade Haskins is just what Washburn needed — a tall 3-point shooter who converts at a high rate. He had a perfect 5-for-5 from deep for 15 points, and his scoring inside the arc will surely grow as his confidence rises. He’s a great kick-out option, as he loves the corner 3.

Washburn’s Frontcourt Is Improving

Gavin Yares is trending upwards. He’s a 6-foot-7 senior forward who gets good position and just needs some extra confidence when it comes to shooting around the hoop. If he can convert a couple more baskets per game (he had just one tonight), that will pair nicely with what is already a good defensive presence. He and Haskins provide long arms around the rim that really challenged guys like Leo Buchwald — a Teddy whose shots were visibly altered by Washburn’s bigs. Peyton Golden had a really nice chase-down block for Washburn as well.

The Millers Sealed The Win

Charles Johnson woke up after halftime, scoring 14 of his 15 points tonight in the second half. He had several and-one plays and attacked the rim relentlessly. Terrell Adams was terrific from the free throw line, shooting 8-9 from there en route to 17 second-half points (24 total). Those two and Haskins scored 41 of Washburn’s 43 second half points.

(Bonus) Roosevelt Recruiting

Leo Buchwald had a slightly off night for Roosevelt, but I like him as a D3 prospect. He’s a crafty senior and good shooter who averages 17 PPG. 6-foot-4 junior forward Luke Barnes (13 points tonight) is a guy who we have seen play for MN Select on the traveling circuit; he has been getting general attention from MIACs, UMACs, has seen a game at an NSIC school and is exploring options out east as well.