Five Takeaways: Woodhaven vs. River Rouge

High School
Michigan

Posted On: 12/29/17 10:37 PM

This game was close at halftime, but River Rouge had too much firepower for Woodhaven and pulled away in the second half to win by a final score of 52-38. Josh Warren led all scorers with 19 points, but the Warriors struggled to find any scoring outside of him. After Warren, Marcus Brown was the next highest scorer with five points. For River Rouge, the dynamic duo of Jayvien Torrance-Jackson and Nigel Colvin were too much to handle as they combined for 30 of the Panthers’ 52 points. The Warriors slowed the game down by playing zone, but as the game went along, River Rouge was able to get out in transition and got some easy baskets. Here are a few of my takeaways from the game.

Nigel Colvin and Jayvien Torrance-Jackson dominated

These two were simply unstoppable. Colvin led the Panthers with 16 points and Torrance-Jackson added 14, while playing great defense on the Warriors’ best player, Josh Warren. Torrance-Jackson was a nightmare for Warren, who scored 19 points, but was not very efficient at all. The dynamic duo is one of the best back courts in the Metro Detroit area and should have the Panthers contending for a title once again.

Woodhaven is legit, but needs another scorer

River Rouge may have won the game, but one thing is clear: Woodhaven is a very good team and shouldn’t be taken lightly. They were my preseason pick to win the Downriver League and they are still undefeated in league play. However, if the Warriors want to make a deep run in the playoffs, they need to find another consistent scorer. Warren is a great player, but when teams focus all of their attention on him, it’s tough to score. It didn’t help that Bryon Wilkinson got into early foul trouble and had to head to the bench, but going forward, Wilkinson and Colin Czajkowski need to establish themselves as capable scorers to help Warren.

Zone defense slowed River Rouge down, but transition was key

The first half of this game was one of the slowest I’ve ever seen. It seemed like every possession was 40 seconds to a minute long, which is evident by the halftime score of 22-15. Woodhaven’s zone defense in this game really slowed down the Panthers and made them have to run solid half court sets. The second half was a different story. River Rouge got out in transition a lot and made the Warriors pay. Bralin Toney had a ton of assists tonight and led numerous breakouts for the Panthers. However, Woodhaven might’ve given other teams the blueprint to slowing down the Panthers. River Rouge didn’t look great against the Warriors’ zone in the first half, and if you can slow them down in transition, the Panthers are beatable. However, with the amount of talent they have, it’s almost impossible to shut them down completely.

River Rouge is a contender…again

It seems like every year the Panthers are contending for a state title and this year is no different. They have a wealth of talent, led by star guards Nigel Colvin and Jayvien Torrance-Jackson. They have a monster rebounder down low in Dan Few and a great passing wing player in Bralin Toney. This team also has depth off of the bench with guys like Donavan Freeman and Javon Knox. I could easily see this team winning a state title with the talent and depth they have.

Josh Warren is an elite scorer

Some might say he had a quiet 19 points, but I don’t see it that way. He was the only Woodhaven player on the court that River Rouge cared about throughout the whole game, and it showed, as Torrance-Jackson face guarded him most of the time. He definitely earned his points tonight. Warren really struggled shooting the ball, but found different ways to score in the second half. He had a few put back layups and shot eight free throws, making seven of them. Even if he’s being guarded by a bigger, longer defender, Warren is talented enough to find different ways to score, which makes him special. The scary part about him is, he’s only a junior. He has the rest of this year and another full year to develop his game. I expect him to become one of the best scoring guards in the state before his career ends.