Posted On: 12/9/17 1:11 AM
Des Moines — Hoover has been top-dog in the Des Moines hoops scene for a long time now, but, for this season at least, it seems that the Polar Bears of Des Moines North will be the team to beat in Iowa’s capital city.
North routed the Huskies, 80-65, in a game that started out competitive, but ended up ugly. And it was clear by the end that Tyreke Locure (who scored a game high 35), Debo Kallo and Co. were the more athletic and skilled team, on this night especially.
The game was tight in the first half, and Hoover held the lead for most of the first quarter before heading into halftime with just a three point deficit. But North erupted in the third quarter, going on a 12-0 run, and doing so just when Hoover had labored to earn a one point lead. That 11 point North lead would continue to balloon, and the rout was on in the fourth quarter.
Devonte Thedford continued his torrid start to the season for the Huskies, he dropped a career-high 34 points. But, North just has too many weapons, and the Polar Bears seem poised for another state tourney run.
Hoover: 16 11 12 26 — 65
North: 16 14 17 33 — 80
Hoover — Devonte Thedford 34, Adam Jackson 11, Hosea Treadwell 9, Kenny Quinn 4, Nick Johnson 4, Jarreau Jefferson 2.
North — Tyreke Locure 35, Lino Malual 16, Debo Kallo 13, Gatdoar Bijiek 8, Jaihion McCaleb 8.
Well, there’s really not much else to say about how dominant this kid is each and every time he steps onto the court. What’s new, though? Nebraska-Omaha was in attendance, I spoke with their coaches after the game and they were highly impressed. But if you’re asking me, Locure, with his much-improved athleticism, is looking more and more like a mid to high-major D1 player.
He’s been with the Hoover varsity since he was a frosh, and it’s time for him to be the main-man. His production in the early going has been off the charts, and tonight’s career-high 35 points was certainly no exception. He’s a big, poised, deliberate and methodical guard. And he’s really come a long way with his mid-range jumper off the bounce. Look for him to go JuCo, and then maybe land at a D2 or D1 two years later.
This tall and rangy wing has been the biggest surprise of the season so far. After being enrolled at Roosevelt and Lincoln in previous school years, but never being able to get onto their hoops teams, Kallo has most definitely found a home at North. He’s an electric player, who glides to the rim to provide showstopping jams, routinely. He can hit a jumper, too, and will rebound and defend. Kallo is a stock-riser, and the X-factor for the Polar Bears.
A junior guard, Jackson came of the bench as a sixth-man for the Huskies tonight, and what a weapon he was. We knew very little about the well-built and skilled guard coming into the game, but he’s squarely on our radar now after showcasing a strong ability to get to the hoop and finish creatively, as well as hit a mid-range jumper off the bounce.
One of our highest ranked 2019 prospects, Malual has come a long way since we first saw him play two years ago. And though he has the capability to dominant each night out, he picks and chooses his spots, and lets other guys shine when necessary. But the fact remains, that this kid is one of the most electric players in Iowa, with elite leaping ability, improving handles and a jumper. He’s a true weapon for the Polar Bears.
A true shooting guard, this lefty sharpshooter plays his role to perfection for the Polar Bears; he is smart with the ball, doesn’t turn it over, and cans triples when granted the opportunity. He’s 47 percent from deep this season, and has only turned it over four times. He’s got a lot of room to improve, but he’s already gotten so much better. It seems Bijiek is only scratching the surface.
There wasn’t much doing for the frosh guard tonight, but we saw him score 20 in a summer league game this season against one of Nebraska’s best teams, so we know, for a fact, that he can hoop. What we liked tonight were two things. The first was his confidence: he got into the game as the second guy off the bench, and immediately let one fly, contested, from the corner. The shot didn’t drop, but it was his extremely quick release that caught our attention. And he only missed by a hair. Austin has a chance to be very good in years to come.