Posted On: 12/22/17 12:40 PM
A competitive non-conference game between Detroit Pershing and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s was a barometer contest for both teams heading into conference play. Let’s take a look at how it all went down.
The opening 8 minutes was a defensive struggle, as OLSM had to adjust to the Pershing half-court trapping while the Doughboys had trouble figuring out the Eaglet 2-3 zone. Points were at a premium, as OLSM took a 9-7 lead early in the second quarter. Paire Hill was on fire for Pershing early, breaking the Eaglet zone with a few long range bombs midway through the second stanza. OLSM would call timeout and regroup. The Eaglet 2-3 zone would extend out a few more feet to deny the Pershing shooters and that’s all it took for OLSM to get stops. Orchard Lake ended the second quarter on a 12-2 run and took a 23-19 lead going into halftime. Caden Prieskorn lead all scorers with 9 points with scores from inside and out, while Lorne Bowman was attacking the rim with 7 of his own. The third quarter was the tipping point, as OLSM was breaking the Pershing full court press with ease and scoring easy layups all quarter long. The Eaglets extended their lead to double digits late in the third and never looked back. Pershing couldn’t penetrate the OLSM zone defense as the Eaglets would take W.
MVP: Caden Prieskorn (OLSM)
Prieskorn did it all on both ends of the court in a true inside/outside game on his way to 16 points, 8 rebounds and a block. Caden started off the game on the block where he imposed his size and strength by backing his defender down and converting at the rim. He would also display his shooting prowess, knocking down two shots from distance with great arch. The 6’7 forward was even creating off the dribble, attacking the paint and finding shooters for triples when the helpside defense arrived. On the defensive end Prieskorn boxed out well, pursued the ball, made good rotations and provided some decent rim protection. Not a bad day on the hardwood for the gridiron star that holds offers as a quarterback.
Best Offensive Performance: Charles Brown (Pershing)
The word that comes to mind when discussing Charles is upside……..he has tons of it. At 6’5 with great length and the ability to add 25 pounds while maintaining his athleticism, Brown checks all the boxes from a physical standpoint. The fluid guard/wing dropped 16 points and it looked effortless in the process. Charles is a great finisher, as his body control and leaping ability allow him to contort his body to create angles to convert in traffic. He’s a good shooter when his feet are set, consistently knocking down shots from distance off the catch. What I love most about Brown’s game is his playmaking ability as a passer. Charles consistently finds teammates in scoring position at the rim off high ball-screen action or when attacking the paint from the wing. If he can tighten up his handle a bit, there are definitely some lead guard qualities to his floor game.
Best Defensive Performance: Orchard Lake 2-3 Zone
One player cannot receive the credit for the perimeter defense by OLSM, it was a collective effort. The Eaglets played an extended 2-3 zone that forced the talented Pershing backcourt into a poor shooting night because their 3 point attempts came from 25 feet as opposed to 20 feet. The guards made quick rotations when Pershing moved the ball from side to side, making it difficult for the Doughboys to penetrate the gaps.
Best Underclassmen: Lorne Bowman (OLSM)
Lorne had a huge impact on this game, scoring 15 points while playing an instrumental role in the Eaglets 2-3 zone. Bowman is traditionally known as a shooter, but he had 5-6 strong drives and finishes at the rim this game. He was able to finish through contact on a few occasions, something he wasn’t able to do with regularity last year. Lorne also had a few nice assists out of pick and roll sets, where he would drag the hedger before finding his roll man or shooters for clean looks. The talented sophomore appears to be developing nicely and taking the next steps toward being a complete lead guard.
Best Athlete: D’Juan Seal (Pershing)
While Seal didn’t put up his customary 18-22 points this game, he was the best athlete on the floor by a reasonable margin. On one notable play D’Juan was able to grab a defensive rebound, outlet to his point guard, outrun 3-4 OLSM defenders down the court before receiving a pass and throwing down a dunk over an Eaglet defender with authority. As a ballhandler in transition he was able to blow by defenders without changing direction, pure speed was enough to get him free. Seal’s combination of speed, verticality, strength and quick twitch explosion are natural tools that cannot be taught. It seems like a matter of time before Division I schools start showing interest.
Best Sequence: Matt Nowicki (OLSM)
The 6’8 big man had the highlight of the day when in a matter of 30 seconds he absolutely crushed a ferocious dunk on a Pershing defender off a drop step and then changed ends quickly to get a chase down block to prevent a Doughboy basket at the other end. Nowicki had the crowd buzzing for a few minutes and it provided the most energetic point of the game. Matt also chipped in a few putbacks and altered shots on defense.
Best Shooter: Paire Hill (Pershing)
Paire buried three triples on the day and was excellent when his feet were set. Hill was the only Doughboy that was able to hurt the OLSM 2-3 zone and his makes were from well beyond 22 feet. He has a quick release, even if it is a bit of a swingshot and Paire is likely one of the better shooters in the state that receives little attention.. If he can learn to attack closeouts to diversify his game a bit he’s going to be a dangerous scorer.
Best Guy Off the Bench: Geordon Duncan (OLSM)
Absolutely loved what the OLSM reserve did as a backup guard. Duncan hit a few threes to loosen up a Pershing defense that was trapping in an effort to speed up the game and generate turnovers. That would prove to be pivotal, as the Doughboys backed off the traps which allowed OSLM to play a half court game and impose their size advantage on the inside. Geordon also had a couple of rebounds and the Eaglets didn’t miss a beat in the 2-3 zone with Duncan filling in.
Pershing Takeaway: Feed the Post
The Doughboys have a weapon in the paint with forward/center Jalyn Benning. The 6’5 senior has nice touch at the rim, can pass out of a double team, nimble feet and will surprise you with his athletic ability at times. Jalyn was a big part of the equation in Pershing’s impressive win over a loaded Southfield Christian team, as he was dominant on the inside and the Doughboys would be well served to continue feeding him moving forward. He’s extremely versatile and can be used as the roll man in pick and roll or as a traditional back to the basket scoring option. Benning is a unique prospect at the HS level that can mandate double teams and open up the game for the shooters and athletic wings on the Pershing roster to get easy looks. In an era of pace and space for guards, the Doughboys have an equalizer in the middle.
OLSM Takeaway: Balance & Size
The Eaglets don’t have an absolute superstar on the roster, but what they do have is a nice blend of size and skill up and down the roster. OLSM doesn’t have a rotational player under 6’0 and the starting frontline goes 6’6 and 6’8 repsectively. A reliable three level scorer in point guard Lorne Bowman will head the offense, while Caden Prieskorn and Matt Nowicki form a great tandem in the front court. Prieskorn is a stretch 4 that can space the floor and score in the post while being a solid rebounder and position defender. Nowicki is a more traditional big man that will score off dumpoffs and provide rim protection. The core 3 are surrounded by shooters and personnel that play fundamental basketball with good energy. Opponents are going to have a tough go scoring in the paint against the Eaglets based on their size. Offensively they can spread the floor with shooters and kill you on the offensive glass. OLSM has the makings of a team that will be able to complete come March.