Posted On: 01/27/18 3:26 PM
DES MOINES — The Carlisle Wildcats held off a late comeback effort from Creston on Saturday afternoon, escaping with a 60-56 win in a non-conference game played at Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines.
Carlisle lead from wire-to-wire in the contest, jumping out to a 7-0 lead, all from junior guard Collin Lister, in the first 1:30. The ‘Cats led by as much as 14 in the second half before a run from Creston drew them within a possession with about 4:30 left to play. They stayed within a possession for the remainder of the game, but couldn’t get over the hump to either tie or take a lead.
Carlislie (9-5) was led by the guard duo of Tommy Donovan and Collin Lister, who each had 20 points in the win. Donovan added nine rebounds and four assists for the Wildcats.
Creston (6-9) was led by Kylan Smallwood, who had 18 points for the Panthers, 12 coming in the second half. Freshman Cael Kralik added 12 points off the bench in the loss.
Carlisle: Collin Lister 20, Tommy Donovan 20, Max Goodhue 9, Cole Henderson 5, Trenton Beck 4, Ben Rowray 2
Creston: Kylan Smallwood 18, Cael Kralk 12, Evan Jacobson 9, Jaden Driskell 8, Tucker Flynn 6, Brance Baker 3
The Carlisle backcourt can cause some issues
The backcourt tandem of Collin Lister and Tommy Donovan each bring a little something different to the table for a high-powered Carlisle attack. The Wildcats are averaging over 67 points a game, and that duo combines for 37 of those points. In this game they gave the ‘Cats 40. Lister is a really good shooter who moves well off the ball, has a quick release and can put up a ton of points in a hurry, while Donovan is more dribble penetration oriented, using his strength and ability to finish or get to the free throw line to account for his scoring. He’s also a really good passer who sets up his teammates and does a good job passing into the shooting pocket of his running mates. On the offensive end, they can put up plenty of points and if they’re able to get hot and stay hot, they could make some noise in the postseason.
The long-term potential of Tommy Donovan
The 6-3 senior point guard has signed to play at Division II Black Hills State in South Dakota. There are certainly some things that he needs to improve on, but he’s a really solid all-around point guard prospect who understands his limitations (perimeter shooting, for instance), and instead chooses to play to his strengths, and do so at a high level. He’s a really strong dribble drive threat, a creative finisher around the rim with either hand. He limits turnovers and is a really good passer, and he competes at an elite level for a guard on the glass. As he continues to refine his skill set, he should have a very productive collegiate career at the Division II level.
Kylan Smallwood needs to be more assertive
Creston’s leading scorer at 22.3 points a game, the 6-3 junior wing is the best athlete on the floor pretty much every time he steps on it, but he was pretty passive, especially in the first half of this game. He’s able to get to the rim pretty much whenever he wants with his athleticism, quick step and strength and I’d just like to see him command the ball a bit more. He was really good in the second half, and maybe if he’d been more aggressive in the first 16 minutes, the Panthers would’ve won.
Creston’s future in the backcourt looks bright
The Panthers have a pair of freshman guards who come off the bench and provide some good things for them in Cael Kralik and Brance Baker. In this game they combined for 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Baker looks to be more of a facilitator and lead guard, while Kralik is a good offensive player who can shoot it or get to the rim. The future looks bright with these two getting lots of varsity experience early on in their careers, and producing. With them back and Smallwood also returning next season, the Panthers could be heard from next season.
Games at Wells Fargo come with good and bad
It’s nice that Wells Fargo Arena has opened its doors and invited teams to come play there during the regular season. It gives teams an opportunity to play on a stage that they probably will never have a chance to play on ever again and is a good experience for them. However, it comes at a few costs as well. With the NBA 3-point line on the floor, players tend to drift further away from the rim than they should, which can lead to some ugly shooting performances. These two teams didn’t have too much of an issue with that, but it popped up on occasion. The big issue, however, is the lack of atmosphere. It’s a cavernous arena with a smattering of a few hundred people, no PA person and it’s eerily quiet during the game.