Posted On: 01/18/18 2:40 PM
Thunder-dome games have always had a special meaning for fans and players when DPS teams go into league play. Tuesday night’s league opener between Montbello(Far Northeast Warriors) and George Washington; no different. George won the game over Montbello 76-64 in what could have considered by many a very out of sync game for both teams, here are a five things that stood out in this matchup.
Two Man Game
The Warriors may have one of the best one-two punches in DPS this season. Sindou Cisse and Malik Fofana showed the city what they’re capable of against one of the best teams in all of 5A. They played hard and kept the game close against a red-hot GW team that many thought would win convincingly. The high flying duo carried the load on both ends of the floor. Sindou finished with a team high 16 points and a huge dunk that got everyone out of their seats. He also showed that he’s capable of knocking down open jumpers if needed. Malik also added a highlight dunk of his own in the first half to set the tone early. He finished with 13 points and controlled the pace against a pesky and tenacious GW defense. The duo accounts for half of the teams 63.8 points a game averaging as they average 32.2 poins between the two of them. Teams will have problems most nights slowing these two down.
Defensive Pressure of George
One thing George does differently than other teams is apply pressure on the defensive end for the entirety of the game. They have arguably one of the best perimeter defenders in the state in Jon’il Fugett who takes pride in guarding the opposing teams best player each night. Behind them is big man Tre Pierce who happens to be one the best rim protecters in the state so George is able to set the tone on defense right away. From full court pressure to half court traps they can do it all and cause nightmares for opposing teams on that end of the floor. They’re at their best when they can speed the game up forcing teams into bad decisions. They seem to have a switch they can turn on at any point in a game string along 3-4 turnover straight for easy baskets and that’s exactly what they did to secure the win over the Warriors.
Emotion of League Play
With every league play game not only comes the need to secure a wain, but also the bragging rights that come with it. It’s a game in which you’re more familiar with the opponent and are more likely to take the games more serious. During the game there were moments where things started to get chippy. Each teams desire to win had them battling for every possession and that’s where talented players separate themselves. Rather it was Fofana’s chase down block on Devon Jones to jump start Montbello or a mid court steal by Fugett to the open Jovan Nelson lay-up, both teams gave maximum effort.
3 Point Shooting of George Washington
Letting it fly seems to be the motto for George as their guards take advantage of every open look that comes their way. Over the past six games their 3-point shooting is the thing that has stood out most and won them games. As a team they hit eight total 3’s with Xavier Cooper leading the bunch with five of his own, including three straight at one point in the 3rd quarter. The thing that makes what they do so uncontainable is that they have a variety of guards that can spread the court with their shooting and get hot at any point. They’re a team that can apply a line-up of straight shooters or mix it up and that’s what makes this unit special.
Bench Production for Montbello
As the season progresses if Montbello can continue to grow and give more production off the bench, they’ll be a team that not many teams will be able to matchup with. Outside of Malik and Sindou there’s a huge drop-off in players that are making plays for this unit. They have very capable players in Ryan Booker and Tylon Page who both stepped up and knocked down big shoots against George as Booker finished with 11 points and Page had 10, but the Warriors need more production out of these players. When them alongside Marcus Rice all get it going along with Malik and Sindou, lookout.