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Posted On: 01/16/18 8:14 PM
I really thought this game had the potential to be close, but it was the exact opposite. Carlson bullied Lincoln Park in a 66-44 win. The Marauders were simply too dominant in the paint, as Jaylan Franklin and Matt Harmon combined for 27 points and 19 rebounds. Lincoln Park allowed Carlson to grab 18 offensive rebounds, which led to a ton of easy second chance points. The Railsplitters couldn’t find much offense against the Carlson zone, as just one player (Damian Clayton) reached double figures.
I touched on this in the opening paragraph, but it deserves to be talked about again, because it was a dominant performance. Franklin and Harmon couldn’t be stopped Tuesday night at Carlson. Harmon collected a double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, while Franklin came up just short, scoring 10 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Not only was the duo special on offense, but they made life very difficult on the Railsplitters offense all night long. It seemed as if every time Lincoln Park went into the paint, one of them was blocking a shot. That length and rebounding ability, paired with Tyler Koons’ scoring ability will give a lot of teams problems.
Woodhaven is the top team in the Downriver League, and there is no debate about it. For now. The Warriors have yet to lose a league game so far this season, but Friday night will be a big test, as they host the red hot Marauders. I believe Carlson matches up really well with Woodhaven up front, but I have one big concern: who will be able to stop Josh Warren? I am excited for the Colin Czajkowski and Bryon Wilkinson vs. Franklin and Harmon matchup, but Warren is one of the top players in the state, and I’m not sure Carlson can guard him. I think a zone is the best bet for the Marauders against Woodhaven, because it allows their bigs to protect the rim, making it hard for the Warriors to get inside. This should be a great game.
Fleming is one of the top guards in the Downriver League and in the state of Michigan for the class of 2019. That didn’t show up in the stat sheet Tuesday night, as the 5-foot-8 point guard scored just 4 points, all coming from the free throw line. Fleming was 0-11 from the field against Carlson, who guarded him incredibly well. However, I was impressed with other areas of Fleming’s game. Rebounding and defense are the main two. He came away with five rebounds and for a 5-foot-8 point guard that’s pretty impressive. He’s not afraid to get physical with the big bodies in the paint and that says a lot about his toughness. The most impressive part of his game to me was his defense. Carlson’s guards did next to nothing in this game, and his defense was big reason why. He’s very quick, and his ability to put full court pressure on the Marauders’ guards forced some turnovers. Every star player has an off day shooting the ball, but it was impressive to see him not let that impact other areas of his game.
His impressive scoring performance was overshadowed a bit by the dominance of the Carlson big men, but Koons put together a dominant effort against Lincoln Park. The senior forward scored 21 points on 10-13 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. Koons was on fire, scoring inside, outside and in transition. The Railsplitters had no answer for him. He’s committed to Eastern Michigan for baseball, but he sure looked like he could play college basketball tonight. Koons is the star of this Carlson team, and if he’s efficient scoring the ball, they are hard to beat.
It wasn’t just Fleming that couldn’t figure out the Carlson zone. It was the entire team. As I mentioned earlier, just one player reached double figures for the Railsplitters and 44 total points isn’t going to win many games. Clayton had 10 points, Perry DuBose had nine and David Espitia had eight. Outside of those three, not much was going on for the Lincoln Park offense. As a team, Lincoln Park shot 27 percent from the field. They couldn’t get anything going against the Carlson zone and the bigs made it hard to get inside for easy baskets. One of the biggest problems for Lincoln Park was standing around. I lost track of the amount of times the Railsplitters offense was standing around the perimeter. No one was cutting, no one was posting up, and the ball was just being swung around the perimeter. Had there been any cutting or motion on offense, Lincoln Park would’ve had more success scoring the ball. Going forward, I expect Fleming to lead the offense and get on his teammates for not cutting.