Posted On: 01/28/18 6:35 PM

Pickerington North came from Central Ohio up to John Carroll to win a choppy game against Shaker Heights 65-58. Indiana signee Jerome Hunter led the way, scoring 17 points against premier unsigned wing Christian Guess.

In our third chance to watch both teams this season, here’s our thoughts on the game…

Transition defense

The slowed down pace of the game and Pickerington North’s size eliminated chances for Shaker to run the break. By turning it into a half-court game, their length, quickness, and strength made it tough for the Raiders to execute. Turns out the best way to limit Shaker’s wings is to not allow them easy baskets in transition.

New Panther lineup

It was the first time we’ve seen the Panthers go to a starting lineup that doesn’t include freshman 6’4″ forward Jack Sawyer. Instead, they went a bit smaller with senior guards Ty Wiley and Corey Baker sharing the backcourt. In this situation, PN can bring Sawyer and 6’10” Ross Ryan into the game to exploit mismatches when they see fit.

Sawyer finished with 13 points and continues to be one of the most productive freshman in Ohio. But the lineup change also put Baker and Wiley in position to success, both having an impact on the offensive end.

The unsung hero

Findlay commit Dondre Palmer stepped up in his defensive-oriented role today with the Christian Guess assignment. He limited the near-30 point per game senior standout to just 11. Findlay is getting a communicative, high-motor, long and quick defensive wing in Palmer. He has a nose for the ball and is able to find baskets on put-backs and crafty finishes. The senior scored nine tonight.

The fundamentals

Shaker really could’ve won this game with one simple change: converting free throws. The Raiders were in this game late but consistently came up short at the charity stripe. The fundamentals were the difference between a signature win and a winless weekend for Shaker.

Dakota in the corner

Sophomore spot-up shooter Dakota Cochran was once again an important piece for Shaker Heights. The 6’2 guard scored a team-high 15 points, 12 of which came from beyond the arch. Defenses will always need to collapse on Dale Bonner and Christian Guess, meaning the right corner is an exciting place to be for a shooter like Cochran. The sophomore also hit a couple at the free throw line, showing the willingness to get into the lane.