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Posted On: 01/11/18 2:45 PM
In the eyes of many around the city of Baltimore, St. Frances and John Carroll are number one and two respectively in the rankings. The Panthers were able to escape with an overtime win at John Carroll, but the Patriots were without the services of Kentucky-bound point guard Immanuel Quickley. In the match up last night, both teams were fully healthy for what will go down as one of the best games this season. In the end, the Panthers pulled away with a 71-61 win to improve to 18-2 overall. John Carroll falls to 11-4 with the loss.
Here are five takeaways from the game:
Quickley vs Baldwin
Quickley and Ace Baldwin (St. Frances) are the creme of the crop when it comes to floor generals in the state of Maryland. Rightfully so, their match up was one that the sold out crowd was taking in every possession. Quickley finished with 15 points and did a great job of controlling the tempo of the game. His future head coach John Calipari was in attendance. Baldwin finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. The sophomore sensation didn’t want the night to end before trying to get Calipari’s attention on himself as well as Quickley. This was a classic match up between two elite guards and neither disappointed.
Panthers dominate the glass
John Carroll has been one of the most impressive rebounding teams this season on both ends of the floor. They pride themselves in limiting their opponents to one shot per possession and on offense, they crash the glass like every shot is going to be a miss. Last night, the Panthers were the aggressors and the beneficiaries of a slew of offensive rebounds. Many of which resulted in second chance points. This was a key reason why St. Frances was able to come away with the win.
Gultekin puts together a strong first half
Junior forward Yavuz Gultekin gave the crowd plenty of reasons to cheer in the first half. He scored 13 of his 16 points in the first two frames and mixed it up well. The Patriots run a set where he pops to the right wing, Quickley passes it to him and comes off for a dribble hand-off. In one particular play, Gultekin faked the hand-off, spun middle towards the paint, took two dribbles and took off for a one-handed slam. He also knocked down two three’s. The 6’7 forward continues to add to his offensive arsenal.
Balance attack for the Panthers
What makes the Panthers so good is their balance offensively. They have a number of guys who can all put the ball in the basket. Senior guard Elijah Epps finished with 14 points, Baldwin and junior guard Rajeir Jones finished with 13, senior forward Koran Moore contributed nine points, while senior guard Ed Ferguson and sophomore guard Jordan Toles finished with eight a piece.
A great night for the city of Baltimore
There were a number of big games around the city, but this one was clearly the must-see event. Along with Kentucky head coach John Calipari coming out to watch, professional boxer and Baltimore native Gervonta Davis was in attendance, among others. The gym was standing room only and the energy in the gym was indescribable. Games like this is what makes the high school season so exciting and in the city of Baltimore, it’s what some people live for.