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Posted On: 02/28/18 6:43 PM
Game #2 of the R5AA semifinal from East Nashville Magnet was just as entertaining as game 1. MLK ran out to a 24-11 lead after 1 quarter of play. Whites Creek kept chipping away at the lead until they tied the game at 46, from there the game was back and forth, with regulation ending 69-69 with a buzzer beater. Whites Creek outscored MLK 14-1 in the OT period advancing to the R5AA Championship with an 83-70 OT win.
Best Under the Radar performer: With 12 of the 15 all district players taking the court on the night 3 under the radar guys had nice games. MLK SR Forward Pierce Majors pulled down 9 boards, 2 blocks, and 1 steal to go with his 7 points. Dez Davis of MLK showed off a solid mid-range jumper and dropped in 17 points tying Stratford’s Mike Davis for 2nd highest point total in either game. White’s Creek Senior G Isiah Bowers poured in 14 points to go along with his 6 steals in the win.
Best Intangibles: Senior G Isiah Bowers showed strong character in the 1st half while the team was struggling to score. He stepped up and hit a few big 3s and midrange jump shots that kept his team close. Sophomore G Chad Haywood, Whites Creek’s 7th man, played a critical role in the press and had 5 points and 5 steals during his 22 minutes.
Best guy off the bench: The bench’s were not very active during this game (MLK 13; WC 5), but MLK Junior G Tre Vaughn made the most of his 9 minutes, scoring 10 points and recording a rebound.
Best Coaching Decision: Whites Creek started pressing after getting down big in the 1st The press was effective, generated turnovers (MLK had 29 to WC’s 19), and made MLK work hard to get into their half court offense. They went into the press in the 2nd quarter and stayed with it the rest of the game. It was a bold move with only 7 players seeing the court, but it worked brilliantly, and changed the outcome of the game.
Best Underclassman: Sophomore F Dylan Wade made an 8-0 run, spanning 2 halves, all by himself. With buckets on the last 2 possessions of the 2nd and the first 2 of the 3rd he cut the MLK lead to 41-35. He finished the game with a 14 point 12 rebound double-double.
Best Defensive Performance: Isiah Bowers may have led the game with 6 steals, but MLK’s Senior G Trinity Carney had the defensive performance of the game. He held Dennis Stallings largely in check until he picked up his 4th foul early in the 4th Carney remained in the game, but Stallings recognized the 4 fouls and attacked off the dribble forcing a defensive switch after a few contested jump shots, then Stallings exploded offensively.
Best Offensive Performance: Speaking of Dennis Stallings the Senior Guard exploded for 29 points, most of which came in the 4th quarter and overtime.
Play of the Game: (See the tape) With 8 seconds left and an opportunity to go up 3 MLK misses a free throw. Stallings takes the rebound, goes coast to coast, through the entire MLK defense, through the key, with the left, and beats the buzzer to send the game to Overtime.
MVP: 29 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals, and the shot that took the game into overtime. Dennis Stallings was the man tonight, and a deserving MVP winner.
Best Story to Watch Going Forward: With all sorts of fire power at the guard position going into the R5AA Championship game Dylan Wade’s matchup against Mike Davis will be one to watch. Both are powerful Sophomore big men with great interior footwork and above average perimeter ballhandling skills. With equally matched guard play the play of the big men will play a big role in the outcome of the Regional Championship.