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Posted On: 02/24/18 3:00 PM
The Class 2, District 8 semifinal showdown between host New Bloomfield and Eugene featured two of the Top 10 teams in the final Missouri Basketball Coaches Association regular season poll. The fact that they were playing in a district semifinal lets you know how loaded the field was. The game lived up to the billing as New Bloomfield edged Eugene 65-63 in a game full of momentum swings and exciting plays.
Here is a 10 Best from the New Bloomfield-Eugene game:
MVP: Jak Kitchens (New Bloomfield) – The 6’6″ 2018 forward scored a game-high 29 points and was a load inside throughout the evening. He completed the dominant performance by scoring the game winning basket with six seconds left.
Best Offensive Player: Jak Kitchens (New Bloomfield) – Kitchens displayed a versatile post game with strong moves and some excellent footwork around the basket. He also stepped outside and knocked down a couple of 3-pointers off the catch. He also took the defensive rebound and attacked the basket off the dribble.
Best Defensive Player: Zach Bond (Eugene): The bouncy 6’7″ 2018 forward was a big factor on the defensive end with his length and shot blocking ability. He had one impressive chase down block in the first half which was actually goal-tending, but he got to the ball when it was over the square. It was impressive to look at.
Best Young Prospect: Tre Kempker (Eugene): The 6’4″ 2020 forward is an impressive young player who scored 11 points. He handled the ball for much of the game and displayed some athleticism with an impressive dunk in transition. With most of his teammates graduating, look for him to carry a big load for the next two years.
Best All-Purpose Player: Mason Kerkweg (Eugene) – The 6’4″ 2108 forward did a little of everything to contribute to his team’s success. He is a solid ball-handler, good passer who will also score, rebound and knock down a 3-pointer. He had a personal seven-point run midway through the fourth quarter to give Eugene its last lead.
Best Shooters: Jalen Martin (New Bloomfield) and Mason Englebrecht (Eugene) – Both guards nailed a couple of 3-pointers at key junctures of the game. Englebrecht made his two triples during a big Eugene run in the third quarter while Martin made his two 3-pointers late in the game to spark a big New Bloomfield rally.
Best Driver: Jacob Adrian (Eugene): The 6’1″ 2018 guard scored a team-high 18 points. He was in attack mode from the beginning of the game as he staked the Eagles to an early 11-0 lead with seven early points. Adrian was tough to handle with his ability to attack the rim on the dribble.
Unsung Performer: Cole Hazelhorst (New Bloomfield): The 6’5″ 2018 post contributed 11 big points to the Wildcats’ victory. He finished well around the basket with many nice passes from the high post from Kitchens in the second half. He was also a solid rebounder.