Posted On: 02/16/18 9:29 AM
Thursday night I ventured down the road to Paris to get eyes on the Greyhounds for the first time this season. Senior Eric Johnson starred for the victorious home team. Dontaie Allen was basically unstoppable for Pendleton. The game served as a potential regional tournament preview and the atmosphere was really good for a Thursday night game without any tangible rivalry history. Here’s what I took away from the game.
1. Dontaie Allen is probably the most valuable player in the state. The 6’6 junior had 43 points and 13 rebounds in the losing effort. He grabbed his 1000th career rebound and if not for his all around play, this game could have easily been a 30 point or more loss for the Wildcats. Allen’s scoring ability and all around playmaking carried Pendleton to a halftime lead and nearly won the game.
2. Pendleton isn’t going far in the postseason unless their role players step up. Throughout the game, Pendleton’s players not named Dontaie Allen looked scared to death of Paris and their pressure defense. Several times, they passed up open shots and forced passes that weren’t there. Allen is a dynamic player and I’ve seen the role players play VERY well in other games that they have won. In order for Coach Keaton Belcher’s team to make a run in the postseason, players like Grant Walsh and Jacob Yelton need to step up and meet the challenge.
3. Eric Johnson can be a really good college PG. I hadn’t got to see Johnson since his Junior season last year but he was playing very well on Thursday night. He finished with 19 points on only 6-15 shooting but was 2-3 from 3 and 5-6 at the line. He grabbed 9 rebounds and dished out several assists. Johnson is well built and strong. He can finish at the rim and knock down open shots. Some schools need to be getting involved with the senior point guard.
4. If Paris is hitting 3s, they are very tough to beat. The Greyhounds have some good wins on their resume and some weird losses but they looked really good in the 3rd quarter Thursday night. Their pressure bothered Pendleton and they started raining down 3s in a 2 minute stretch where they went on an 15-2 run to take control of the game. If they can shoot like that, they can make some noise in the regional tournament. But if they play as lackadaisical as they did in the first half, they could lose to Montgomery County in the district opener.
5. The 10th region is pretty wide open. George Rogers Clark is the presumptive favorite but Campbell County, Pendleton County, Paris and Scott are all capable of winning. Mason County could get hot and have a chance. The 10th is one of the regions where multiple teams have a legitimate chance to win and should make for one of the most entertaining regional tournaments in a couple of weeks.