After upsetting 4th seeded Wyoming on Saturday, Coach Ty Cass and the Aiken Falcons continued there upset ways with a 58-50 win over 2nd seeded McNicholas Tuesday. Trailing 36-31 going into the 4th frame, buckets by 2019 G D’Arris Dean (PHO #86) along with some big defensive stops helped the Falcons win the frame 27-14.
Dean lead the Falcons with 28 points which included him hitting six from 3-point land. Rising 2021 G Jakeda Stone also had a strong performance with 14 points to help in victory. For the Rockets 2018 G Ryan Belmont finished with 16 points while 2018 F James Ehlers finished with 14 points and was a bull on the boards.
Five Takeaways: #2 McNicholas vs. #8 Aiken
- The Rockets sorely missed the services of 2018 G Ryan Reidy (PHO #178). The GCL Co-Ed POY has been out a couple weeks with a leg injury is the chief creator in the McNick offensive attack. While Coach Monahan squad did a good job of moving the ball in the 1st half, they needed more dribble penetration in the 2nd half as the ball-movement became harder to accomplish. You can only wonder if the outcome would have been different had Reidy played.
- Programs at the next level will want to keep their eye on the before mentioned D’Arris Dean throughout the grassroots season. This young man can shoot the ball with range while also showing a nice touch on his floaters in the lane. If he can improve his efficiency (37% from the floor during the season), he could be in the discussion of best 2019 guards in the city.
- Falcons did an outstanding job making sure 2018 G Cole Burdick did not have a big impact on the game. The Rockets 2nd leading scorer this season at 14.1ppg, Burdick finished with 9 points and had limited impact on the game. You can tell he was the center of attention as he was face guarded basically the whole game.
- The play of the Falcon big men Tremaine Smith (2019) and Hsjani Estee (2018) must be mentioned. Both did a great job either blocking or altering shots at the rim and provided plenty of 2nd possession opportunities for Aiken. Smith also chipped in 7 huge second half points to help Coach Cass squad pull away.
- Aiken now goes on to play CMAC rival Hughes Saturday for a chance to play in Dayton. Big Red swept the season series 2-0 including a 28-point victory back on February 9th. They say its hard to beat the same team 3 times in a season, could Aiken make that saying hold true?