Posted On: 02/13/18 8:44 PM
Brentwood Academy (21-5) completely crushed a proud McCallie team (22-7) Tuesday night, 64-39.
The game was only competitive for about a quarter and a half. Sadly the two finalists from last spring did not deliver a hotly contested affair.
What lessons could be extrapolated from the blowout?
The Eagles thrive in transition. If the quick guard-heavy lineup pulls down the defensive rebound opponents better hope they have a safety on the floor. Nobody in DII darts up the floor with Cameron Johnson’s speed and tenacity. Darius can easily out-run most defenders and any laggard play gets punished swiftly.
You have to get one guard, maybe two rotating back to slow the Eagles in flight.
“We thought we were quicker them at a couple of spots,” said Cam Johnson. “So we wanted to get up the floor and try to get some easy buckets early.”
They did completely exploit the Blue Tornado in the open floor. Most of the clever defense-crippling passes came from the hands of Darius Garland.
Darius Garland loves to involve his teammates. Like a great leader, Garland gets the biggest smiles after he finds a teammate with a no-look laser.
Cam Johnson finished off a couple glorious Darius passes. When Brentwood Academy took a painful December loss in Memphis, Darius directly stated that he hoped his teammates could play up to his level.
While this notion is silly as Darius is the best player in the state, Garland’s teammates can play with a speedy mind thereby providing the slick passer with eager recipients.
Darius Garland finished with 23 points in the win.
The McCallie Blue Tornado needs to find their hearts quickly. Playoffs are less than a week away and McCallie intends to enter with a #3 seed.
Senior Jay Gibson thinks they can get the magic back, but Junior Clay simply stared into oblivion after his forgettable performance Tuesday night.
Clay is the one performer McCallie simply can’t survive without. Clay (Tennessee Tech signee) played with and above Oak Hill Academy for three quarters, but when he doesn’t mentally show up the Blue Tornado lack a significant spark and obviously the prolific scoring punch.
McCallie at Brentwood Academy 2Q https://t.co/UFK97RVVVj
— PrepHoopsTennessee (@PrepHoopsTN) February 14, 2018
It is tough to matchup guard to guard with Brentwood Academy, but when Junior Clay plays his best it is possible to contend. Clay was virtually non-existent Tuesday. Though Trip Butler hit his first two three-pointers the sharpshooter picked up a second foul early. He did not score or play much the rest of the game.
The surprise showing of the night came from junior Brentwood Academy forward/center Nate Clifton (DT/OL). Known primarily as a football player, Clifton blocked multiple shots and scored eight points. Clifton is an important piece for Brentwood Academy.
If they need a defensive rebounder it falls to either Clifton or Devyn Curtis. Cam Johnson is wonderful on the offensive glass and Cory Reynolds helps, but neither possess the raw size of Clifton.
The season-ending injury to Gavin Schoenwald left a frontcourt vacancy that Brentwood Academy might be solving with Clifton.
The ego can heel, but Mac Hunt’s ankle might not. The unsigned senior wing left the basketball game early in the third quarter never to return.
“It is not the ankle,” said McCallie Head Coach John Shulman. “It is his foot. It is a sprain or worse to the upper arch.”
Coach Shulman joked that both of Mac’s parents are doctors at Vandy medical (true) and they would fly in a foot specialist tonight.
After the game Mac was walking with his foot and calf completely wrapped. He was able to put some weight on it eventually, which is an encouraging sign.
Look for an update on Mac’s injury by Wednesday late afternoon.
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