Posted On: 02/23/18 11:01 AM
Class 5 state power Chaminade ventured into Southeast Missouri to pay a visit to Class 4 state power in a late-season showdown as both teams prepared for what they hope are deep runs in their respective state tournaments. The two teams met last year in St. Louis with Chaminade dismantling Sikeston in easy fashion. Thursday night’s rematch was much more competitive, but the result was the same as the Red Devils came away with an 81-68 victory.
Here are Five Takeaways from the Chaminade-Sikeston game:
Class of 2018 standouts Jericole Hellems of Chaminade and Fred Thatch of Sikeston were teammates last summer on the Bradley Beal Elite 17U team that advanced to the Final Four of the Nike EYBL Peach Jam. They matched up for much of the evening and the 6’7″ Hellems got the better of it with 27 points and 11 rebounds. He got the Red Devils rolling early with 12 points in the first quarter, including three 3-pointers. The 6’3″ Thatch finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, but Hellems did a nice job of making the smaller Thatch make plays over his length throughout the evening. It was good to watch these two future Division I talents go head to head.
Although Hellems is the headline performer for the Red Devils, he is far from a one-man show as three other players scored in double figures. 2019 guard Keyyaun Batchman and 2018 guard Jadis White scored 14 points each while 6’6″ 2020 guard Luke Kasubke scored 11 points. All of these players can make open 3-pointers and they do an excellent job of passing the ball to each other. Their teamwork is tremendous, which makes them one of the highest scoring teams in the state. Hellems has his share of plays where he can isolate his defender, but in general, the ball does not stick and when that happens, they are very difficult to guard.
I have been really impressed with the continued development of the 6’7″ 2019 forward from Sikeston, especially on the offensive end. Jenkins finished the night with 18 points, nine rebounds and one blocked shot. His forte coming into high school was shot blocking, but he is now becoming a force on the offensive end. He did an excellent job of finishing around the basket in traffic and using the backboard on a regular basis. When Thatch graduates, look for Jenkins to become even more of a focal point on offense, especially with all of the other perimeter weapons returning next year.
The emergence of 6’1″ 2018 guard Jadis White of Chaminade has really helped the Red Devils reach another level. After being strictly a pass-first point guard last year, he has really elevated his play with his scoring and passing ability as he leads the St. Louis area in assists. White scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half, including a pair of big 3-pointers in the third quarter.
Both of these teams have a chance to advance to the Final Four of their respective state tournaments, but there are some big obstacles standing in their way. Chaminade is the top seed in their district tournament and they face a possible championship game against SLUH, which really slows the tempo down on them. In the sectionals, they will see a very talented and very hot Hazelwood Central team. Sikeston is also a top seed in their Class 4 district, which means a probable third meeting with rival Cape Girardeau Central. Should they advance to the quarterfinals, awaiting them will probably be two-time defending state champion Vashon or St. Mary’s.