Posted On: 02/3/18 2:34 PM
This was a game of runs, as Kennedy got off to a hot start, leading 21-14 after one quarter. However, Wyandotte, closed the first half on a 7-2 run to tie the game at halftime. After the half, the Bears took a 34-32 early in the third quarter. That lead wouldn’t last, as the Eagles went on a 15-0 run to take a 47-34 lead and never looked back. Savion Gray and Mario Forbes combined for 43 points and eight rebounds for Kennedy, while Bryce Armstrong and Chris Dobessi combined for 27 points and 17 rebounds.
With their win against Wyandotte tonight, the Eagles sit just one game out of first place in the league and have announced to everyone that they are contenders. Kennedy controls its own destiny, as they still have to play the two teams ahead of them (Carlson and Woodhaven). The Eagles have already beaten both teams and will get to play both of them at home this time around. Kennedy is a tenacious defensive team that likes to force turnovers and convert them into points. They are a legit contender and Carlson and Woodhaven should be nervous about having to play the Eagles on the road.
One of the biggest takeaways I had from this game is how good Savion Gray is. He was outstanding throughout the game, scoring 21 points, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out five assists. However, the most impressive part of his game was on the defensive end. He is a tenacious defender and made Wyandotte’s guards work for every bucket. I really like his game and believe he has what it takes to make it at the next level. He hasn’t received much interest yet, but I see him as a NAIA or Division III player. He reminds me of Andre Iguodala a little bit. He’s really good driving to the basket, can knock down the three with some consistency and plays hard defense. He needs to add some muscle, but his game is very smooth.
If you’ve seen this kid play, it’s not hard to see the potential he has. The 6-foot-7 big man is already a solid rebounder with great instincts down low. He didn’t start tonight’s game, but when he did enter the game, his impact was noticeable. He didn’t come in until the second quarter, but when he did, he scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in a two minute span. He finished the game with eight points and seven rebounds. When he was on the court, Wyandotte was much better defensively and dominated down low on offense. He’s not very strong, so hitting the weight room is necessary. However, he’s just a sophomore and has time to grow. He has the potential to become a dominant scoring and rebounding big man that every college program dreams of having.
For most coaches, it’s hard to find many positives in a loss. For Wyandotte, rebounding was a huge positive tonight, as they out-rebounded Kennedy 43-33. A lot of high school teams rely on their big men to rebound the basketball, but everyone on Wyandotte is focused on rebounding the ball and making sure opponents only get one shot per possession. They had five players with five or more rebounds and two of them were guards. Dobessi had 11, Forner had seven, David King had seven, Armstrong had six and Brendan Stuart had five. Wyandotte doesn’t have a great inside game, but they rebound very well and have a great set of guards to make up for it.
Didier Ngambo is going to be a very special player in a few years. Right now, you can see his raw athleticism and shot blocking ability. He had eight blocks and nine rebounds against Wyandotte Friday night. The 6-foot-4 big man is an incredible athlete that will continue to get better. Right now, I’d consider him a defensive specialist. In an interview with Prep Hoops’ Scott Hankamp, Ngambo said that he wants to eventually average 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. In my opinion, that rebound goal is too low. I think he can average between 13 and 15 rebounds per game. Offensively, he needs to work on a variety of post moves. With his length, getting shots up over defenders will be easy. Also, if he can develop a mid-range/3-point jumper, college programs will be drooling. He’s an intriguing prospect that, with the right coaching, can develop into one of the best big men in the state.