Posted On: 02/12/18 6:56 PM
If there was ever a game that previewed the intensity of talented teams in March, this was it: Cretin-Derham Hall vs DeLaSalle. The Raiders had too much up front for the Islanders but CDH had to battle every step of the way to earn the rivalry win.
I wasn’t able to see the game live but I was able to see the game online thanks to TJSportsonline.com and if you want to see the game I suggest you head to their web page and have a look as the video feed is clean and easy to view.
One. The Atmosphere. This was one of those games that brought the Minnesota basketball community together. I watched the game online but in talking to many, it was clear that the stands were packed with basketball friends that we all know very well. It was number one of Class AAAA versus number one of Class AAA, and the DeLaSalle and Cretin-Derham Hall communities competed for their annual trophy. Was it physical and at times a bit too physical? Of course. These are very talented players with emotions on high. Words were exchanged, some bodies smacked each other, and kicks were produced (not sure how that went without a foul call, seemed quite clear on the video). That said, it’s a game that prepared both teams for the stretch run and many basketball fans in the state enjoyed.
Two. Gopher Pair. Daniel Oturu and Gabe Kalscheur have been summer teammates and they will be teammates at the University of Minnesota again very soon. Future assistant coach Ben Johnson was in the stands as was Gophers Isaiah Washington and Dupree McBrayer, both of which will play with Daniel and Gabe next year. Neither disappointed. Oturu made 12 of 17 field goals for 25 points with 13 rebounds and five blocks. Oturu’s low post game spinning out of double teams and stepping through the double team attempts led to several touched in scores as Daniel moved through defenses smoothly. There was also four dunks and a baseline jumper out of a spin move. Kalscheur hit five threes in the game and scored 24 points total but I was impressed with how he took Chatman off the dribble for production four different times plus defensively Gabe had three steals, took three charges, and jumped over his man twice for deflections.
Three. Too Big. The Islanders are a very good basketball team but they simply don’t have a guy that can match up with Oturu and Sy Chatman around the basket. It’s not that Oturu and Chatman are too big, they have good size at 6-9/6-10 and 6-6/6/7 respectively, it’s that both are so long and quick off their feet. A team like DeLaSalle can defend one but not both of them. Oturu’s big double-double of 25 and 13 followed by the 17 points and seven rebounds from Chatman went unmatched. It was too difficult for retreating or rotating defenders from DeLaSalle to get to this pair and stop them from deep paint attempts. Chatman and Oturu explosively finished and then on the other end they controlled the defensive glass plus their length blocked a combined seven or eight shots contested several others.
Four. Guard Battle. Ryan Larson from CDH and Tyrell Terry from DeLaSalle are two of the better lead guards in the state. They are the leaders at the point position of the best teams in their respective classes. That said, both had stretches of tough play, but Larson was able to fight through it was a gritty fight to get his team the win. Tyrell missed the first six shots he took on Saturday and he had trouble with some turnover issues as Larson’s dog fight defense seemed to be everywhere. Larson had several turnovers in the first half that he would like to have back and there were too many no pass halfcourt possessions in the second half that Larson went to his own offense and came up empty. That said, Larson found a grove for both himself and his teammates more than Terry did as Ryan scored 14 points with five assists and eight rebounds.
Five. Ex-Factors. Two players who I thought stepped forward to have key games for their teams were Jamison Battle of DeLaSalle and Jacob Prince of Cretin-Derham Hall. Battle knocked down three three pointers (maybe four) and more impressively found ways to score on the move against the Raiders size. With feet set Battle smoothly hit important shots and even more impressively Battle finished on the move with activity in his area. I also thought he moved better defensively than I have seen him in the past. Speaking of defense, Prince is a physical warrior that loves this type of atmosphere. A future Southern Misss football player, Prince did his job defensively and also scored five times. These two were the key ex-factors for each team and will be ex-factors going forward. Battle is usually the Islanders third option where as Prince is a top defender in the metro.