Posted On: 02/28/18 3:52 PM
The second round playoff game between Southwood and East Ascension had the makings of a classic. Both teams had similar personnel and their style of play was not very different. In the end, the game was dominated by the Cowboys on their home floor. Even though Southwood is the team moving on to the quarterfinals, their were observations about both teams that stuck out from the night.
2020 Wing Hobert Grayson IV has star potential – His team might have been on the losing end but Grayson left a lasting impression on Tuesday night. For a sophomore, he displayed a polished offensive game. Hobert has an all around offensive game that will only improve these next two years. As Bill Raftery says, “when he gets the puppies set,” he is lethal from deep. At 6’4″, with his long arms and high release, many players do not have a chance to even challenge his shot. He also has a quick first step to go along with a long stride. If he has the defender on his hip, he is going to score or get fouled. On the defensive end he will need to get stronger as he will defend many post players when he plays. However, that will come with time. Over the next two years, he will be a player that will be looked at for district player of the year easily. His ceiling is other-worldly to be honest.
2019 Wings SD Ellis (6’2″) and Rod Stinson (6’3″) gain confidence – Before last night, Stinson and Ellis had shown flashes of their scoring and defensive prowess throughout the season. With the season on the line, both juniors put it together. Ellis, who is the younger brother of former Southwood and Northwestern State standout Louis Ellis, showed a quick release from three and the ability to bring the ball up the floor. The most impressive thing was his quickness to scoring areas he liked on the floor. His mid-range jumper is pure and is embraced by his coaching staff. His counterpart, Stinson, is silky smooth with an elusive quickness about him. He was able to play effective full denial defense on Jimel Sanders and able to close out on Hobert Grayson to discourage three point shots. On offense, his corner three point shot was on. During the fourth quarter, he hit every free throw to secure the win. With these two gaining confidence, Southwood’s offensive potential may be limitless.
2018 Guard Yancey Kelly has emerged – For a player who has been painted as a shooter his whole career, Kelly has evolved into a polished do-it-all guard towards the end of this season. East Ascension pulled out man-to-man pressure, full court traps, and tried rushing his pace up the floor. All of those tactics came to no avail. Yancey displayed a senior’s maturity by finding guys for the right shots, taking important shots of his own when needed, and rebounding when he had to. His senior adversary at point guard might have outscored him 17-9, but Yancey had the more effective game. East Ascension could not rattle him and he is a big reason that Southwood will be facing Walker in the quarterfinals.