Posted On: 03/2/18 9:15 PM
Niles North hosted St. Viator on their home floor in the regional championship on Friday night. The Vikings have had their best year in school history and were looking to roll on in the state tournament, but it wouldn’t be easy as St. Viator led at the half 28-27. Niles North took control of the game in the fourth quarter with their defense and hitting some big shots. St. Viator cut it to 61-58 with 1:41 left, but Niles North pulled away late at the foul line to win 68-60. Here are our 5 Takeaways: Niles North vs St Viator.
Dravon Clayborn is a D1 Prospect
Niles North 2018 point guard Dravon Clayborn displayed what we have seen each time we have evaluated him this season. The 6’1” point guard is electric with the rock in his hands. He loves to get dribble penetration and kick to open shooters. Made some flashy passes in this game as well. At times can be a bit turnover prone with his flair for the game. He was lights out shooting the basketball on Friday night. Clayborn drilled an array of threes pulling up and off the catch. Also several stop and pop mid-range pull ups. Was active early on the defensive end pressuring the ball. He has proven to be a legit low-major prospect. Finished with 21 points.
Damaria Franklin Comes Up Big on D and at Line
Franklin is a 6’3” strongly built 2018 shooting guard. He only hit one three on this night which is usually one of his strengths. What was effective was his defense. Great at anticipating dribble handoffs and getting his hands in passing lanes. Four times he got steals and went the other way for dunks. Also contributed on the glass and came up clutch late closing the game out with four free throws. The unsigned senior had 21 points. D2s and high level JUCOs need to take notice.
Niles North Defense and Depth
Niles North defense was stellar at times in this game. The way they pressure the ball with their lateral quickness and length makes them tough to score against. Demarion Bariffe-Smith is a long and athletic small forward that causes havoc on D and gets rebounds. Nice small college or JUCO prospect in the 2018 class. Jamal Stephenson is a lefty point guard who struggled shooting it from deep, but was solid getting to the rack and finishing on free throws. Tough rebounder. Projects as a nice JUCO prospect.
St. Viator Juniors Primed for Big Summers
It was a bit of a slow start for St. Viator small forward Jeremiah Hernandez. The states #11 2019 prospect had the full attention of Niles North’s defense from the jump. He was a little loose with it and had some turnovers. He got to the line midway through the second quarter and once he saw the ball go through the hoop things started rolling. He converted a couple tough drives and spent quite a bit of time at the charity stripe where he made his free throws at a high percentage. Hernandez hit a pair of threes in his contest. Didn’t see as much of the passing we like so much out of him in this game. He had 23 points. Hernandez already holds a handful of mid-major offers and we would expect that list to grow this spring and summer. His junior running mate Trevon Calvin checks in at #32 in the 2019 class. Calvin loves getting in the lane and creating for himself and others. His go to floater was falling consistently in this game. Also hit some pull ups from mid-range. Solid passer. He had 17 points. Projects as a D1 prospect heading into spring.
Peter Lambesis is Small College Gem
Lambesis is a skilled wing that plays bigger than his size. Excellent rebounder that crashes the glass. Scores well in the lane making tough layups and connects regularly from 15 feet. Also hit a catch and shoot three. Versatile senior finished his career with 14 points in this one. High level D3 and NAIA prospect!