Posted On: 03/21/18 7:30 PM
Calihan Hall was the place to be on Tuesday, playing host to two quarterfinal matchups in Class A. Four great teams entered the game with an opportunity to advance to the semifinals, and both games were extremely competitive and went down to the wire. The UDJ/DeLaSalle game pitted two arch rivals in the Catholic league against one another while the Novi/Belleville game was a shootout that ended in a buzzer beater.
Part 2 of Tuesday’s notable performances below:
Jalen Thomas (2019/6’9/UofD)
This may have been the best offensive performance I’ve seen from Jalen. The junior big-man converted on his patented jumphook but also knocked down a midrange jumper on the baseline. On one notable possession, Thomas received the ball about 10 feet from the basket and took a reverse pivot before accelerating to the rim with one dribble and finishing with a true hookshot off 1 leg. Defensively, he blocked five shots and altered a ton more, controlling the paint and making it tough for the Pilots to score at the rim. Jalen has made noticeable strides over the last year and he is developing at a rapid rate. He finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Jordan Winowiecki (2018/6’5/De La Salle)
The senior wing wasn’t ready to end his career with the Pilots and it showed. Winowiecki was absolutely clutch in the second half, making huge plays in the final two quarters. Jordan knocked down two huge triples in the third to answer mini-runs by UD and keep the momentum in favor of De La Salle. In the final stanza Jordan covered a ton of ground from the wing to come up with an offensive rebound over Jalen Thomas and finished the putback plus the ‘and 1’. Winowiecki would finish with 17 points and played a pivotal role in the Pilots advancing to the semifinals.
Gabe Brown (2018/6’7/Belleville)
The 2018 Michigan State came out on fire in the first half, knocking down several perimeter shots in the opening quarter. Brown started the action off with a strong dribble drive to his left before pulling up and knocking down a 15 foot jumper from the elbow. Seconds later Gabe came off a down screen from the left wing and buried a catch and shoot triple. A few minutes after the 6’7 wing received the ball 27 feet away from the basket before rising up over his defender and connecting on a long range bomb from straight away. He would later score a few buckets on a transition layup and another catch and shoot triple to finish with 15 points. It’s not often that an athletic 6’7 prospect has that type of shooting prowess and fluidity, and the Spartans are going to have a great player in a few years.
Jiovanni Miles (2018/6’2/Novi)
The Novi shooting guard earned that title on Tuesday night, as Miles started the first quarter off by connecting on a 26 foot triple off the dribble. He would knock down another triple from the right wing and a midrange jumper after receiving a ball screen in the third quarter. While the potency of his jumper is beyond question, Jiovanni may have done his best work off the ball. The junior made crisp cuts and relocated on several occasions to free himself up for easy conversions on layups on his way to 16 points for the game.
Justin Fischer (2018/6’3/De La Salle)
Fischer didn’t put up big scoring numbers against UofD, but his impact went far beyond the points in a box score. Justin was simply great in all other aspects of the game. The Lake Superior commit lived up to his reputation as a gifted passer, as he had several hit-ahead passes to teammates for easy layups in transition. Fischer also crashed the glass and came down with a handful of rebounds in traffic in addition to using his active hands to get several steals and deflections that generated turnovers. Justin had a Lonzo Ball like impact on the game where his influence was everywhere on the court and the Pilots needed every bit of it.
Traveon Maddox (2018/6’4/Novi)
Traveon was simply unstoppable, scoring from all over the court on all three levels. As a penetrator, Maddox showed good change of speed when going left, using a hesitation dribble before accelerating to the rim and throwing down ferocious dunks or utilizing a crafty floater with the off-hand. On the perimeter the 6’4 guard knocked down multiple jumpers from both midrange and distance after creating space with a stepback dribble. Saving his best for last, the Oakland University commit split a double team on the left wing before pulling up at the elbow and burying a 15 foot jumper to win the game for Novi at the buzzer.