Posted On: 03/25/18 5:00 AM
Deer Park finished the 2017-18 season with a zero in the loss column. They’re taking the big trophy back to Cincinnati after a 67-57 victory over Africentric.
Transfer Damani Mcentire introduced himself to the entire state of the Ohio during the Wildcats’ second half run to seal it. Mcentire did his best Kawhi Leonard impression as he took the game into his own hands, literally ripping away Africentric’s opportunities on 50/50 hustle plays.
While he was the clear MVP after two games, four other players join him on the First Team All State Tournament for D-III for their strong weekend.
The D-I guard prospect proved to be an elite defensive player, especially down the stretch when DP needed it most. He caused countless turnovers in the passing lanes and tallied six steals. We’ve never seen someone dominate a game with off-ball defense until tonight. Mcentire’s quick instincts, strong hands, and athleticism make him a problem. It was like watching a lockdown corner shut-down one side of the field.
We learned a lot about the athletic sophomore this weekend, most of it good. Wise has court awareness on the drive and distributed it pretty well to shooters. Although Wise isn’t extremely quick, he makes up for it by changing speeds and having a thick frame. Getting to the bucket is no problem. He rebounds well for a guard. Adding a jump shot could determine his ceiling as a prospect.
The elusive slasher and pull-up extraordinaire led all D-III scorers this weekend with nearly 40 total points. Baumgardner, a Minnesota State signee, is tough to stay in front of with his quickness and unpredictability. He did most of his damage on Thursday, but he kept Africentric in the game for three quarters on Championship Saturday.
Hocker made a habit of emerging from the scrum around the basket with rebounds. His 18-rebound game on Thursday was dominate and he followed it up with stout defense Saturday. Hocker is a football prospect who doubles as an enforcer in the paint, consistently altering shots in the paint and pushing forwards off the block.
Bennett played the best defensive game we’ve ever seen out of him in the State Championship. Deflecting shots and competing against physical forwards was a pleasant surprise from the Kentucky State signee. On the other end, he shot an extremely low percentage. Bennett doesn’t possess good body control and it hurts him when he attacks the basket or even rises for a routine layup. With that being said, a face-up jumper should be a priority for him this offseason.