Posted On: 03/24/18 8:12 AM
Dominate second half performances from Solon’s Sincere Carry and Moeller’s Jaxson Hayes will be remembered by Ohio high school basketball fans for a long time. The two ensured a showdown of no. 1 Solon versus no. 2 Moeller in the Division I State Championship tonight, tipping off at 8:30PM.
For the Comets, it took a collective effort of sharp-shooting and a resilient defensive effort to outscore Pickerington Central by 14 points in a second half comeback. Moeller struggled to put Lorain away. However, they remained undefeated against Ohio opponents by wearing down their opponents in the post.
West Virginia early commit and 6’1″ Moeller guard Miles “Deuce” McBride played in his first game of the season. He missed the season after spraining his left foot during football season. Although he was considerably less explosive last night, the premiere perimeter defender could presumably be used on against Carry in tonight’s championship game.
Anyways, here’s the top performances from Friday night.
Carry put up 29 points, 11 assists, and five steals, most of which he accumulated in their second half after changing shoes. He was simply dominate. The West Liberty commit uses changes of speeds, including a classic hesitation move, to get past his initial defender. Once in the lane, Carry has the ability to handle pressure and the presence of mind to look off defenders like a seasoned quarterback before zipping a pass to who he actually wants to shoot. It’s marvelous. He did all of this with foul trouble — playing with two in the first half and four for the final six minutes. There was no way Solon could sub him out.
Other than facilitating, Carry also puts pressure on the defense with his pull-up jumper from. The threat opens driving lanes since it commands respect from 25 feet. Strong hands on defense.
Hayes catapulted Moeller past Lorain with a dominate second half. The Texas signee put up 12 points and 4 rebounds in the final two periods. Even more impressive than the several two-handed baseline flushes was an and-one in transition where he spun after running full-speed up the court.
Hayes is an extremely fluid rim protector that should be able to make a defensive impact next season. For Moeller, his athletic size frees up the defense to pressure ball-handlers and their slashers to throw up low-percentage shots at the basket. He had five offensive rebounds.
The Wright State signee has taken his game to another level as a senior. His shot creation in the halfcourt is a new element. The jumper and turn-around floater were impressive. The senior also went directly into the defense and bounced off contact to get a clean look up. Meanwhile, Davenport remains a premier defender and rebounder on the wing. He’s long and gets low in the defensive stance.
On paper, TPL was in trouble, giving up four inches to Hayes, not to mention the other two Moeller forwards. Yet, he got to the rack on the drive or with his back to the basket. The junior is extremely strong and has a good feel. TPL finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and momentum going into his 17U grassroots season.
Just a couple days after earning his first D-I offer from Bowling Green, Grant proved capable of finishing against a high major rim protector. He’s a flat-out scorer and only turned it over one time. Grant can also shoot the ball, going 2/4 from beyond the arch. He’s sneaky. Wowed the crowd on a contested layup that hung in the air forever and a reverse around three defenders.
Bekelja quietly put up 17 points, six assists, and five rebounds. He just consistently makes the right play. We like the Fairmont State verbal commit’s way of driving directly at defenders with a low dribble. The two-guard forces guys to play on their heels. Bekelja finishes with either hand creatively. Furthermore, he’s not just a premier shooter because of his stroke; Bekelja is an elite relocater, always getting open and staying within Carry’s line of vision one the spot-up.
The herky jerky slashing point guard is able to get to the rim on pretty much any possession. While he made the mistake of over-dribbling at times, Garcia also protected the ball against a high-pressure defense. He finished with 21 points and 10 assists and played some sticky defense in the first half, coming up with a couple athletic rejections against his man on the drive.
The Detroit Mercy signee went from blazing hot to cold very quickly. To start, he appeared to be the exact forward you’d want to exploit Solon’s undersized lineup. Nelson could keep up with pace and burn them in the paint with his strong upper body and athleticism — represented in his transition and-one dunk in the second quarter.
He entered the break with 21 points (9/10 shooting) and six rebounds. Nelson then ended the game with 21 points (9/12 shooting) and nine rebounds. Pick Central’s lack of transition offense was a part of it, as Solon started making shots. However, it was shocking that he wasn’t able to be more involved in their halfcourt offense, a piece of his game that has plagued him for a while.
The no. 2 ranked team needed a veteran performance from their senior point guard. He delivered, scoring 12 points and grabbing five rebounds. His three triples in the first half showed off his range and commanded Lorain to go over on screens. Payton struggled mightily from the free throw line however, going 3/8.