Posted On: 03/3/18 9:54 AM
After a double-header at Toledo Central Catholic last night, a Sectional Final between St. Francis and Whitmer is set for March 8 at the University of Toledo at 8pm. The pair of junior-laden Three Rivers Athletic Conference (TRAC) teams eliminated Bowling Green and Toledo Start respectively.
As always, we’re on the sidelines to watch the prospects involved. A number of quality 2019 kids from Northwest Ohio impressed over the course of two games.
Wells has transitioned from defensive specialist over to point guard in a year’s time. With the added offensive responsibility, Wells is thriving. Improvements in his handle, jumper, and overall feel for the game led to 16 points, four assists, and four rebounds in the win over BG. Wells continues to be a premiere defender on the wing with his instincts and quickness.
He has a bit of a hitch in his jumper that effects him when the defense closes out. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if Wells garners D-II and NAIA offers this grassroots season. He’s able to score around the basket and is especially good at handling contact in the air.
The broad-shouldered junior was a beast on the offensive glass, grabbing 13 rebounds in total yesterday. His ability to track the ball and physicality to go get it are impressive. However, it was Harris’s playmaking skills as a passer that were most exciting. Whether it’s cross-court lasers or outlet passes, Harris facilitates offense as a stretch forward. Harris can also shoot it pretty well from deep.
Neal is a super long and fluid athlete at the wing position for a freshman. He has the defensive feel and IQ that you’d hope to see out of someone with his physical tools. In a close game mid-third quarter, Neal turned an interception into a transition dunk and a defensive rebound into an and-one for Wells to shift momentum in the game. While his jumper has a shaky release, he’s already able to make elusive plays around the basket. Neal has D-I upside.
Elsasser kept the outmatched Bobcats in the game with his three-level scoring. He was able to create a sliver of space with ball fakes. Elsasser can shoot it off the bounce and scored 18 points. Finding more ways to get separation and rebounding are developments we’d like to see going forward. However, local colleges should definitely take a look at Elsasser in the summer.
Three first half 3-pointers were the best thing we saw out of Colbert yesterday. Playing primarily on the wing offensively, Colbert posted game-highs with 22 points and nine rebounds. He’s got a knack for putting it in the rim, shooting a very high percentage during both our viewings this year. His frame is promising. Continuing to show the ability to create for himself is his next step, but he showed promise on a baseline drive to end the third quarter.
Syroka put the game on ice in the fourth quarter when Whitmer decided to slow it down. He protects the rock and never allowed himself to get in trouble when Start went to a trap. He was arguably the most valuable player last night despite attempting only three field goals, because of his ability to create and stay calm in a hyped environment. Syroka consistently draws two defenders with his quick handle, totaling five assists (he really should have had about 10, but guys got fouled and/or missed open shots). Also, the high-academic point guard is special in the pick and roll, able to drop in bounce passes better than most anyone in Ohio.
Evans played off ball as a slasher offensively. However, he took on the challenge of guarding Start’s point guard and leading scorer and totally threw them off. His ability to single-handidly guard Devin Williams meant that Whitmer didn’t have to help over. They stayed glued to their guys off-ball and Start only scored 14 second half points because of it.
Evans noticeably passed up jumpers and struggled to finish around the rim. However, he’s a very strong defensive player that we’ve seen finish much more consistently on other nights. He plays with an edge.