Posted On: 03/5/18 10:28 AM
Friday night marked the near end of the high school hoops regular season, and boy did it go out with a bang on The Island.
One final Tri-Metro matchup between DeLaSalle and Columbia Heights took place at the home of the Islanders. Although both of these teams have locked up top seeds in their respective sections, there was no letup in such an intense atmosphere between these conference rivals. A tight, uptempo first half gave De the lead 37-34, and though the Hylanders are extremely talented, DeLaSalle’s role players stepped up in time to extend the final score to 82-67. Emotions ran high on both sides by the end of this one, even if the future implications were not serious. Here’s the rundown of individual and team standouts:
Gabe’s production. Gabe Kalscheur scored a very quiet 30 points on Friday. The three-point shot was not falling most of the night (though his two makes were very timely down the stretch) so he was regularly put into back screen cutting situations to isolate a mismatch in the post. Most of his numbers came in the second half run to put De up by double digits, but nevertheless, 30 is 30, and 30 is a lot. A gritty effort by Gabe all night.
Give me those! I had never watched Columbia Heights as a high school team before; a few of their guys played AAU together but I’ve never had a close look at their full squad. I was pleasantly impressed by Wendell Matthews and how active he is around the bucket. He swatted multiple takes to the rim by Islander guards throughout the game and scared them away when they didn’t shoot it. Matthews was a force on the glass as well, where DeLaSalle did not have the advantage in size. Whichever school Wendell chooses will be a happy one.
THE ISLAND. Nicollet Island is quickly becoming my favorite venue for a game, a change of pace from the usual big gyms I travel to throughout a season. The tight bleachers, large crowd, low ceiling… and of course the Slow Clap. Just my second appearance in that gym ever, but after experiencing De/Cretin there last year and another entertaining game on Friday, there’s no doubt it’ll turn into an annual tradition to visit.
Terry is very, very good. Count me in for the Tyrell Terry fan club. He looks another inch taller, probably standing close to 6-foot-2 now, and his handles are as sharp as ever. Smooth stroke from beyond the arc that is a dagger when left wide open. Terry’s ability to break down a single defender and make the second line of defense commit to him—allowing him to make the perfect open pass—is one of the best reasons high majors are all over him. Wouldn’t be surprised if his stock rises to more corners of the country with another season of AAU and high school.
A point guard to buy into. That would be Deundra Roberson. This guy can play, and that’s a known fact already, but he flashed some twists to his game I’d never seen or heard about before. Those things include a high-rising, stop-on-a-dime midrange jumper that was hitting all night and very aware, active hands on the defensive end. Not to mention his quick jumping ability that led to a fast break hammer for a momentum swing on Friday. The Hylander backcourt staple will be a phenomenal addition to a college program next year in just about every way.