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Posted On: 03/18/18 4:49 PM
South Bend Riley was brought an undefeated season into Semi-State to face a Carmel team, that although had 7 losses, is playing very good basketball as of late. The Wildcats rely heavily on a senior class to do the majority of their scoring and rebounding. Carmel is much of the opposite with their production coming from their junior class. Carmel was able to knock off a tough opponent in Fort Wayne North Side largely in thanks to Eddie Gill Jr playing tough defense on Keion Brooks Jr. This Semi-State matchup was much of the same as they brought their tenacious defensive attitude to the court.
Carmel was the better overall team from the tip. They executed their offense and came out ready to hit open shots. Their first four shots from the floor were three pointers from Cole Jenkins and Andrew Owens. They Greyhounds were locked in defensively as well. Eddie Gill was all over Damezi Anderson and South Bend Riley struggled to get their star any open looks. Rylen Grundy was aggressive on the offensive end, getting into the lane and finishing some tough shots. Carmel lead 19-12 after the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, the Wildcats began to use their frustration on offense to fuel their defensive intensity. They turned up the pressure and started picking up full court. Cole Jenkins, Carmel’s starting point guard had to take a seat with two fouls and it put the team in a crucial situation. Junior wing/forward John Michael-Mulloy was the guy that they could rely on. They continued to do what they did in the first quarter and get the ball down to him on the low block. His patience and basketball IQ lead to easy baskets and kick outs for jumpers. Carmel was able to fend off the run by South Bend Riley and maintained a 32-21 lead at the half following a buzzer beating three-pointer from Andrew Owens.
As the third quarter got started, Carmel did what they’ve done all season and executed their offense. They were shooting layups while Riley was struggling to get any good looks. Carmel extended their lead to twenty late in the third quarter while the Wildcats shot less than 20% from the field. Damezi Anderson struggled all game to get anything going offensively and his struggles trickled down to the rest of the team. Marlon Taylor had a good third quarter and tried to spark the Wildcats off the bench but it was to no avail. Carmel lead 49-31 heading into the final frame.
Carmel used their patience and plentiful ball handlers to take long possessions. They were able to cap their long possessions with easy baskets and hold the Riley press at bay. They didn’t need to score much in the final frame as long as they took care of the ball. Damezi Anderson sat almost the entire quarter and seemed defeated with the tough defense that he faced all afternoon. Carmel maintained their composure as they had throughout the game and came out with a twenty-point Semi-State victory, 63-43.
The Carmel Greyhounds are 4A Semi-State Champions and will face undefeated Warren Central in the IHSAA 4A State Championship next weekend at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. They have the chance to knock-off two straight undefeated opponents in their quest for a State Championship.
Andrew Owens (2019) – 18 points (3-3 2FG and 4-5 3FG), 3 rebounds (2 defensive and 1 offensive), 1 steal, and 1 assist
Andrew Owens quietly poured in 18 points, shooting 88% from the field. He took advantage of the opportunities as they came to him but he was never in a hurry. South Bend’s defense thrives off speeding up the opposing offense and forcing them into turnovers or shots that they would normally not take. Owens stayed composed and stepped into his shots with confidence. He helped build the lead and continued his solid play throughout. Quiet performance but he did everything that they needed him to do to secure the State Championship birth.
John Michael-Mulloy (2019) – 16 points (6-7 2FG, 0-1 3FG, 4-5 FT), 14 rebounds (13 defensive and 1 offensive), and 1 block
John Michael-Mulloy was utilized early and often. South Bend Riley didn’t have anyone on their team that wanted to bang with the big body on the block. John was able to have his way going to either hand as he created space with his frame and used his length to get his shot off in traffic. He was efficient from the floor and the free-throw line and put the Wildcats in a tough situation as they had to rotate bodies that weren’t in foul trouble to try and slow him down. This is back to back great performances from the junior wing/forward as he is a critical piece of their State Championship run. Mulloy rebounded at an elite level on the defensive end as well, limiting the Wildcats to one shot.
Eddie Gill Jr (2018) – 11 points (1-2 2FG, 1-2 3FG, and 6-7 FT), 4 assists, 3 defensive rebounds, and 2 steals
Eddie Gill Jr has played outstanding defense on two of the state’s top players in back to back contests. He was tasked with Damezi Anderson yesterday afternoon and he made it difficult for the IU commit to get any space. Eddie’s length and physicality make him a great defender and his positioning off the ball is another reason he’s one of the state’s best. He does his work early on defense and Carmel has been reaping the benefits. Gill was also efficient on the offensive end and as a secondary ball handler against the Wildcat press.
Karsten Windlan (2019) – 8 points (1-1 2FG, 1-1 3FG, and 3-4 FT), 2 assists, and 1 defensive rebound
Karsten Windlan came off the bench when Cole Jenkins got in foul trouble and was immediately dialed in. He stepped into a three-ball in his first possession on the floor and knocked it down over a contesting hand. From the point forward, his confidence level was what helped keep Carmel in the game. Windlan attacked the press off the bounce but stayed in control. He was one of three ball handlers that the Greyhounds used against the long and athletic Riley defense.
Luke Heady (2019) – 4 points (4-6 FT), 5 assists, 2 defensive rebounds, and 1 steal
Luke Heady was one of the unsung heroes for the Greyhounds in their victory yesterday. He took over as the primary ball handler for the majority of the second and third quarters as Cole Jenkins battled foul trouble. Heady didn’t rush the offense because of the press and is creative with creating space with his pivot foot and off the bounce. His basketball IQ was on display as he was able to get to the ball to the open shooters early and often that helped them stretch their lead.
Rylen Grundy (2018) – 9 points (2-8 2FG, 1-2 3FG, and 2-2 FT), 4 rebounds (2 defensive and 2 offensive), and 1 assist
Rylen Grundy came out of the gates ready to get after it. His athleticism was on display early as he took the ball to the basket on a few possessions and rose up over the defense. Carmel did a good job of contesting his chances around the rim without fouling and Grundy never really got into a flow on the offensive end. He was the team’s leading scorer but never got the support from anyone else on the team. Carmel’s stout defense bothered all of the slashers from Riley, including Rylen.
Harrington Greer (2018) – 8 points (4-5 2FG, 0-1 3FG, and 0-1 FT), 3 defensive rebounds, and 1 steal
Harrington Greer came off the bench but was one of the most active players that the Wildcats put on the floor yesterday. His activity level lead to easy baskets around the rim and his energy helped start the run that Riley made in the second quarter. Greer created second shot opportunities by mixing it up on the offensive glass even though ehd didn’t come away with any offensive rebounds. Harrington has good hands and a good frame for a forward around the basket and finished well with both hands.
Damezi Anderson (2018) – 6 points (1-4 2FG, 1-8 3FG, and 1-2 FT), 2 rebounds (1 defensive and 1 offensive), and 2 assists
Damezi Anderson has carried the majority of the scoring load for the Wildcats this season and the fans were behind him from the get go. Everyone knows that he is a special player going through the Wildcat program but even thgouth the offense was designed around him, he struggled to get into any flow or get any easy looks. He finished shooting 15% from the floor and all of his shots were contested. As the lead grew, the more they pressed to get him looks and the more he felt like he had to carry the team. Carmel did a great job of hounding him and forcing tough jumpers.