Blackman (32-1)sprinted out to a 12-9 lead after the first quarter of play, but the Memphis East (27-3) defense quickly took over, holding Blackman to 0 points in the 2nd quarter. Blackman would hang around until a strong 4th quarter push put East over the top 52-32.
- Underclassman of the gameAlthough Johnathan Lawson (East Freshman) has some catching up to do with his very talented brothers he was today’s underclassman of the game. He finished with one point one rebound and one assist as the only underclassman to see significant minutes in the game.
- Best Guy off BenchThe benches stayed there for most of this matchup. Blackman’s bench outscored East 5-3, but no Blackman bench player saw the floor longer than one minute. Because of his solid defensive effort and nine minutes of playing time Jonathan Lawson will also be the best guy off the bench.
- Best intangiblesSome guys have a great basketball motor. Alex Lomax is one of those guys. He was a team leader and dictated the offensive pace all night (2:1 assist to turnover ratio), while also playing outstanding defense. His game wore down the Blackman guards and he only got stronger as the game went on.
- Best under the radarBlackman Forward/Guard Trent Gibson may have flown under the radar tonight with all the great players on the floor. He was crafty offensively and took what the defense gave him. He finished with 12 points and four rebounds in the loss.
- Play of the gameBlackmon’s Brandon Thomas hit a big 3 point shot to cut the East lead to 29-22 in the 3rd, but on the following possession Ryan Boyce got loose off a steal and finished a nice and 1 play. On the following possession Chandler Lawson had a steal and a dunk that extended the lead back to 12.
- Coaching StrategyHolding the ball and having extremely long possessions in an attempt to limit the possessions of a strong offensive team was Blackman’s game strategy. In turn Memphis East took their time on their possessions so the game flew by. Trying to limit Memphis East’s possessions is not a terrible strategy, but you need to shoot a very high percentage to win. The length, athletic ability, and defensive positioning of the Memphis East team made shooting a high percentage very difficult.
- Best Dunker In a game featuring seemingly only dunks and free throws James Wiseman had the best ones. My favorite dunk of the game came in the 4th quarter off a break situation. Everyone was back and the pass was thrown behind him, but he still picked it out of the air and threw it down.
- Most outstanding defensive player
The Memphis East Forwards were so dominant that I must name tri-defensive players of the game. Chandler Lawson, James Wiseman, and Malcolm Danridge were so dominant with their size inside Blackman rarely took the ball below the free throw line.
- Most outstanding offensive player
James Wiseman not only had some sweet dunks, but showed he could get it done late from the free throw line. During East’s final push he hit six free throws and had a strong finish on a huge oop that was the final nail in the coffin for Blackman. He finished with 14 points, eight boards, and two blocks.
- Game most outstanding
Alex Lomax made the wheels turn for East. He ran an aggressive point guard position, driving to the basket at will, hitting shots, and finding open teammates with his great vision and passing ability. He applied pressure defensively pushing the ball to nearly half-court on most Blackman possessions. He finished the game with a 14 point, six assist, five rebound, three steal stat line.