Posted On: 11/30/18 10:43 PM

Putnam City West defeats their rival Putnam City North led by Rondel Walker. This rivalry has become one of the best in the state the past few years. Here are the 10 Best performances.


Rondel Walker 2020 PCW Guard

Walker has offers from Division I schools in the Big 12 and SEC etc for a reason. The kid is special and he took full opportunity of the moment in a passionate rivalry game scoring 36 points. 

West has a good amount of weapons but it’s starts with Walker and his effortless scoring ability. 

At 6’4, Walker has no problem getting his shot off and that showed versus PCN’s zone defense. 

West was the Most Valuable Player on the floor Friday night. 

Best Offensive Performance:

Micah Thomas 2019 PCN Guard

Thomas is surrounded by a talented but raw offensive group. He had the responsibility of getting his team going but after a quick start from West, Thomas had to go full Mamba-mentality as he finished with 30 points.

He is one of the best finishers in the state for his size so he pressed the issue after a make or a miss. The Panthers eventually wore down but Thomas’ scoring ability was one of the key reasons why the cut the West lead to 5 late in the third quarter. 

Thomas put on a great performance and he may have to continue to put up big numbers as his young teammates mature offensively. 

Best Defensive Performance:

Shelby Sampeton 2019 PCW Forward

Sampleton was one of the few rim protectors in the game Friday night. He is only 6’2 but he is built like a linebacker and has freakish athletic ability. 

He has great timing when going up and swatting layups away. The senior forward was a key part of the victory because of his defensive versatility and toughness. 

He will be a key contributor for the Patriots as they will face bigger more physical teams in the future. 

Best Player off the Bench:

Emahdre Hightower 2020 PCW Guard

Hightower is a 5’7 bowling ball of energy which is why he is perfectly suited for his role. His role is to be the “Juice Man” which is the guy who totally changes the feel of the game due to their energy and intensity. 

Hightower came in and immediately affected the game on both ends. He hit some tough layups over long defenders in the paint. He has also didn’t seem afraid to line up against Thomas on defense. 

He came away with 8 points but all of them were off of an opportunity he created off of a rebound or deflection. Hightower was an elite glue-guy vs. PCN and his role was a key part of the win. 

Best Intangibles: 

Artavious Washington 2019 PCW Forward

Washington was a beast on the glass even though he looks like the size of a normal point guard. He is just one of those guys who is always in the right spot at the right time.

That was apparent versus PCN as he was often cleaning up a wild shot and putting it back. Washington found himself on the free throw line often due to his ability to come up with the ball in traffic. 

PCW won this game off of a great performance from Walker but their role players like Washington stepped up big time. 

Best Under-the-Radar Performance: 

MJ Warrior PCW 2020 Guard

Warrior is the life of this team who provides a lot of energy and trash talk. Warrior did a good job of always talking and communicating with his teammates. 

He was one of the main guys telling Walker to keep being aggressive while he had the hot hand. 

Warrior attacked the rim when he had an angle to get to the basket. This isn’t the first big game that Warrior has played in so he loves to play in front of a crowded audience. 

Warrior is one of the key glue-guys who showed up ready to play and contribute. 

Best Underclassmen:

Tobias Roland PCN Forward

Roland had a sneaky good game versus the bitter rival. Other than Thomas, Roland was the only Panther to get in any sort of rhythm on offense. 

He attacked the basket whenever he had a seam and he lived at the free throw line because of his aggression. 

Roland wishes he could have knock down more FT’s but he did a good job of initiating contact and getting himself easier opportunities. 

His jump shot has always been a question for Roland but he hit two spot up threes in rhythm. Roland will need to put up bigger numbers as his teammates learn how to play offense at the 6A level.

Roland showed Friday night that he has the ability to score consistently.

Best Coaching Decision:

PCW got the ball out of Micah Thomas hands in tough times

Thomas scored 30 points but the Patriots did a great job of making him earn every bucket and they got the ball out of his hands when the lead was shrinking. They used an extended 2-3 zone that would collapse on Thomas when he had the ball on the perimeter. 

Thomas then had to pass to non-playmakers who PCW wanted to bait into a turnover. 

This was a smart move by the Coach and his staff. 

Best storyline moving forward:

PCN’s role players helping Thomas carry the load.

Thomas was built to score so he doesn’t mind being extra aggressive but last year Thomas just had to let the game come to him due to all the offensive talent the Panthers had. 

It will be interesting to see how their talented sophomores develop throughout the season.