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Posted On: 11/27/18 11:18 AM
Last night, Cactus and Buckeye competed in a 4A match-up. While many figured that Buckeye would win in convincing fashion, Cactus did not come out afraid or looking like an underdog. They competed throughout the game and kept it much closer than the final score appears to indicate.
Luke Steffen and Eric Rick might not be college level basketball players. However, at the high school level, they make a huge impact due to their size and physical style of play. They compete at a high level and refused to back down from the Buckeye players who have received plenty of collegiate recognition.
While there are a plethora of reasons as to why Cactus was able to hang with Buckeye in a manner that many did not anticipate, T.J. Rucker and Ben Seale were a huge part of it.
Seale is sneaky athletic and gets into the paint seemingly at will. Moreover, he shoots the basketball at a high level as well and does a little bit of everything for Cactus. Seale will be the go to prospect for Cactus throughout the entirety of this season.
Rucker is the second part of the two man show that is Cactus. While he shot the basketball well last night, that is not the strongest part of his game. He excels at getting into the paint and creating for others.
These two guards make Cactus tough. Especially, when mixed with the toughness of their bigs and the wings that are capable shooters.
In a night that was very strange, there were few things that stood out as what we have come to expect from Buckeye. With that said, Adam Hamilton was solid. He shot the basketball well from the perimeter while demonstrating solid footwork on the block.
The play of the night was without a doubt his drop-step dunk on the baseline after a post entry. He held his spot while having a foot and an arm in his back. While holding his spot, he was able to maneuver around the defender and finish with authority.
Again, many things did not go the way that Buckeye expected them to go. However, Freshman Jayson Redhouse was one of the things that was positive. With an 8 point lead early in the 4th quarter, Redhouse exploded from deep as he cashed in what felt like 3 ball after 3 ball.
This eventually led to an extension of the lead in which Buckeye pushed the game to a 20 point margin. Redhouse shot the basketball with a lot of confidence and could potentially be an X-Factor for the team going forward.
Otis Frazier and Tay Boothman had their moments of brilliance, but overall played below the expectations that many have for them due to their athleticism and skill set.
Further, they were shorthanded with other quality prospects missing this game. Buckeye demonstrated a couple of things: They are deep enough to win games when their two best players are not having their best games. Further, they showed that they can extend a lead without Frazier on the floor as he played minimally in the second half.
Boothman and Frazier are extremely skilled prospects. I would expect for them to play much better going forward. Continue to monitor Buckeye as one of the top teams in 4A.