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Posted On: 11/27/18 10:54 PM
Fort Lauderdale Dillard and Oakland Park Northeast opened the 2018-19 regular season Tuesday night with a 7A-District 14 tilt.
Dillard jumped out to a 29-2 first-half advantage on the way to overwhelming Northeast, 61-32.
Here are five takeaways from Oakland Park:
A Dillard squad that struggled to find its identity a season ago looked completely different.
It’s just one game, but the Panthers looked like they had grown up from last season. Dillard’s bigs — 6-6 Makerere Williams (2019) and 6-7 Jalen Haynes (2020) — were strong inside and converted when getting touches in the paint. When the ball got kicked out, Dillard’s wing players hit open shots. Defensively, Dillard swarmed Northeast and disrupted the Hurricanes, who were often limited to one shot.
“We’re trying to change some things that we didn’t do well last year,” veteran Dillard coach Darryl Burrows said. “So that’s been our whole game plan all summer long is to kind of correct those things that we didn’t do so well last year.”
Speaking of change: No one on this year’s version of the Hurricanes started a season ago.
Northeast used a senior-laden squad to make it to the regional finals in 2017-18. This season will bring some growing pains.
Eight Dillard players scored before Northeast made its first field goal. The Hurricanes did not connect on a field goal until a Jaiden Benjamin 3-pointer 4:37 before halftime.
Northeast’s Wesley Cardet, ranked the No. 2 sophomore in the state by PrepHoops.com, struggled mightily in the first half.
The Hurricanes as a team had just 7 points over the first two quarters. But after halftime, Cardet looked much more comfortable. The 6-5 guard finished with a game-high 23 points, including three 3-pointers.
“I told him in the locker room, ‘Like Wes, man, you’ve gotta give me what you got,’ “Northeast coach Zach Gillion said. “He’s a good kid … came in focused on executing everything perfect. And I’m like ‘With basketball you’ve just got to let it flow. Feel it, go with it. You can’t be robotic.’ So I think in that second half he shook it off.”
The 6-7 Haynes led Dillard in scoring with 13 points on six field goals and a free throw. He did most of his damage in the paint.
The left-hander is very efficient on the offensive end and is quick off hits feet. The 6-6 Williams dominated the boards. Williams had 5 rebounds in the first quarter alone.
Chris Mattair had 11 points.
Dillard, Northeast and Boyd Anderson will all be competing in the Jerry Tarkanian Classic Dec. 18-22 in Las Vegas.
Gillion said Cardet will likely either take an unofficial visit to UNLV or Southern Cal on the trip.
If you have high school basketball news, you can reach Pat Lammer via e-mail at PatALammer@Gmail.com or via text at 954-661-9671.