Posted On: 11/26/18 9:24 PM

The regular season opened up on Monday evening in the state of Florida.

I made my way over to Ida Baker to see the Bulldogs take on Ft. Myers.

The game started off in Ida Baker’s favor as it led 11-10 near the end of the first quarter. However, the Green Wave went on a 16-0 run and never looked back winning 71-39 in a game that was called early.

Ft. Myers sophomore Javian McCollum led his side with 17 points while senior guard Blake Donnelly had 12 points for Ida Baker.

Here is a look at five takeaways from the matchup:

Javian McCollum is going to be really good

-Last season, we saw just a glimpse of what Javian McCollum could be. The 2021 sharpshooter has grown to 6’0″, has matured as a vocal leader and is even more dangerous as a 3-point shooter. He’s also a high IQ passer which helps his side. McCollum is the focal point of the Green Wave offense and he touches the ball on every possession. There is no surprise, he led his squad with 17 points, including five 3’s. The sky is the limit for this kid.

Ft. Myers loves to press and it works

-The Green Wave used the press to a true success in the second quarter and it really hurt Ida Baker. Ft. Myers generated three steals in a row and got out on the break. From that point on in the second quarter, it was all defense and pressure from the Green Wave and they racked up points in a hurry leading 37-20 at the half and 63-31 at the end of the third quarter. The press is dangerous and can be used with the athletes in place for Ft. Myers.

Ida Baker has a nice pair in the Donnelly brothers

-The opening quarter was a big one for junior forward Bryce Donnelly who scored a team-high seven points. Then, it was all about Blake Donnelly, a senior guard/forward who had a solid second quarter. The pair combined for 23 of their team’s 39 points with Blake scoring 12 and Bryce scoring 11. They are both fine 3-point shooters who get in a rhythm more often than not. More drives to the hoop will help their cause.

Ft. Myers supporting cast is strong

-Senior forward Michael Roberts (13 points), junior guard Bijahn Meriser (9 points), junior guard Brady Luttrell (8 points) and junior forward Kyle Riemenschneider (7 points) all played their part in the win on Monday night. Sophomore Damian Pierre and junior Bradley Merilus were scrappy often as well. The ball movement in set plays was tremendous from Ft. Myers and in transition, the speed and agility were on display all night long from this group.

An awesome moment with Emmanuel Oglesby

-With the game out of reach, both Ida Baker and Ft. Myers agreed to let a special moment happen. Emmanuel Oglesby was allowed to shoot. After about 15 shots, he scored and the crowd went wild. It was an awesome display of sportsmanship. It is something we need of more in this world during this interesting time filled with negativity and judgment.