Posted On: 11/29/18 5:08 PM

Castle View got their season started in the Denver Tip Off Classic held at Thomas Jefferson high school against Gateway in which they won big. It was a game that both teams desperately needed to have to start the season as Castle View got to see exactly how good they can be with everyone involved and Gateway needed it to see just how far they have to go. Here are my five takeaways.

Chase Hettinger shines

Chase was dominant right from the tip off. He showcased exactly why he is one of the state’s top three players and it was impressive how he did it. He knocked down open three-pointers, he got inside the lane and finished over defenders, he knocked down mid-range pull ups and floaters and there was also a play late in the lane that he broke down the defender and instead of settling for the open floater decided to dunk the ball despite having a defender draped all over him. The aspect of his game that was nice to see was him getting others involved and trusting more in his teammates. Hettinger is a big-time player and with him starting out the season with 29 points and a win, it may be that much easier to go after Mr. Basketball. Let’s hope it does not slow down.

Others step up for Saber cats

One of the known things was just how much the team relied on Hettinger last season. While he averaged 18 points a game not another player on the team was in double-digits and that was seen especially in how the team did overall. This year it seems as if others are starting to catch on. Big man Michael Poux knocked down two three-pointers which was rare, Bryson Lindsey knocked down multiple three-pointers and was a force. He is a player I really enjoyed watching and want to see in a bigger capacity and another player that really stood out for me was David Mckean and Carson Moorhead. Both are great ball handlers but more than that they pick their spots and attack. They get others involved and run the offense. This was a good game for Castle View overall and nice to see them involved.

Positives for Gateway

Gateway has a very long way to go but it was a humbling experience as there were some positive that you could find in a game against another rising team. Gateway was a team that is rough on the edges as they were just excited to get out there and go, go, go. Once they settled down and slowed down a bit is when things really started to come together and that was seen in the third quarter when they slowed down, got into a half-court slow and methodical approach and won the quarter from within. Gateway will be a team that if they do start winning games it will have to be a game in which both teams score under 50 points for the entire game. Noah Harrison will have to get more confident in his abilities as he was timid but has the right tools. Jehmari Lee is ultra-athletic and had an impressive dunk late in the game. The Oly’s will have to get him more involved. Kywan Jones is a player that I never heard of but was taken away with how great he was at not only attacking but drawing the foul on his way up and DJ Wilson will have to finish at the rim and really go after opposing bigs with his strength. The Oly’s have all season long to work on things and some games won’t be pretty. But have to stick with it and learn from games like this.

2-2-1 zone was too much for Oly’s

In the stat sheet one of the things that will standout for both teams that go hand in hand is turnovers and steals. While Castle View would have dominated regardless what really stood out was their on-ball pressure that forced plenty of turnovers. Castle View implemented what looked like a 2-2-1 press and once they did it was game-over for Gateway. Gateway did not score for over four straight minutes once the zone got put up and from that there were steals that led to open baskets. I want to see if Castle View has that same success against other teams as it looked stout. Gateway will have to practice breaking the zone a bit more and making smart plays to negate it as other teams will soon catch on.

Battle of the bigs

Michael Poux knocked down a couple three-pointers but what the big man did was take over the game on the boards and secured the paint. Poux has the size to be a player that can take over and cause mismatches but was underwhelming last season, this season he looks poised for a bounce back. He grabbed almost every board as he finished with 12 rebounds and also patrolled the paint as he had six blocks and altered countless shots. Big game for him.

On the other end of this battle was Junior big DJ Wilson. Wilson did not score the ball particularly well and it would have been great to see him be a bit more assertive especially on the offensive end, but he did get eight rebounds. Wilson has the size and skill to be well in the pick and roll and I expect them to use that a bit more. Wilson did not back down from the competition and also patrolled the paint and moving forward I expect him to be a bit more involved.