Posted On: 11/17/18 5:32 PM
The high school season is officially among us! While public schools still sort out their rosters, the private schools begin their journey to a championship. The first stop was at Gerstell Academy as the Falcons hosted last year’s BCL champion in St. Frances.
St. Frances out-powered Gerstell by a final score of 69-45. Both teams were missing a key player in their rotation. Tyler Tillery for Gerstell (ankle) and Jamal West for St. Frances (hamstring). Both players are expected to return soon.
Let’s take a look at five takeaways from this match up.
Carlos Alexander gets comfortable…and quick.
Alexander stepped onto the floor for his first official high school game. Usually with freshmen, there is a feeling out period or it takes some time to work the nerves out. Not for Alexander. The 5-foot-10 guard brought his flashy style of play and ‘wowed’ the crowd with his passes, crafty finishes around the rim and his quick hands defensively. He led the Panthers with 15 points and did so efficiently. Having Alexander brings a wrinkle to this Panthers team that they didn’t have last year. Now Ace Baldwin, junior starting point guard, won’t be depended upon to play every second of the game. Even if head coach Nick Myles wants to leave Baldwin in, Alexander can take over the ball handling duties and Baldwin can play more off the ball.
Anthony Carpenter brings positivity to the Falcons
In every loss, you have to look for the positives. Carpenter brought plenty as he finished with a game-high 19 points. The 5-foot-11 guard canned three three-pointers and did a great job getting to the free-throw line, finishing 8-for-11 from the line. The Falcons lacked any offensive firepower in this game, so Carpenter took it upon himself in the second half, where 14 of his 19 points came. This was no surprise. Carpenter will be the primary offensive option going forward as the Falcons look to bounce back in their next game.
Ace Baldwin’s outside shot has improved
We saw Baldwin shoot three’s pretty often last season, but it wasn’t at an efficient clip. To open up his junior campaign, he got off to a strong start by nailing three shots from beyond the arc. Two shots were contested heavily and the other one came a few feet behind the line off of a kick-out pass. Baldwin already has the ability to get his defender off balanced pretty much whenever he wants. If he can continue to shoot well from three, it won’t just make the game easier for him, but for the Panthers as a team.
Jason Murphy overwhelmed the Falcons inside
Murphy will be the starting center for the Panthers at 6-foot-8. The Panthers had an obvious size advantage in this game, but Murphy helped make that known on both ends. Offensively he did a nice job of getting position on his man for his guards to set him up for east baskets. Defensively, he was a shot-blocking presence as the Gertsell guard relentlessly attacked the basket. He helped his team limit the opposition with one-shot possessions by closing down on the rebounds and sparking transition opportunities.
Improvements for St. Frances
So you know how I mentioned earlier in a loss you search for the positives? Well in a win, most elite teams look for how they can improve even more. For the Panthers, free-throw shooting was an obvious blemish. As a team, they shot 10-for-20 from the charity stripe. Even in a 24-point victory as the top team in the area, you have to cash in on those opportunities. The Panthers play a national schedule against some of the best teams in the country. If you shoot like that against those caliber of programs, you likely end up on the wrong side. It’s the first game, so Coach Myles will address it in practice without a doubt, but it gives them an area to improve on as they embark on the rest of their schedule.