Posted On: 11/30/18 11:31 AM

DARLINGTON —    Four impressions from Darlington’s 52-42 win over Barneveld on Thursday…


Darlington Has Pieces to Compliment Lancaster

Going into Thursday, I expected it to be the Carter Lancaster show. However, the Redbirds proved that they can win when their best player doesn’t have a huge impact.

Facing a zone, Darlington scored 52 points in a grind-it-out game. They compliment Lancaster with good guard play and a couple of shooters. The Redbirds are also extremely aggressive on the glass and came up with a number of second chance opportunities.

Yes, Lancaster still led the way with 16 points, but it was far from the best Darlington will get out of the sophomore wing this season.


Barneveld Picked Up a Moral Victory

The Eagles may have lost, but they have to take some comfort in knowing that it was a one-possession game without about two minutes remaining. 

Barneveld came in 0-2 and without their best player Malcolm Reed, who suffered a broken hand in the first game of the season.  The Eagles fell in the opener to Fennimore 71-49 and followed that up with a 57-38 loss to Wisconsin Heights.

Playing much better against a Darlington squad that should be a factor in the Division 4 race, Barneveld is on the right track and should make a huge jump when Reed returns.


Evans is a Sleeper

Adding to Barneveld’s reason for optimism, they’ve found that senior guard   Dayne Evans is capable of leading the show while Reed is away.

Evans had a game-high 19 points in Thursday’s loss, including a big first half to help set the tone. Evans is a   strong 3-point shooter both on and off the ball. He counters with a deadly hesitation move that keeps defenders guessing.

Most impressively, Evans works for his shots. His defender was on him like a glove all night, denying the ball, chasing him through screens, and crowding him on the dribble. Evans’ motor just didn’t quit.

Through three games , Evans is now averaging 18.3 ppg. He’s not getting much collegiate interest, but this one  player that small schools should check out.


Lancaster is a  Top 20 Prospect

As exciting as the 20-point performances can by, some of the best evaluations can be done when the player doesn’t have their best stuff.  On Thursday, we got to witness one of those performances by Lancaster.

Barneveld did a good job of shadowing Lancaster within their zone. When Lancaster caught at the high post or on the 3-point line, he generally  had one or two defenders in his face. That took away a lot of the slashing buckets Lancaster is accustomed to, but the rest of his game didn’t suffer.

By the second half, Lancaster had  a pretty good idea that no matter how hard he worked off the ball, the Eagles weren’t going to give him anything easy, but that didn’t stop of him from working the high post  and cutting hard, which in turn, opened up opportunities for his teammates, even if Lancaster never touched the ball. Lancaster was also aggressive on the offensive and defensive glass, skying over opponents for rebounds. 

We’ve also seen enough of Lancaster to know what he’s capable of. An athletic wing  who can play above the rim as well as shoot from 3-point range consistently, Lancaster has a strong upside and will likely just go up in the rankings over time.