Posted On: 11/30/18 10:24 PM
Urbandale — An impressive first half by an intimidating Des Moines Christian squad gave way to an Earlham-dominated second half. The result: a stunning third and fourth quarter turnaround, that saw the Cardinals erase a 30-16 halftime deficit to win relatively stress-free down the stretch.
The Lions’ length and athleticism was on full display throughout the first half, buckets were hard to come by for the Cardinals. By halftime, it seemed the game was over, and it also seemed the Lions would be a seriously tough out this season. Then Earlham, spurred by senior Trent Williamson, came out of the gates with a 14-1 run in the second half. By the end of the third quarter, the Cardinals had the lead, 36-35.
That momentum never wavered, and the visiting Cardinals stunned No. 8 Des Moines Christian on their home court. What a wild way to open conference play, for both teams.
Williamson led all scorers with 31, he had 22 in the second half. Sophomore guard TJ Harkins chipped in with nine. For Des Moines Christian, it was junior guard Curran Inmgram who impressed, he dropped 17 in the loss. Ben Loverdule had 12.
Earlham — 6 10 20 23 — 59
DM Christian — 12 18 5 17 — 52
Earlham: Trent Williamson 31, TJ Harkins 9, Alex Caskey 8, Dawson Madren 7, Jackson Vandever 2, Parker Kleigl 2.
DM Christian: Curran Ingram 17, Ben Loverdude 12, Justin Groen 9, Seth Juhl 5, Jackson Waring 4, Brady Hewitt 3, Grant Veenstra 2.
It was a gritty, gritty effort tonight for this wily veteran. He’s been a problem for opponents since his freshman season, and it’s very apparent he knows how to get his buckets. A big guard, he was most effective while bullying his way into the paint. But his back-to-back triples to start the third quarter helped spur his team to a major second half run.
TJ Harkins, 6’1 SG, 2021 (Earlham)
This was our first look at the lengthy sophomore guard, and it was evident from very early on that his jumper is precise. He’s got a beautiful stroke and showed some handle, too. He even hit one jumper off the bounce.
Maybe the most pleasantly surprising prospect of the night, we knew Curran could ball, he’s done so at our last two Top 250 Expos; and he was sensational tonight. He’s grown, and his athleticism has grown with him. His emphatic slam after slicing through the lane in the third quarter was evidence of that. He was a beast on the boards and his active hands caused fits on defense. This is a kid we’ll be keeping a very close eye on the next two seasons.
There wasn’t much offensive production from Hewitt today, he scored just three points, but the potential is clear as day. He’s got the size, length and fluidity to be a menace defensively. And although he wasn’t assertive on offense tonight, it looked as though he could have a versatile set of skills on that end of the floor.
Ben Loverdude, 6’5 G/F, 2021 (DMC)
Another prospect who pieced together an eye-opening performance tonight, Loverdude is a rangy 6-foot-5 and set the tone early for the Lions first half rout. He showed his versatility late in the second half when he canned a crucial 3-ball. Just a sophomore, Loverdude’s stock is on the rise.
It was an off night for the junior point guard, but even when shots aren’t falling, his electric athleticism is still on full display. He was quicker, more shifty and jumped higher than most anyone on the floor, and on more nights than not, that will translate to great success.
Jackson Vandever, 6′ PG, 2021 (Earlham)
We really likes this kid’s crafty and clever approach to the game. He scored just two points, on two free-throws late in the game, but it was his ability to handle the ball and see the floor that stood out. He’s not overly quick or athletic, but rather methodical and skilled. Just a sophomore, he could become one of the better point guards in Class 3A over the next two seasons.