Five Things to Know – DeLaSalle 78 Richfield 57
Last night Richfield showed why they have improved by eight games already, and DeLaSalle showed why they are a state power earning a 78-57 victory. One. The Richfield Change. Early in the game fans watching DeLaSalle vs Richfield saw a…
Last night Richfield showed why they have improved by eight games already, and DeLaSalle showed why they are a state power earning a 78-57 victory.
One. The Richfield Change. Early in the game fans watching DeLaSalle vs Richfield saw a Spartans team defense with a purpose, move the ball and score as a unit, and use a talented young core of players that played as a unit. Eventually the experience and talent of DeLaSalle won out by a large margin but Richfield gave fans a look at what could really be a bright future. Richfield had won eight in a row coming into this game (14-4 on the year) led by guys like junior Lamar Grayson scoring 20 a contest, sophomore Mitchell January scoring 15 a night, and bigs Isaiah Casey Hammond (a junior) and Jaden Wollmuth (a sophomore) scoring 4-5 times a night and controlling the glass. For a half Casey-Hammond and Wollmuth dominated the glass while January and Ryan Miles (more on Ryan later) produced within the team framework.
Two. Half One Game Changer. Amir Whitlock came off the DeLaSalle bench and took a Richfield multi-score lead and put it behind the Islanders for good. The first thing the Islanders senior did was disrupt the Richfield offense with harassing ball pressure that rattles opposing guards to the core. Whitlock was a part of that AND the traditional ball screen switch of the Islanders which is basically a trade off from a hungry defender to a hungrier defender (Islanders jump off the screen in these situations like lions attacking fresh meat). Whitlock hit a three, scored on a pull-up, and scored in transition after forcing a turnover. He had trouble making foul shots and then field goals in the second half but that never slowed his creation with the pass. Amir dished out seven assists with nine points and this is coming off a several day stretch of being sick.
Three. Extending the Defense. The next problem Richfield had was extending their defense out to shooters. Islander junior Evan Boyd has one of the cleaner jumpers that you will see (made three triples scoring 13 points) and the shooting stroke of Cade Haskins will have him listed as a top five prospect in the junior class. Haskins scored twice at the arc, twice just inside the arc, dunked a couple times, and finished a pair of times at the rim making 8 of 13 shots for a team high 18 points (six boards too). Add in the 11 points from Semaj Hart and you had Islanders wings stretching the Spartans too thin.
Four. Immovable Big. Wollmuth did a good job of rebounding against Jalen Travis early and he was able to limit Jalen’s quality touches for a bit. However, Travis is two inches bigger, a lot of strength stronger, and two years more experienced. Eventually the intelligent veteran play of Jalen Travis got the better of Richfield for a game MVP performance. Wollmuth may have had his moments but never was he able to get Travis off balance. With that balance Travis showed off a really nice touch with the short hook as well as the short face-up jumper. Jalen is a really nice passer out of the post (3 assists) plus he put together a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards. Jalen is a much bigger factor this year than I expected scoring 17 a game.
Five. Colleges Love Those Big Shooting Wings. Ryan Miles is an interesting prospect. He looks every bit of 6-foot-5 and is scoring 17 a game pairing perimeter shooting with a quality basket finish. The Islanders defense shut down a lot of the Richfield options but they had trouble with the length of Miles. Miles hit a pair of corner threes over contesting arms and with reasonable agility Miles went at the rim and scored over the top of defenders for a game high 22 points on 7 of 14 shooting (6 of 7 at the foul line).