The Cardinal Ritter Lions used a dominant performance on both ends of the floor to overwhelm Charleston in route to a convincing win and the Class 3 State Championship Saturday afternoon. Ritter used intense defensive pressure and a spread and…
The Cardinal Ritter Lions used a dominant performance on both ends of the floor to overwhelm Charleston in route to a convincing win and the Class 3 State Championship Saturday afternoon. Ritter used intense defensive pressure and a spread and attack offensive scheme to jump out to an early lead and they never looked back. Here’s a look at the top performers:
6’2 So Luther Burden | Cardinal Ritter
Luther Burden is quite possibly the most electric athlete in the state, and the scary thing is he is only a sophomore. He was unstoppable with the ball in his hands, consistently blowing by defenders in transition and the half-court and making play after play. He finished with a game high 18 points, most of which came from driving to the basket. At any point a defender actually got in front of him, he found an open teammate for an easy dime. He used his quickness as well defensively, coming up with several steals and deflections. Sensational performance.
6’2 Jr Mario Fleming Mario Fleming 6'3" | SG Cardinal Ritter | 2021 State MO | Cardinal Ritter
Super Mario brought his A-game to the championship, chipping in 16 big points for Cardinal Ritter. He did a nice job of lurking on the wing and timing his back-door cuts for easy lay-ups or to attack the offensive glass for put-backs. He was also a factor off the bounce and had a very nice possession where he split a double-team and used a nice pro-hop into floater finish.
6’0 Sr Glenn Valentine Glenn Valentine 6'0" | PG Cardinal Ritter | 2020 State MO | Cardinal Ritter
What a way to cap off a senior season for Glenn with a solid performance and a state title. He is extremely fast with quick burst and Charleston defenders had a hard time containing him when he had a head of steam. He did a nice job of attacking the ball screens with purpose and turning the corner looking to score it. To add to his hard to guard offensive attack, he knocked down a pair of three pointers to keep the defense honest. He finished with 11 points in the win.
6’7 Sr Gary Clark Gary Clark 6'7" | PF Cardinal Ritter | 2020 State MO & 6’7 Sr Brandon Ellington Brandon Ellington 6'6" | PF Cardinal Ritter | 2020 State MO | Cardinal Ritter
The twin towers were key cogs for the Lions inside on both ends of the floor. Both used their length and athleticism to frustrate Charleston and made it nearly impossible for the Jays to find easy baskets in the lane. They also controlled the glass throughout. Clark finished with 5 points and 8 rebounds while Ellington pitched in 6 and 6.
Cardinal Ritter Bench Mob:
Despite having a healthy lead, Ritter was in foul trouble in the first half and had to turn to its’ bench for long stretches of time. No worries, the subs came in with the same energy and the Lions had key contributions from the likes of , Caleb Wilkerson, Josh Robinson, and Nate Parker Nate Parker 6'4" | SF Eureka | 2021 State MO .
6’6 Sr Blessin Kimble Blessin Kimble 6'5" | PF Charleston | 2020 State MO | Charleston
The season may not have ended the way they hoped, but Charleston should be very proud of the year they had and the fantastic career of senior big man Blessin Kimble Blessin Kimble 6'5" | PF Charleston | 2020 State MO . He was aggressive and physical in the lane throughout and ended his career with a solid 9 point, 9 rebound effort in the title game.