"It's All About The Game"
Good start, answers, seal it for Panthers
Ron Bailey, Publisher
SFA takes it's first 2015-15 Baltimore Catholic League game.
November 24, 2015 - When Saint Frances entered Mt. St. Joe's West Baltimore gym last night for its first Baltimore Catholic League tilt, the home fans were riled up, screaming, chanting and taunting. It's to be expected, as the Gaels are known for such - they enjoy a legion of student and fan support.
The visiting Panthers paid it no mind, rushing to a 9-0 first quarter run, eventually cruising to their 72-58 victory. The game was never really in question.
Kirk Lee made it happen last night.
Senior SFA guard Kirk Lee led all scorers with 20 points, seemingly answering nearly every Gael charge; case in point was the early third quarter three ball he sunk after MSJ trimmed their 20 point halftime deficit to 17, and the nice 14 foot floater he scored on - after displaying excellent ball handing - on his team's subsequent offensive possession, maintaining that 20 point bulge.
Daquan Bracey, a senior Panther guard, was the driving force in SFA's initial spurt, getting to the rim at will. Bracey, who recently signed with LA Tech, finished with 14 points.
Scoring 13 points for Saint Frances was junior forward Tarik Johnson. A rugged inside player who can step out for midrange shots, Johnson excelled at the overlooked stuff like defending, rebounding and playing with force.
"I was just trying to get into the lane" said Johnson afterward of his bruising style.
MSJ (2-1, 0-1 BCL) was led by sophomore forward Jalen 'Sticks' Johnson's 13 points - he's hearing from the likes of Maryland, Kentucky and Arizona. Freshman guard James Bishop scored 12 points for the Gaels.
Greatly hampering their offensive effectiveness was SFA's matchup zone, a scheme deployed in spurts by head coach Nick Myles, but very effective when utilized. MSJ couldn't figure it out.
"We knew they were a bigger team than us" said Johnson of that defense. "We wanted to use our quickness advantage against them".
That, Saint Frances (2-1, 1-0 BCL) did Monday night, in every facet of the game.
Tarik Johnson, 6'8", 220 pound junior forward, SFA, Beacon House (AAU) - Always proficient as a rebounder and defender, Johnson is now a solid shooter out to elbow extended, a guy that you must honor from midrange. He's worked hard on that aspect of his game.
Tarik Johnson, scoring in the paint.
Going forward increased explosion work will aid him; it's not that he can't jump, but going against size in college he'll benefit from getting off the floor a tad faster. Expect him to continued hitting the weights.
An excellent student, Johnson should have no problem qualifying. Off the floor he integrates into a team seamlessly. For example, look at the way he's become a key cog of Beacon House AAU's now 17u team - the only Baltimore guy on that roster, his DC teammates have welcomed him as they do their neighbors or guys they grew up with. As DC-native Beacon House player said this summer "He's one of us".
Johnson is the type of player colleges need on their team; he's good in the classroom, with his teammates, trains hard and is willing to play a role in which he boards, defends, picks, plays with force and shoots within his wheelhouse. In other words, he's a winner.
Johnson indicated "James Madison, Troy and Rice" are hot on his trail, with the first two having offered.
Many more should and will.
2015 i95Ballerz.com. This website is a supplier of information unaffiliated with any high school, AAU/travel, college, university, or professional team. All Rights Reserved