Going into the game, I was expecting a high scoring shoot out featuring Northland’s talented OSU commits and Burke challenging the high scoring attack of Findlay Prep (just under 100 ppg coming in). However, Northland’s suffocating defense kept
In the second half,
The victory was impressive for Northland in many ways. Not only was Findlay the #1 team in the nation, but they had a 45 game winning streak, an all-time record of 75-1, and were held to 52 points for the game despite averaging 96 on the season.
Individually, there were a lot of impressive players on both sides that should be making names for themselves in college in the near future and possibly the NBA.
- Jared Sullinger showed why he is considered one of the best players in the country. He finished with 32 points and 17 rebounds, and one monster block, to lead Northland, but his most impressive contributions were his perfect night from the free throw line (10-10) and his clutch performance down the stretch to put Northland on his back and help them keep pace with
. His 17 rebounds were also huge in limiting Findlay to one shot per possession most of the time. Findlay
- Tristan Thompson showed that he is a top post player as well. He finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks and was the only player with the strength to try to stop Sullinger in the post. If Thompson, who fouled out when he fouled Sullinger with 4 seconds left, would have stayed out of foul trouble early, he may have been more aggressive with Sullinger down the stretch which could have made the matchup even more exciting.
- Trey Burke made a case for himself being considered a top point guard in the class of 2011. Not only did he show an amazing handle with the ball and good court vision, but he also scored 10 points to go with 7 assists. He also hit 4 of 5 free throws. Most importantly, he did not turn the ball over at all and held the high scoring Joseph to just 8 points.
- Corey Joseph did not get going scoring the ball, but showed his value in other aspects of the game. Joseph still scored 8 points to go with 4 assists, 6 rebounds, and 1 steal and was a big part of the full court press that got
back into the game in the third quarter. Like Burke, he has a great handle and only turned the ball over once. Findlay
- Nick Johnson and Jabari Brown quietly scored 14 and 10 for
, respectively. When a game features as many top players as this one, it is easy to fly under the radar a little, and Johnson and Brown were victimized by this on Thursday. Both played solid games but were overshadowed. Johnson and Brown, both juniors, were averaging 14 and 17, respectively. Findlay
- Finally, the Northland trio of sophomores Kechaun Lewis, Jalen Robinson, and Devon Scott, while scoring only 3, 2, and 2 points on a combined 3-5 shooting, were the unsung heroes of the game. These three provided lock down defense from start to finish and committed only one turnover combined to help Northland maintain possession and control of the game. Defensively, Lewis was solid on
’s wings and played a big part in limiting their perimeter game while Robinson (3 blocks) and Scott contested every shot in the post. While their stat lines were not impressive, these players were the keys for Northland in the one point victory as they stepped up and made plays on the defensive end repeatedly. Findlay
Overall, Sullinger provided one of the best high school performances I have ever seen, probably better than when I saw LeBron James go for 40+ against