Prior to tonight’s game I’d been able to catch up with many of the players in this match up during the Blue Chip Basketball Academy Fall League, although West Forsyth had divided up their players into two squads for that league. Coming into the game both the Titans and the visiting Glenn Bobcats have struggled, although the season is still young. Less than a week prior, West had eked out a close win on Glenn’s home floor, and this time West Forsyth was missing 3 key perimeter players in Cooper LaRue, Darion Slade and Josiah Jenkins. West Head Coach Rusty LaRue expected that with his depleted perimeter game, Glenn’s Monty Gray would employ a lot of zone, and he was correct.
Both teams exchanged leads throughout the game, with Glenn HS taking advantage of lax transition defense and athletic quicks from Josh Daniels and Crishawn Lindsey; West battled back with a one-two punch of KJ Henry on the inside and Darriel Brown on the outside. Neither team could establish control, although West finished the 3rd up 4 with a breakaway dunk from Maverick LaRue. West finally was able to seize a bit of a lead late in the 4th and managed a 4-5 point lead to hold on for the win. Big takeaways on the team level were the major performance from West’s Darriel Brown, yet abysmal team shooting for the Titans from the free throw line. Glenn’s transition defense and disruptive backcourt defense created multiple turnovers which they were able to capitalize on. Below are some of my scouting notes from the game.
Jackson Striplin (SF/PF, 6’7″, ’17) Glenn HS – plays facing the basket and has very good timing on shot blocks. Showed a nice pull up mid range game but also rushed a couple of shots and cocks his shot back a bit much. Slender but has agility and a good frame. Definitely a player who should be continuing to work but should be on area college radars.
Darriel Brown (PG, 6′, ’16) West Forsyth HS – A stellar night for the senior. Has college level quicks and is deadly going to his left hand. Was the big scorer of the night with 37 points, and scored his 1,000th career point during the game. Had several notable big plays, from taking a key charge to grabbing some steals to help keep his team’s lead, but the big number was his shooting from deep: 6 shots from outside the arc to blister the Bobcat zone.
KJ Henry (F, 6’6″, ’18) West Forsyth HS – one of the best forwards in the region, Henry has agile feet and is a very good passer from the post. Isn’t a pure post player but has great hands and touch. Has a physical build and always under control, he still needs to improve finishing through contact, but is definitely one of the more gifted prospects in the area. A reliable scorer with the ball.
Toby Brown (G, 6′, ’17) Glenn HS – big time bounce and timing from the guard position; literally took a couple of rebounds right off the rim and has a strong build. Moves well without the ball.
Maverick LaRue (G/F, 6’5″, ’18) West Forsyth HS – Larue has been known as a sharpshooter with lithe ability in traffic for some time. Tonight his shot was inconsistent but he plays through contact well from the wing and is a pure wing. Plays either the SG or SF spot and at 6’5″ has an ability to get his shot off over smaller high school guards. Did seem to hesitate a bit with his shot; would want him to recognize those smaller guard mismatches and release quickly when the opportunity is there.