James Blackburn was able to travel to Sparta, NC to catch the first round of the NCHSAA boys 1A State playoffs between host and higher seed, Alleghany HS and Bishop McGuinness HS. Alleghany jumped out to a quick 1st quarter lead behind the solid play of seniors Fabian Santos and Austin Sprinkle and led 28-19 going into the half. Bishop was able to make a comeback late in the 3rd quarter behind the hot shooting of senior guard, Spencer Wilson, who led Bishop with 24 points. Ultimately, Alleghany was able to hang on by making FT’s and will move onto the next round by getting the 60-45 win.
Here are some notes on the top players of both teams below.
Fabian Santos, SR, 6’4″, F
Fabian was simply the best player on the court tonight and dominated both ends from the opening tip. He finished with a game high 25 pts and must of grabbed at least a dozen rebounds. Santos is an underrated athlete who can get off the floor quickly. He has a high motor and loves physical play. Is a solid post defender and was the best rebounder on the court. Has the ability to step out and hit the open midrange and is a good FT shooter. Has decent post footwork. Needs to improve left hand and shot has a tendency to get flat the further out he shoots.
Austin Sprinkle, SR, 5’11”, PG
*Lees McRae Commit
Sprinkle is a tough PG who is an excellent on-ball defender and can get to the paint at a good rate. Showcased a nice runner/floater in traffic. Has a high motor and is competitive. He finished with 12 pts in this one.
Spencer Wilson, SR, 6’2″, PG
*Belmont Abbey Commit
I have some Wilson play multiple times and he didn’t disappoint tonight. He played one of his best games of the season and scored a team high 24 pts to go along with several assists and rebounds. He is a terrific ball handler who can change speeds well. He can get his shot anytime he wants, but is an unselfish player who set up teammates all night. He is a good passer who can hit the roll man on P/R, drive and kick to shooters, and drive, draw the defense, and dump down to open bigs. Allusive and full of energy. Was able to score tonight in multiple ways and was the best shooter in this game.
Will Gardner, SR, 6’8″, C
Gardner showed some nice “feetwork” with his back to the basket and was able to finish multiple times inside after rolling to the basket. He rebounds the ball in his area well and contests shots inside. Will finished with 8 points and 10 rebounds.