Battle of Stars Goes to DSR

Two of the top wings in the country did battle on Wednesday night and it was five-star D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera that got the best of four-star Ron Patterson.

In the state of Indiana there is an eternal debate raging regarding all of the highly touted wing players in the 2012 class and which one is the best. On Wednesday night two of the best, D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Ron Patterson, locked up in a battle for their playoff lives, and it was Smith-Rivera and company that came away on top.

Early on both Patterson and Smith-Rivera were locked up guarding each other. While Indianapolis North Central ran different people at Patterson, Indianapolis Broad Ripple wanted to start off Patterson on Smith-Rivera.

With a packed house in attendance things were emotionally charged and wired up. Patterson came out gunning hitting two early threes, and also had a few blocks, but after hitting those early jumpers, North Central began to switch up defenses and it took him out of the game.

"It was the 2-3 match up that killed us," said Patterson. "We just couldn't get me the ball when they switched to it."

While North Central was limiting Patterson, Broad Ripple had no answer for Smith-Rivera. After Patterson blocked his shot, Smith-Rivera regained the ball went to the rim and converted a three point play drawing a foul from Patterson, and once that happened things opened up.

Early on Smith-Rivera made his biggest impact passing the basketball. He showed great court vision in getting others involved, and was focused on driving to distribute instead of driving to score.

"I was just focused on being a team player, but at the same time knowing when to take over games," said Smith-Rivera. "We have other players who are capable of making plays, so I tried to stay as a leader but also keep my team together."

As the game went on, Smith-Rivera along with junior classmates Ronnie Johnson and Patrick Ingram simply took over the game. The three of them were all distributing, scoring, and rebounding at a high level, but it was Smith-Rivera that completely stole the show.

After he airballed an early three point attempt, he found his rhythm and took over the game. With his strength and savvy going to the rim combined with his ability to make shots in the mid-range as well as from the perimeter the five-star guard asserted his will on Patterson and Broad Ripple.

For Smith-Rivera he recognizes it is a team game, but said he did have a little extra motivation coming in knowing that he would be going up against Patterson.

"I had a lot of focus," said Smith-Rivera of his mindset coming into the game. "It is always competitive playing against another top player. There is a kind of rivalry so I just wanted to come out here get my teammates involved and then take over the game if necessary."

Broad Ripple was able to make a few spurts in the second half, but never could get the game within 10 points, and North Central was able to cruise home with a comfortable 75-61 win.

For the game Patterson, a future Indiana Hoosier, finished with 16 points on 5-12 shooting including 5-9 from three point range and four blocks. Smith-Rivera was at his best with 25 points on 9-15 shooting, six assists, and seven rebounds. Also chipping in for North Central was Johnson with 12 points and five assists and Ingram with 13 points and seven rebounds.

Currently Smith-Rivera is considering offers from Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Purdue, Notre Dame, UCLA, Texas, and several other schools.


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