Saturday mid-day saw another crowd pack the new gym at Woodward High School for action in the Deverose Summer Basketball League. With Slats taking on McCluskey Chevrolet in the 12:00 game fans wanted to watch as several new members of the University of Cincinnati men's basketball program teamed with a few veterans looking to improve on their summer record.
It's been a 50/50 summer so far as Slats has seen some up's and down's in their play. Again on Saturday, Bearcat fans wanted a look at the newest Bearcat Darnell Wilks, who became an official member of the squad this past week. While off-limits to talk about his play until Sunday, Wilks showed he's got major spring to go with his long body.
McCluskey has seen its share of struggles this summer and was looking for a victory to make a move up the standings before tournament play begins on Tuesday.
While on paper Slats should have had the better squad, McCluskey found themselves hanging with the Bearcats group during the entire game. When the buzzer sounded at the end of the first half the group of Northern Kentucky players held a one point advantage 31-30 after shooting 41% from the field.
Led overall by Deearon Williams with 19 points, McCluskey would push Slats to the brink. For Slats it was the veteran play of Mike Williams (20 points – 15 boards) and Deonta Vaughn (18 points) that keep the Bearcats group paced for a great finished.
As the clock ticked off the last remaining minutes of the second half both teams found themselves on the opposite ends of the first as Slats would score one more point in the second half and bring the game to a 69-69 tie.
Both teams did a great job of hitting from the outside as Slats would hit for 51.6% while McCluskey countered with 55.2%.
The overtime would see a total of five shots taken by the two teams with Slats being the only one to find the bottom of the net and a 71-70 victory.
Mike Williams showed why the Bearcat faithful have something to look forward to as he hit for 50% from the field and was perfect from the line. But while scoring twenty was important, it was his 15 rebounds that did the most damage on the day.
Here is a breakdown of each player who took the court today for Slats.
Alvin Mitchell: He's a shooter and right now a streak shooter who when hot is untouchable. Today he saw his struggles and said so after the game when we spoke with him. The combination of his weight room work and the change of teammates he feels is part of the problem, but like any great shooter he stressed it's just a matter of time before he's got his groove back. Don't be surprised he has a great freshman year much like Vaughn did last season.
Darnell Wilks: The kid has a great body to build on and is very athletic. Had a super dunk off a Vaughn pass that had the crowd very excited. Major springs on this model as Mick Cronin has him a great player for the future. Needs to hit the weight room and build on his body and had a few problems keeping his feet at times.
Rashad Bishop: Also hit for 50% (6-12) so the ability to score is there. Had three turnovers and only two boards as he's still feeling his way around with his new teammates.
Kenny Belton: Will be a banger for the Bearcats this year with the ability to score down low. Gives the Bearcats the size and ability they missed last season.
Mike Williams: You can see the physical change in his body from a year ago and the confidence that was lacking after his transfer. Major talent who can go down low or hit from the outside at a consistent rate. Great leaper that gets good body position and attacks the glass.
Deonta Vaughn: Leader of the team on the court and not afraid to be vocal. If you thought he was good as a freshman, wait till you see the sophomore version. Threw up a few bad shots on the day but was there during the crunch run for the win.
The rest of the action on Saturday had Brick Street knocking off Stan Litz Law 73-72 in the first game of the day while the afternoon contest saw Innovative Marketing slam Goodies BBQ 84-60 while John Flessa Law did the same to Cintas 80-65.
Photos From Saturday