The Rematch: Rondo has PRP's number again
And a month after knocking off #1 Pleasure Ridge Park in the semi finals of the Louisville Invitational Tournament, Rajon Rondo and Eastern High ended the Panthers 101 game home winning streak last night in 2 OT, 103-97.
In the first meeting, Rondo scored 47 points, and grabbed 16 rebounds in what was one of the best performances in LIT history. Last night, Rondo out did that performance despite scoring only 4 points in the first quarter of action.
Rondo was simply unstoppable, particularly in the second half and the overtimes. He scored 42 points, grabbed 22 rebounds, dished out 6 assists, made 6 steals and blocked 3 shots, including a spectacular rejection of 6'10 Terrence Farley, in which he seemingly came from nowhere before rocketing off the floor to reject the shot. Rondo finished 15-23 from the field and 12-15 at the line for the game.
PRP, the state's deepest, quickest and athletic team could find no one on their roster to check Rondo. They tried 6'6 Donte Sweat, a long and quick athlete but Rondo drove by him repeatedly. They put JuJuan Spillman, a lightning fast sophomore guard on him, same result. PRP tried to press him. He simply split the double teams and took advantage of the number mismatches after breaking into the front court for easy baskets and wide open three point attempts.
Rondo's play the past month has been simply superb and deserving of every accolade you can think of. Need more proof of this 6'2 point guards ability?
He's taken a small, unheralded Eastern High School team not loaded with exceptional talent, put them on his back and made them the hottest and perhaps best team in the state of Kentucky. He makes his teammates better and he's averaged 44.5 points and 19 rebounds against the #1 team in this state in two meetings this season. By the way, PRP's only in state losses have come at the hands of Rondo and the Eastern Eagles.
Rondo is unstoppable in the open court and no one can keep him from getting
to the basket and finishing.
He can and does do it all for Eastern. You want 10 rebounds, Rondo will get them. Need someone to knock down free throws late in the game? Rondo makes them. How about someone to single handedly break the press? No problem for Rondo. Need an athletic point guard with outstanding court vision who's unselfish? No doubt Rondo's your man! How about the best 6'2 shot blocker around? You get the point!
Rajon Rondo is the best high school basketball player in Jefferson County in the last 15 years! Period. End of debate...unless of course you like to debate that sort of thing on the premium forum at ITV..hint, hint.
Dwayne Morton? Rondo's made Eastern a better team than Morton did Central.
Dejuan Wheat? Sure he doesn't shoot it as good as Wheat but he's a better finisher in the lane, has better court vision and is a superior rebounder and shot blocker.
Derek Anderson? At the high school level Rondo simply does more than did DA at Doss.
Jason Osbourne? Rondo's more explosive and dominating than even the former McDonald's All American and might even rebound better than the 6'8 Osbourne.
In a game loaded with great talent, which included 4 of InsidetheVille.com's top 10 players in Jefferson County, Rondo was clearly head and shoulders above all the others.
Which brings us to the others, namely PRP's 6'10 junior Terrance Farley.
Farley, who committed to the University of Louisville last week had 6 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks before fouling out in the first overtime. Farley made 3-8 shots from the field, including one back board shaking slam and had two other soft turnaround jumpers go in and out. Farley, an outstanding offensive rebounder, pulled down 3 of his 6 boards at that end of the floor against the Eagles.
Offensively, PRP simply doesn't run their offense through the post and Farley rarely gets the ball on the block despite constantly establishing good post position.
PRP Sophomore guard JuJuan Spillman was very impressive and poured in 26 points, and nailed 4 three pointers. There's no one in town faster from end line to end line than is Spillman and last night his outside shot was falling. And when that happens, JuJuan is simply one of the best players not only in town but the entire state.
Eastern constantly was beaten baseline by Spillman who also finished well around the basket last night. He's said to be a better football player at this time but he's easily the best sophomore basketball player in town.
And Donte Sweat and Rick Bodiford deserve special mention for their play.
Sweat, a 6'6 senior for the Panthers had 24 points and pulled down 15 rebounds and was terrific in PRP's full court press and finishing on the break.
And Bodiford, a 6'4 Freshman forward for Eastern was very impressive. Young
Rick plays with lots of heart, battles on the boards and did a good job down
low. He also hit some clutch free throws late in the game to clinch the win.
He's got a nice shooting touch, good presence and is very poised. He's one of the best freshman I've seen in Jefferson County this season, if not the best!
Like a lots of kids, if Bodiford grows a few inches he'll be real tough in a couple years!
Around the gym
- Male QB and recent UofL signee Michael Bush was in attendance last night and he still had on that red hat he donned just a week ago at his announcement ceremony. He sure does look good in that red UofL hat!
- Kentucky State Head Coach Winston Bennett was in attendance.