Big man showdown: Farley vs. Ngarndi
The much anticipated showdown between the top two big men in Jefferson County, and probably the state of Kentucky, lived up to its billing. 6'10 University of Louisville commitment Terrance Farley of Pleasure Ridge Park High School and 6'8 Guy Ngarndi of Western High squared off for the first time this season this evening at PRP.
Farley's Panthers got the better of the Warriors, holding off Western, 79-67 to improve its record to 22-3 this season. The loss dropped Western to 7-10 for the season but Ngarndi showed he's one of the top players in the state of Kentucky and quite possibly the top senior in the commonwealth.
Ngarndi is an ultra athletic forward who runs the court like a guard and explodes off the floor for rim rattling dunks. But he's more than just an athlete playing the game of basketball. He has incredible hands and great footwork and displayed advanced and improving ball handling and passing skills. He's very active and extremely aggressive on defense, evidenced by his two steals and three powerful blocked shots against the Panthers.
Ngarndi stuffed the stat sheet tonight against PRP, as he scored 18 points, pulled down 6 boards, blocked 3 shots, made 2 steals and handed out an assist. Guy made 6-16 shots from the field and 6-12 at the free throw line. He also threw down four thunderous slam dunks!
Perhaps the most impressive aspect about Ngarndi's game tonight was how well he handled PRP's full court press. With Guy in the game, Western handled the Panthers press easily as Guy used his great vision and passing ability to find open cutters to break the press. With Guy on the bench, PRP's pressure created problems for the rest of the Warriors and resulted in numerous steals and lay up attempts.
Ngarndi was extremely impressive handling the ball in the open court and on a few occasions broke PRP's press with the dribble. On one sequence, he made an athletic, leaping steal in the lane, gathered the ball and led the fast break up the middle of the court before being called for a travel at the other end. And there's no question Ngarndi is a terrific finisher on the break. Out running Farley by a step on the break, Ngarndi caught a tough bounce pass in the lane and in an instant soared in for a powerful one handed jam, once again displaying his incredible hands and footwork.
Ngarndi also showed solid moves on the offensive end. He established good position on the block all night and makes for a big target for the wings to throw the ball to. He displayed an extremely quick spin move on several occasions to create space and shot opportunities for himself in the lane and sported a lethally explosive first step on the baseline, finishing one such move with a vicious one handed tomahawk jam with Farley on the bench.
He played solid on the defensive end too, blocking a turnaround jumper from Farley in the lane and stopped a fast break lay up attempt by pinning a shot against the back board. He had two steals, including the leaping pilfer in the lane and was active on the glass.
With his exquisite athleticism and impressive ball handling and passing skills, Ngarndi is without question a high major prospect and borderline top 100 player in his class.
Now on to Terrance Farley. He was quite impressive on the defensive end and made life miserable for Ngarndi in the lane, altering several of the 6'8 forwards shots and blocking one of his shot attempts.
On the night, Farley had a typical performance. He scored 10 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, including two on the offensive end, and blocked 2 shots. Farley made 4-6 shots from the floor and 2-3 from the line.
Standing at least three inches taller than Ngarndi, Farley ran the floor as good or better than his smaller counter part. On two occasions in the first half, Farley posted up Ngarndi in the lane and made nice spin moves for easy hoops. But as is usually the case, the Panthers simply didn't look to Terrance on the block as often as they should. However, the Panthers did knock down several threes tonight.
Farley displayed his versatile ability on defense against the Warriors. Not only did he block Ngarndi down low but also had the quickness and athletic ability to defend him on the perimeter. He also displayed his tremendous athleticism and reach by blocking one of the Warriors three point attempts.
And as always, Farley was solid on the offensive glass using his timing, long arms and quick leaping ability and put back one of his two offensive boards in which he grabbed the rebound, kept the ball above his head and went straight back up to lay it in softly off the board.
Hopefully these two teams will meet again during the district or 6th Regional action. Two great players and two entertaining teams. Good show tonight at Pleasure Ridge Park High School.
Western will play James Lang and Central Park Christian Saturday at 3 p.m. at Western High School's gym. Tickets are $4.00.