On Saturday night Cardinal Stritch traveled south to Parkway for a game that promised to test both teams. That ended up being the case, with Cardinal Stritch coming out with a 77-67 road win. Here is who stood out:
2020 PG Joey Holifield (Cardinal Stritch) – The best player in the gym, as is the case on most nights when he is on the court. Finished with 26 points in this one, providing his team with buckets as needed. Was very strong in the mid-range offensively, while getting to and finishing around the rim. Used his physicality to punish defenders. Skilled, smart, and steady. Always felt like he had the game under control for his team, even in more tense situations throughout the night. A leader and extension of the coach out on the floor.
2021 G Jhaiden Wilson (Cardinal Stritch) – Was impressive from start to finish. Shot the ball extremely well from deep, knocking down triples with consistency out to 25-28 feet. Came through in timely moments for his team. What he may lack in physical size, he makes up for in his relentless effort, energy, and will. Quick, shifty, and athletic, that allow him to be a force on both ends of the court. Caused multiple turnovers on defense with his activity, leading to easy ones and opportunities for others. Delivered an efficient 30 point effort on this night.
2020 F Caleb Kinney (Parkway) – Fundamentally sound game, strong with the basketball, gets the job done in the post. Has decent size at 6’4″, good hands and feet. Can score it on either block, through contact, and with finesse if needed. Clearly who his team goes to when times get tough, and proved to be more than capable of carrying the load. Defends well in the paint, not afraid to body-up, and holds his ground. Most effective on the blocks, elbows, and in the short corner. Persistent and consistent effort. Has to be one of the more undervalued forwards in Northwest Ohio. Had 32 points in this one by the time the clock hit zero.
2021 G/F Dylan Hughes (Parkway) – Not the typical offensive outing from him in this one, but still showed why he is developing into a quality small school prospect at the next level. Capable of scoring it in a plethora of ways, finishes through contact, and can create off the dribble. Makes his presence felt on both the offensive and defensive glass. Holds his own on defense. Liked how he allowed the game to come to him throughout the course of the game. Should have a solid showing in the spring and summer on the AAU circuit.
2023 G/F Romel Hightower (Cardinal Stritch) – While he didn’t get into the game at the Varsity level, he showed enough in the JV game and passes the ‘eye test’ to get your attention. Has a really good frame at his young age, standing around 6’4″ out on the wing, with noticeable length. Needs to improve in his IQ and understanding of the game, but he has definite elite potential. Very high ceiling and a name to remember for years to come.
Others who stood out: Jalen Smith (Cardinal Stritch), Brandon Burks (Cardinal Stritch), Caden Slusher (Parkway).