On Tuesday early evening, St. Marys traveled the dozen or so miles north to Spencerville, for a contest between two talented teams, from two high-quality leagues. In this one, it would be Spencerville who would hold the lead for most of the night, only to give it up, and then regain it, ultimately defeating St. Marys by a final score of 57-54. Here is who stood out:
2023 C/PF Austin Parks (St. Marys) – the big man who has gained national attention in recent months, and attracted multiple suitors from numerous Midwest college basketball powers, showed why both of those things have come to fruition. Looking more comfortable than our last time seeing him, Parks did all the things you’d expect from a prospect of his stature and potential. Plays calm, collected, and under-control, with the opposition nearly always centered around him. Used his size and strength in the low post, backing down opponents, kicking the ball out to teammates, re-posting, and finishing around the rim. Flashed some quickness down low, converted multiple dunks, and has a soft touch. Able to handle the ball, capable of knocking down jump shots, but knows he’s at his best in the paint. Altered, and blocked numerous shots on the defensive side of the floor, operated well in space, fought for rebounds, and embraces physicality. Led all scorers with 22 points, and the growth over the past year for him is evident.
2023 G Josh Henline (Spencerville) – one of the most under-the-radar prospects in the greater Lima area, Henline is the total package from the guard position. Clearly the leader of his team, his communication, encouragement, and organization of his teammates on the floor is special. Can play either with the ball in his hands, or off the ball. Runs the floor well, and can really take advantage of break opportunities on offense. Shoots the ball really well from the perimeter, willing to work to get his shots. Doesn’t force things, is heady, and embraces his role. Plays the game with a sense of joy, which is refreshing. Gets down in a stance on defense, has active hands, can move his feet, and makes opponents work. Values winning, had 13 points in the win on this night; big fan of his.
2023 G Dylan Smith (Spencerville) – like his aforementioned backcourt counterpart, Smith can play either guard position and do so more than adequately. Savvy with the ball in his hands, Smith is quick, nimble, and hard to contain off the dribble. He moves well without the basketball, and can score it in numerous ways. Plays hard, makes winning plays, and brings consistent effort and focus. Locks in on defense, keeps his man in front of him, and always aware of what’s happening out on the floor. Led his team in their win with 16 points.
2024 G/F Evan Angstmann (St. Marys) – has a long, slender frame around 6’5″, finished with a quiet 18 points in the losing effort in this one. Always seems to find his way around the ball. Finishes with creativity and through contact around the rim, able to play primarily out on the perimeter and on in. Shoots the three well from the outside, stretches the floor with his ability to do so. His length allows him to be effective on the defensive side of the floor, contests shots, rebounds his area, and runs the floor well. Will be interesting to see how he progresses in the coming months.