Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Austin Westlake 93 Austin Akins 72

Last night I raced from Round Rock HS to Austin Akins for the big 8:15pm matchup between the hosts and visiting Austin Westlake. I fully expected a tough, tight game as even though Westlake is undefeated in district they've not been hitting on all cylinders lately. On the other hand, Akins Coach David Peavey has his trooops peaking at the right time. (Keep in mind that Westlake only beat Akins by 10 last month, and they were missing senior W Kevin McFarlane). They were also brimming with confidence after their HUGE win over Pflugerville last week. I'm sure visions of a future matchup with Austin Bowie possibly for 2nd place in the district were talked about as real possibilities with a win tonight over Westlake.

If only this were golf, Akins could have asked for a mulligan. Or a tennis match, where you get whipped in the first game but then regroup and take a drink of Gatorade and come back to beat your opponent 6-1. Alas, there was no tee box, or no net dividing the court last night. There was just 94 feet of hardwood. It was OVER when Westlake went up 14-4 out of the gate. One of the Akins players started talking smack to 2010 PG Cody Doolin of Westlake, and I can tell you from experience that was a poor decision. Doolin unleashed a three pointer coming off a screen, had two rebounds to key the break, and had tallied 3 assists in the first couple of minutes.

Below: 2011 WG Malcolm Canada of Akins listens to his coach during a timeout. Canada finished with 12 points and was the most aggressive player on the floor for Akins. He's showing continued improvement with his ballhandling and attacked the rim when aggressively when he had the chance. There'll be better days ahead for him and 2011 PG Yolonzo Moore who had 15 to lead the Eagles. Look for them to be one of the better backcourts in the area next year in their senior campaign.Tonight was All Doolin, All The Time. The 6'2" guard who's committed to San Francisco controlled the game completely. The 30 points he scored were impressive, but it was the complete dominance in snagging 12 rebounds, starting the break and the 16 assists which made the night special. A half dozen of the assists were of the spectacular kind as Doolin threaded the needle whipping the passes into the smallest of spaces allowing his team mates easy layups. In the case of 2010 P Gus Leeper's two dunks Doolin streaked down the right sideline and inches from being trapped threw the crosscourt pass in perfect position for the 6'9" Arkansas-Little Rock commit to throw it down.

Below: Doolin with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors pulling up for his picture perfect jumper vs the Memphis Magic. I speak with the San Francisco coaches on a regular basis and they fully expect him to be a major contributor and possibly start for them in the West Coast Conference next year.

Westlake was my 5A pick back in October to get to the Drum for State out of Region 4. Nothing's changed. Coach Tres Ellis has done an outstanding job. Last night Westlake had two suspended part time starters back from a 3 week absence but neither one was a factor. Personally, I love the toughness and ability to hit the three that senior Jason Powell showed when he scored his 13 points in the first half, including knocking down three from behind the arc.

Akins Senior W, Kevin McFarlane finished with 15 points but did not have his usual impact under the boards as the Chaps are just too big. Looking ahead, if Akins finishes 4th in the district look for them to make noise in the playoffs. I like their personnel and they're well coached. The current leader in San Antonio is surprise McArthur who have reeled off 8 district wins in a row. They are a structured, robotic team that Akins can "out athlete" and cause fits with on the offensive boards.
2010 Gus Leeper had 14 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks for Westlake. I was most impressed with his 5 assists though as he's becoming a tough matchup when he goes to the high post, as well as when he's laying a big body on you down in the block. Old Arkansas Razorback, Joe Kline has to be licking his chops for next season at UA-Little Rock when he gets to work with Leeper and teach him the nuances of the post game.
Westlake Senior P Carl Meyertons (M.I.T.) had a quietly efficient 20 points last night for Westlake. I believe that was a season high for him. He does the dirty work, and does it well. Senior W Connor Kemper also had 12 points for the Chaps who led by as many as 30 points.
Austin Westlake 31-27-20-15-93
Austin Akins 14-15-20-23-72