By Paul Honda
Got the abacus* out and did the math. There are some seriously interesting numbers behind Yates’ 95-88 win over Lutheran from last night’s thrilling quarterfinal at the ‘Iolani Classic.
Lutheran comes from a town named Orange, near Anaheim, Calif., and was relatively unheard of coming into the tourney. Yates (Houston, Texas) had a lot of hype, deservedly so, for averaging 130 points per game. Also, for carrying a national ranking.
• Lutheran outrebounded Yates 42-28, an astounding advantage considering Lutheran had no player over 6-foot-5, while Yates had a 6-9 post in Alexander Davis.
• The Lancers shot 51 percent from the field (37-for-72), including 12-for-19 in the frantic first quarter for a 26-21 lead. Yates shot even better at 54 percent (36-for-67).
• Lutheran took just 12 free throws, which is amazing in light of the extremely high number of possessions, and made eight. Yates was 19-for-25 at the line (76 percent), a significant advantage.
• The first and third quarters were good to Lutheran with outputs of 26 points in each stanza. The Lancers had just 18 points in the second — not surprising given Yates’ amazing stamina. Lutheran had 16 assists and 13 steals in the first three quarters, but flattened out in the fourth with just three dimes and no steals. Yates, meanwhile, racked up 31 points in the final quarter (11-for-19). Brandon Peters and James Douglas combined of 17 those points.
• Peters was especially scintillating with 29 points on 13-for-21 shooting and six boards. He controlled the lanes with constant drives and movement without the ball. His alley-oop dunks were one thing; his energy level and toughness inside at just 6-2 were matched only by his vertical. He later won the slam-dunk contest in one of the toughest fields of recent years.
• Lutheran had a whopping 17 rebounds in the second quarter, including 12 on the offensive glass. Those numbers probably won’t be matched or approached for the rest of the tourney.
• The Lancers had 19 assists as a team, but nobody had more than six (Tyler Funk). That’s a testament to the team’s passing skills and court vision. Freshman Payton Banks, who looks like a college player, had eight rebounds and five dimes while helping his team handle Yates’ relentless fullcourt press.
• Speaking of the press, Lutheran finished with “only” 18 turnovers. Yates finished with 18 giveaways.
• Davis blocked five shots. His wingspan was a difference maker inside, and Lutheran still shot over 50 percent.
• Three-point shooting could’ve swayed the game either way, but Lutheran was just 6-for-21 (29 percent) and Yates was 6-for-16 (38 percent).
• Each team had 13 steals.
And finally, Yates didn’t call its first time out until late in the fourth quarter. What we saw at ‘Iolani’s gym was not just a basketball team, but a track squad. Take four of Yates’ best athletes and you probably win the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 in most states.
All in all, the most entertaining and frenetically-paced game I’ve seen at the prep level in a long, long time. I haven’t seen two teams push the ball that hard and still get quality shots consistently in ages. There probably hasn’t been a game like this in local basketball since Kalaheo’s 102-94 win over Farrington in the 1980s.
Why don’t we see more games like that? It’s a good question. I’ll save my thoughts on that for later.
Happy hoop holidays, everyone!
* If you think 183 points in a high school game is not much, think about it like this: A college game has 8 more minutes, or 25 percent more play. With a 40-minute game, Yates theoretically would’ve scored 118 points and Lutheran would’ve had 110. When’s the last time you saw a 118-110 score at the college level? UNLV in the Tarkanian days? LMU with Hank Gathers, Bo Kimble, Jeff Fryar and Terrell Lowery? Yeah, we’re decades removed from that era.