SJN’s Hill drops 42 on Meadowbrook
Things didn’t get started quite liked St. John Neumann hoped they would in the first half. It was down by as many as 11 early in the second quarter. But there was one thing Neumann had that Meadowbrook did not: Davion Hill.
Hill was all over the place Tuesday, posting an absurd stat line of 42 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and six assists for the Golden Knights as they cruised in the second half to a 69-45 win over Meadowbrook Christian in the first round of the District 4 Class A playoffs.
“His first two fouls were a little silly and that made him mad. I trust him to be able to play with two fouls and when he puts his mind to it he can take us and put us on his shoulders,” St. John Neumann coach Joe Clark said of Hill. “He’s just a competitor. He’s a warrior and he refuses to lose.”
After the first quarter, Meadowbrook held a 9-point lead and were hitting everything from outside. Sophomore guard Ashton Canelo was giving Neumann fits and he ended with 25 points. Neumann, however, lifted its defensive intensity in the second quarter with Hill stepping in the passing lanes as well as Essex Taylor and Jerval Weeks-Shuler providing some quality minutes off the bench for the Knights and being pests on the defensive end.
“Essex played great and Jerval is a baseball player and he has never played organized basketball, but he’s the best athlete we have, so I was talking to coach Spencer and I said ‘coach we have got to find a way to get him in the game, he does all kinds of stuff and he has come a long way,'” Clark said.
Neuman was able to bring that defensive intensity into the second quarter by changing its defensive formation up a little bit.
“We are experimenting with our defense. It’s a 1-3-1 defense and we have been doing really well with it at practice all week long, but we didn’t quite do very well with it in the first quarter,” Clark said. “We went to the half-court pressure defense and that’s our staple and once we put those guys in that situation, their energy levels naturally come up and we probably waited too long to do it but we did very well with it.”
Holding a three-point lead at halftime, the Golden Knights had to come out and make a mark on the game and boy, did they. The Golden Knights started off on a 14-3 run and Hill was playing like a man possessed. Hill was crashing the offensive boards and got back-to-back and-1s to get the Neumann crowd into the game.
You could see the great way that Neumann was playing as a team, and it was highlighted by a beautiful pass from Josiah Reid on a backdoor cut by Hill that pushed Neumann’s lead to 14. Moments later Hill drove into two people and made a nice pass to an open Forman Stewart for a 3-pointer that put Neumann up by 17 going into the fourth.
“In the second half, I watched some chemistry being built up by our team and we actually started running our offense,” Clark said. “Sometimes we get caught up in all the 1-v-1s, but in the second half I saw chemistry happen and we started to move the ball around well and when you see that happen, it makes you feel good about the next thing.”
St. John Neumann 69, Meadowbrook Christian 45
ST. JOHN NEUMANN (69)
Davion Hill 18 4-6 42, Keon Burkholder 1 0 0 2, Naaman Amos 1 0 0 2, Malaki Parlante 5 0 0 10, Josiah Reid 1 0 0 3, Forman Stewart 3 0 0 8, Essex Taylor 1 0 0 2, Jerval Weeks-Shuler 0 0 0 0, Kane Wright 0 0-1 0, Ricky Jauchell 0 0-2 0. 30 4-9 69.
MEADOWBROOK CHRISTIAN (45)
Dillon Stokes 1 1-2 3, Ashton Canelo 12 0-1 25, Jacob Reed 4 0-2 10, CJ Carrier 2 0 0 4, Evan Young 1 1-2 3. 20 2-6 45
St. John Neumann 12 22 17 18 – 69
MC 19 12 5 9 — 45
3-point goals: Neumann 5 (Hill 2, Stewart 2, Reid 1), MC 3 (Reed 2, Canelo 1).