Career Highs from Vickers and Mayo Lead to Christmas Tourney Title

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Career Highs from Vickers and Mayo Lead to Christmas Tourney Title

Owen Boyette

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Friday December 27th marked the beginning of the four-day tournament that Chaminade hosts annually the weekend after Christmas day.

The Devils made their tournament debut against the Knights of Francis Howell North, which Chaminade won 95 to 32. Senior wing player Luke Kasubke lead the charge with a game high 20 points by utilizing his three-point shooting, sinking five shots from behind the three-point arc. Sophomores Tarris Reed Jr. and Damien Mayo scored 16 points and 14 points respectively.  Tarris Reed found success running in transition and dunking the basketball after receiving outlet passes, and was able to post up against North’s center and scoring in the paint. Mayo was efficient on floor scoring seven times from a variety of dunks, layups, and two-point shots.

Chaminade used a ferocious defense to trigger their offense. The squad used a combination of full-floor press, and would settle back into a man coverage as soon as the ball crossed the half court line. The pressure applied by the defense in the full court press resulted in Francis Howell North turnovers and quick transition buckets for the home team. Chaminade only gave up 32 points the entire game. Just like previous Chaminade teams, this year’s crew prefers to speed up the game and live in transition getting quick baskets after forcing their opponent to turn over the ball.

It was a complete team effort Friday night, as all twelve players who were eligible to play in the tournament saw time on the court. Sophomore guard Nate Straughter scored 14 points coming off the bench; 9 of those points came from beyond the three-point line. Senior Frazier Ott and freshman guard Brian Ward Jr. both contributed 5 points from the bench. Both junior guards, Jaden Winfield and Mark Jackson, scored buckets in transition to add to the lead.

Saturday December 28th was the second victory of the tournament. Chaminade won 92 to 59 against Parkway North. Last year, when the two teams played each other in the tournament, Luke Kasubke had his famous 50 point game, which is his career high for points scored in a game.  This year, however, it was Harrison Vickers’s turn. Vickers scored a career high 41 points. The senior forward went 3 for 6 from three-point range and 15 of 22 from the field.  Harrison scored by cutting to the basket, getting second chance points from offensive rebounds, and shooting the ball. Kasubke scored 19 points and Frazier Ott scored 10.

16 of the 59 points Parkway North scored came from junior guard Keashon Petty, and his backcourt partner Adebayo Popoola added 15 points with 6 coming from behind the arc and 5 from the free throw line. The rest of the Vikings couldn’t keep up with the high scoring Chaminade offense and certainly had trouble stopping Harrison Vickers.

The team’s third game against Trinity High School out of Louisville Kentucky on Sunday December 29th marked the Devil’s closest game of the year.  The squad outlasted the visitors 55 to 50, but the slow set-based offense of Trinity, as well as their defense, gave the Red Devil issues. Chaminade’s trend of high scoring offensive outputs and a defense that keeps the opponent out of harms reach was bucked by the Shamrocks. Damien Mayo had a career game Sunday afternoon where he scored 29 points by attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line. The sophomore guard was perfect from the field sinking all 11 of his shots and then added another 7 points from the charity strike.

The only other Red Devil to reach double figures against Trinity was Luke Kasubke. He used his 7 free throw points as well as a 3-pointer and a field goal to finish with 12 points on the game. Ott, Winfield, and Vickers also contributed with 8, 4, and 2 points respectively.

Offensive buckets were hard to come by for the Red Devils but even harder to get for the Shamrocks. Chaminade let up 50 points to their opponents which was just enough to win the game.

The fourth and final game was Monday December 30th against the Hazelwood West Wildcats. The Red Devils won 63 to 50. It was a more well-balanced attack as Damien Mayo had 21 points, Harrison Vickers had 15 points, and Luke Kasubke had 12 points. The team capped off the tournament with a sluggish game where they had dozens of turnovers. The team was able to outrun West and find transition points at the basket. This type of fast paced offense is the team’s strength, but the team’s inability to take care of the basketball was an issue.

Overall, the Chaminade Christmas tournament gave the crowd huge performances from Mayo and Vickers. The first two games were fast paced and high scoring, the way the team likes to play, and the third and fourth games were slowed down and a bit choppier but overall, a 4-0 record in the tournament was enough to win the whole thing. The team concluded the tournament with an overall year record of 7-0 going into their first game of 2020 against Vianney on January the 3rd.