ORLANDO – While many in the media were billing this game as Austin Rivers vs.
Michael Gilchrist — understandably salivating at a matchup between the country’s top two high school seniors — St. Patrick’s fought their way into the win column by exploiting nearly a team-wide size advantage.
Austin Rivers came out of the gate slowly, struggling to find the range on his jump shots. Conversely, Michael Gilchrist connected on several of his early shot attempts, helping to propel St. Patrick to a quick lead. The Celtics continued to capitalize on their interior size advantage by pulling down rebounds that led to a barrage of fast break points, and St. Patrick bolted out to a 23-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The hometown crowd tried to rally the Wildcats in the 2nd quarter, but St. Patrick’s was having none of it. After a bit of razzing from the student section on a free throw attempt, Derrick Gordon stole the ball on the ensuing possession for a breakaway layup; he followed this with a celebratory salute to the student body, which spurned a further increase in their volume level. Despite the crowd fervor, the Celtics did not buckle and they continued to exploit significant size advantages on the boards, extending their lead to 43-24 at the half.
For Duke fans, the real fun started in the 3rd quarter. Austin Rivers opened the 2nd half with a driving layup. He began to ferociously attack the rim, earning several trips to the free throw line. Drive by drive, Austin Rivers’s confidence was visibly building. Then, a 3-pointer found its mark. Then another. A driving layup. Another 3.
The Austin Rivers show was in full swing!
A seemingly insurmountable lead was down to single digits before St.
Patrick’s closed the 3rd quarter with a 3-pointer near the buzzer.
Austin Rivers and Winter Park continued to fight valiantly in the final quarter, and the game got a bit heated with a technical foul being assessed to Winter Park for extracurricular activity after giving up yet another rebound. Ultimately, St. Patrick’s size advantage proved too great and they were able to leave with the win despite an intense Rivers-fueled rally.
Afterwards, I caught up with Austin Rivers in the locker room and asked him to share his thoughts on the game, as well as how the team will prepare for the road ahead as Winter Park pursues back-to-back Florida state championships. Click play below to watch the full interview!
In what seems to be a norm for BDN, you’ll see in the above clip that once I started interviewing Austin, swarms of local media appeared and stuck a microphone in his face. Hopefully, we made their job a bit easier!
Subsequently, I also captured video of the local news team coverage.
In my opinion, the more insights we can provide for our members, the better! Click play below to watch the remainder of Austin’s post-game
Also, please note that Austin Rivers will be making his way to Durham today to attend Duke’s game vs. Virginia. Duke recruit Shabazz Muhammed will also be in attendance. For those readers attending the game, let’s be sure to give both a hearty welcome!