Adebayo drops 47 in Northside win over Pam Pack

Published 11:49 pm Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DAVID CUCCHIARA | DAILY NEWS TOP PERFORMER: Edrice Adebayo scored a career-high 47 points in Wednesday’s win over Washington.

TOP PERFORMER: Edrice Adebayo scored a career-high 47 points in Wednesday’s win over Washington.

Northside junior and ESPN five-star prospect Edrice “Bam” Adebayo dropped a career-high 47 points in Wednesday night’s 75-65 win over Washington.

Anticipated to take on more of an offensive-minded role this season, Adebayo did not disappoint, playing alongside head coach Mike Proctor’s newly initiated four-guard set.

On top of his 47 points, Adebayo reeled in 23 boards and blocked four shots, but despite what was clearly a dominant offensive performance, the undersized and understaffed Pam Pack put up an honorable fight against the region’s top player.

“I’m expecting to lead my team and be a role player,” Adebayo said after the game. “When we get in trouble, I hope they can believe in me and I will believe in them.”

Responsible for guarding Adebayo was William Tate and Kaleb Spencer. Both were tasked with collapsing on Adebayo in the paint once he touched the ball. And while neither player, understandably, could stop him once he did, the pair did force errant shots and fouled when needed. Through Tate and Spencer, Washington was able to stay within striking distance of the lead.

“You can’t fault them for how hard they played,” said Washington head coach Steven Flowers. “I thought they got an awful lot of calls. I thought Bam was hooking a lot, no calls, and he was traveling a lot. He got away with a lot of things. And that’s not to say he can’t play. That kid is good and we don’t have an answer for him. But we got frustrated quickly.”

Feeding off a packed house and the momentum from Tuesday night’s come-from-behind win over Ayden-Grifton, the Pam Pack kept pace with Northside’s four-guard set early. Adebayo earned the Panthers an early lead, but consistent rebounding and guard play from Azim Anthony and baskets from Sayvon Brooks and Matthew Holloway kept Washington in the game, down just two at the end of the first quarter.

“I think they put up a fight because they are our archrival,” Adebayo said. “We live 20 minutes away and we just went out and played hard. It’s good competition and everyone came out to play tonight.”

In the second quarter, Adebayo and senior guard Reggie Slade carried the team offensively, scoring a combined 16 points. Fortified defense forced Washington’s guards to take shots from range, as Northside led 32-30 at the half.

“We put up a fight. We got in early foul trouble and that kind of slowed us down a little bit. I think we had two foul out, but you have to play,” Flowers said.

Defensively spent, both teams combined for 46 points in an offensive-heavy third quarter. After struggling early, Anthony challenged Adebayo down low and worked his way to the line, where he converted five of six crucial free throws. Tykarrius Floyd and John Whitley caught fire from range and matched Adebayo offensively.

But through the final minutes, Jabari Ashe, Dalton Etheridge, Slade and Patrick Moore gave Adebayo the necessary support he needed to excel. The 6-foot-10 center dropped 16 points in the fourth quarter, going 8-for-10 from the line and giving Washington little opportunity to chip away.

For Washington, Anthony finished with a team-high 20 points, while Whitley dropped a quiet 16 points. Tate also finished with nine points, four boards and three assists.

“With the short manned team we have, we’re ok with where we’re at, as long as they keep playing hard,” Flowers said.

Washington begins a three-game road stretch next Monday at Greene Central, while Northside will prepare for its home opener against Dixon on Friday.