Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bonus Coverage: Nate Dunlop explodes for 43 in thrilling win over Alleluia

Nate Dunlop has scored 75 points in his first two games, both wins.

Augusta Christian's 6'5" sophomore Nate Dunlop followed his 32 point performance in Saturday's win over Augusta Prep with a 43 point outburst Tuesday in another victory, this time a 70-64 decision over Alleluia. In the most entertaining and well played high school game I've seen in this four day old season, Dunlop's flurry of buckets was nearly matched by Alleluia's Ben Dresser, who scored 27 points in a losing effort. Dunlop and Dresser may be the area's two most exciting offensive players.

Augusta Christian trailed the entire first half, a 16 minute stretch that saw Dunlop tally 22 points while Dresser's total reached 19. But Dunlop was just getting warm because it was the second half when his most exciting plays occurred, namely the "Jamal Crawford" move that made many of us who were watching check with each other to see that he in fact did pull off the street ball special. And it threw off the poor referees so badly that they called it a travel, seemingly out of confusion.

To be sure, Alleluia played well enough to win. That is well enough to win if a guy on the other team doesn't go for 43! The Angels have three very good perimeter players - Dresser, senior Elliot Balducci (17 points), and sophomore Ben Freed (15 points). And they handle the ball and move well, finding each other for easy scores. I expect the Angels to challenge for another GICAA state title, especially because I believe they will not have to deal with the likes of Dunlop playing the way he played Tuesday.

But the SCISA teams and the other schools left on Augusta Christian's schedule will have no such luck. In only the four days since Augusta Christian and Butler tipped off boys high school basketball with wins, Dunlop has sprinted out ahead of the pack to claim, at least for now, the distinction of being the area's most dangerous player.

The Lions travel to Fox Creek Tuesday, November 29th. Alleluia hosts a four team tournament this Friday and Saturday.

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