Sunday, January 15, 2012

Olympic's Allerik Freeman a special player delivering magical moments

Friday night at sold-out Charlotte Catholic, Olympic's Allerik Freeman gave a complete demonstration of why he's one of the nation's top 10 boys' basketball players in the junior class.

Forget about the numbers but they were good: 23 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals.

Friday night, during the Trojans' 83-66 win, it was all about the moments.

Whenever Catholic was making a push - and Catholic is a very good high school team that will challenge for a 3A state title - Freeman was there with a play. Sometimes it was a big rebound in traffic against taller players. Sometimes it was a steal, or moving a teammate to the right spot, or acting as though he would try for a block to force a Catholic player into an awkward shot attempt - and a miss.

But the biggest moment came with 5 minutes, 17 seconds left in the third quarter and Olympic ahead 37-36. Mark Pollack had just hit two free throws for the Cougars. The Trojans had blown a 36-21 lead and a chance to have an easy Friday night.

Catholic's crowd suddenly came back to life. You couldn't hear your neighbor if he was yelling at you.
Freeman? He gets the ball, about two arms' lengths from the front of the Catholic student section and pulls up on an emblem that's stuck on the Cougars' court about, say, 30 feet from the basket. We're talking well beyond NBA 3-point range.

The shot is pretty. The shot is perfect. And it sparks an 8-0 Olympic spurt that essentially puts the game away.

Freeman did a lot of magical things Friday, a 6-foot-3 guard dominating a game that had about 10 guys who will play a pretty high level of college basketball.

None was better than that.

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