In basketball’s extensive glossary of useless cliches, the “perfect game” maybe the most meaningless of all. It’s a subjective term that is impossible to define. Yet Paris Austin and Ivan Rabb would have to pull off that perfect game in order for their O’Dowd Dragons to stop Bishop Gorman, a program brimming with D1 talent. The superb senior duo provided a tremendous performance, perfect to some for sure, as they collectively responded to pivotal moments with one spectacular response after another.
In the game’s opening moments it appeared that Rabb and Bishop Gorman’s talented 7 footer Stephen Zimmerman were going to give the packed crowd at Newark Memorial a head-to-head battle to remember. They traded buckets while displaying levels of agility no one of their size should attempt, much less be able to complete with regularity. However, as the first half rolled on, it became obvious Rabb’s game would be at a far different level than anyone else. Whether it was his hometown fans bringing him to another level or Zimmerman’s teammates decision not to feed their top-ranked big man, by the half’s conclusion it became abundantly clear the evening would feature only one star on stage in the paint. Rabb finished the first half with 19 points, 8 rebounds and his team locked at 30-30 with one of the nation’s top-ranked teams.
When Rabb wasn’t locked in a battle of finesse with Zimmerman, he was in a far more physical battle with Duke commit Chase Jeter. O’Dowd’s big star showed off his full range throughout the Prep2Prep Norcal Tipoff’s final game of the evening, spinning by Zimmerman for a fadeaway floater on one possession and drop-stepping into vicious reverse dunks on Jeter the next. With each display of interior superiority, the East Bay crowd got a little bit louder and began to taste the possible upset.
While Rabb was steady all night long on his way to a game high 28 points and 20 rebounds, his partner in crime Austin picked his spots with stellar decision making. Throughout the night Austin displayed an uncanny ability to almost sense the crowd’s energy. Each time they would begin to quiet and relax into their chair, he would to fly into the lane and make another phenomenal pass or scooping layup and the entire gymnasium would be back on its feet.
It was with that impeccable timing that Austin lead the Dragons on their second half run that blew the game wide open. Behind multiple steals from himself and Astion Walker, the team went on an 8-0 run that took a tie game and eventually made it a double-digit O’Dowd lead. Bishop Gorman never recovered from the onslaught as the home team’s perfect answer of Rabb and Austin cruised through most of the 4th quarter to a 63-55 victory.
For a more in depth look at the game, RAW FOOTAGE HIGHLIGHTS
Edited By – George Nguyen
Music By – @DKSTbeats
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE FOR MORE – OFFICIAL SHIFT TEAM HQ