Karl Harris personifies De La Salle at its best as a a long, active and highly skilled guard who plays multiple positions on the floor.
At 6-5, he is too big for most guards and too quick for most forwards. With DePaul Prep storming back from a 19-point deficit for a one-posession game late in the fourth quarter, Harris took on another identity. He was the exclamation, the one who finished what his teammates helped start.
“I just felt like, being the point guard and a senior I had to control the game,” Harris said.
Harris scored 11 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter as the host Meteors survived a comeback from DePaul Prep for the 65-62 victory in a Catholic League crossover Friday night.
“They went on a nice rally to make their own run, but to be a good team you have to be able to withstand the other team making those runs and keep your composure,” Harris said.
Harris converted three free throws in the final nine seconds to secure the victory for the Meteors (5-2). He paced four double-figure scorers for De La Salle. The LaSalle recruit also proved a dynamic two-man weapon with Iowa recruit, 6-5 wing forward Brandon Hutton.
Hutton scored 15 points and threw down a monster dunk with 34 seconds remaining for a six-point De La Salle advantage that helped repel the Rams’ run.
Hutton demonstrated his versatile game in a dominant first half. He drilled back-to-back 3-pointers in scoring eight consecutive points as the Meteors led 31-12 midway through the second quarter.
He added six rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots. His ability to create off the dribble created numerous mismatches in the Meteors’ first- half blitz that ended up with De La Salle up 36-23 at the break.
“That was just pure team basketball,” Hutton said. “I was in a good rhythm and the team was reversing the ball and I was get open and knock down the shots.”
Christian Hayes registered 12 points and Chris Harrell 10 points for the Meteors.
Dylan Henderson scored a team-best 16 points as the Rams (5-2) recovered from its cold start to spread the floor and attack the basket.
“Their pressure really bothered us, especially at the start,” DePaul Prep coach Tom Kleinschmidt said. “They’re long up top and we’re small. We’re a good small, but not tonight.
“We made some adjustments at halftime and we made some shots and started to guard them a little better. They also let down a little bit, which is normal when you’re up [13 points] at halftime like they were.”
Wing forward David Holiday scored 13 of his 14 points in the second half and added seven rebounds. Raequan Williams, the 6-6 football star, added 13 points and seven rebounds. He also contributed six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Guard Chris Harrell added eight points. His three-pointer from the left wing with 1:24 left in the game cut the margin to 60-56. Coming off a De La Salle missed shot, DePaul Prep missed a long 3-pointer that led to Hutton’s huge throw down.
The Rams were also called for a technical for calling a time out it did not possess while contesting for a loose ball under their own basket.
“I’m not happy but I’m very encouraged with how we played the final eight minutes,” Kleinschmidt said. “We didn’t die. We had a mental lapse coming out of the time out there, but that’s a learning experience.
“I’m proud of the kids and how they fought back.”