O’Brien: DePaul Prep freshman Perry Cowan sparkles in debut

SHARE O’Brien: DePaul Prep freshman Perry Cowan sparkles in debut

It’s always interesting to see what a hyped freshman can deliver in his first high school basketball game. Ryan Boatright was kind of a flop in his East Aurora debut. Wayne Blackshear was acceptable. Derrick Rose was sensational.

It’s far, far too early to know what the future holds for DePaul Prep freshman Perry Cowan, but his debut is in the books. And it was a good one.

The 6-4 guard sank the game’s first basket 15 seconds in and went on to score 18 points as the Rams beat Taft 83-55 in the Lane Tech/DePaul Prep Thanksgiving Tournament on Monday.

“I didn’t think I’d score that many points my first time out,” Cowan, who was 8-for-13 shooting, said. “I was a little nervous but settled down after I hit the first shot. That helped my confidence and I started playing my game.”

Another freshman, 6-5 Pavle Pantovic, added eight points off the bench. Junior Matthew Tonkel scored 16 and grabbed nine boards for the Rams (1-0).

“(Cowan) is just 14 and he’s a heck of a player,” said DePaul Prep coach Tommy Kleinschmidt. “He can be as good as he wants to be. If he puts in the work he’ll be one of the better ones we’ve had here and in the league.”

The game was long and ugly. A total of 64 free throws were shot.

“I didn’t like the way we played at all,” Kleinschmidt said. “We had at least 50 turnovers and it was a nine hour game. We have a lot to work on. We aren’t very good now but by the end of the season we could be.”

Junior Stefan Domic led Taft (0-1) with 17 points.

The Latest
The Blue Demons (3-23, 0-15 Big East) have lost 14 straight games by an average margin of 24.1 points.
After several months of immaculately cleaning up his teammates’ messes, Vlasic’s play has dipped a bit in February — in line with the Hawks, who lost 3-1 on Wednesday. But he believes he’s “getting better at erasing one mistake, one bad game,” and moving on.
Gabriel Gonzales, a 6-7 junior, scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while dueling in the post with 6-10 Illinois recruit Jason Jakstys.
A federal jury found Burke guilty in December of racketeering, bribery and attempted extortion.