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Carlisle's Maker scores 49 points in debut
PG Johnson Jr. enrolls at Carlisle
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Thon Maker, a 7-foot freshman at Carlisle School, scored 49 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in his debut as a Chief.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

By MARK THOMPSON - Bulletin Sports Writer

Carlisle forward Thon Maker’s debut with the Chiefs was just as big as the 7-foot freshman.

Maker scored 49 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to go along with five blocks and three steals in a 79-66 road win against Covenant High School on Friday in Charlottesville.

“I’m definitely pleased with the way he played, but he’s still a work in progress,” Carlisle coach Jason Niblett said of his freshman.

Niblett said Maker’s points came from all over the court. He added that Maker, at times to aid against a full-court press, brought the ball down the court.

Maker also finished the game with four dunks — two in transition and two in traffic.

But as impressive as Maker was, Niblett was just as pleased with the way his team battled.

“We didn’t have the numbers to match up with them in terms of bodies,” Niblett said when asked what made the victory a tough one.

Niblett only had four varsity players Friday night, so Niblett had three junior varsity players move up to varsity and play back-to-back games.

He played two of them in the game — Grey Ferguson and Garrett Joyner — and Niblett said both gave the team a big boost.

Niblett said Carlilse (1-0) and Covenant battled in a one-to-two possession game that saw a number of lead changes.

As big as Maker was for the Chiefs, Niblett said his other starters contributed heavily to bring Carlisle its first win.

Malcolm N’diaye, who recently enrolled at Carlisle, had 24 points, six assists, five steals and three rebounds.

Niblett said Mitchell Hamlett and fellow stater Cole Dickerson were active on the boards.

“Mitchell Hamlett had an outstanding game,” Niblett said. “He really played great defense.”

Dickerson had nine rebounds.

Carlisle won’t be playing with four varsity players any longer. Eric Johnson Jr., a point guard in the Class of 2014, transfered to Carlisle School from Christ School in Arden, N.C. Christ School has one of the top private school basketball programs in North Carolina. Duke standout forward Mason Plumlee — in addition to his brothers — attended Christ School.

Although N’diaye and Johnson are both capable of running the point, Niblett said he thinks the two will work seamlessly together at Carlisle.

“I think they’re going to compliment each other very well,” Niblett said.


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