KYLE SLAWTER almost posted a single double!
Hey, don't laugh. Major stats are not easy to accumulate for members of Archbishop Ryan's ever-cautious basketball team and Slawter, a 6-foot, 160-pound senior, almost reached 10 last night in a Catholic League game not with points or even rebounds, but with . . .
Assists. The crafty lefty is a point guard.
As the Raiders pulled a 53-42 Catholic League surprise at Archbishop Carroll, Slawter dealt two assists apiece in the first, third and fourth quarters and three in the second.
That totals nine, rumor has it.
"I thought I had about five," Slawter said. "But nine? That's nice."
He added, "This is always the way we run our offense. That never changes. It's just a matter of hitting our shots. We were doing that in practice and I was confident we'd take it into the game.
"Usually I try to hit Bryan Okolo or Nick Augenbaugh on the wings or in the corner because they're known for hitting shots out there. If you have the hot hand, you might get it more often. But really, the ball goes to anybody who's open."
Though Slawter owned no points through three quarters, his shooting had helped to provide some side entertainment.
Perched in the stands, maybe five rows up, was Slawter's father, Rus. After Kyle missed just his second shot total in the second quarter, Dad yelled down to him, "Keep shooting! . . . Keep shooting!"
Kyle semi-barked at him to zip it.
"He can be a little hard on me and my brothers. He just wants to support us," Kyle said. "During the game I really don't want to hear [instructions] from him. He left me alone after that. I'll be riding home with him. He'll say what he always says, 'Good game. You played hard.' "
Pause. Laughter. "And, yeah, he'll apologize."
Slawter's two first half-shots, for him, almost qualified as blatant gunning. He launched just one in the second half, and it wound up being a successful layup. Since he never got to the line, he scored just two points.
"I know my role is not to shoot the ball, so I know I always have to help us in other ways," Slawter said. "Like, making good passes and playing defense."
On the play that produced his basket, Slawter began out front and made a drive down the lane. No one remotely challenged him so it was, "Ah, what the heck, might as well shoot this."
"I'm accustomed to having guys step up on me, then what's when I make the passes," Slawter said. "It was pretty amazing not to see anyone do it that time. It felt great to come up on the basket and see it was open."
Surprisingly, four Raiders did score in double figures. Okolo (three treys) and Augenbaugh (two) scored 13 and 12, respectively, while Tyler Reed and sub Gage Galeone halved 20. Galeone, the son of Ryan's former football coach, Glen Galeone, added four rebounds and two apiece of assists/steals while Reed had four boards and three thefts.
Undersized center Christian Rivera finished with six points and his first shot wasn't attempted until 3:17 remained. Okolo keyed the defense, holding Alec Stavetski to nine points and just six attempts from the floor.
For Carroll, whose gloom was mostly caused by a 12-1 third quarter, frosh Derrick Jones had 12 points and nine rebounds.
Kyle Slawter's brother, also named Rus (short for Rusling), was Ryan's starting quarterback in the 2007 and '08 seasons, then opted for basketball in college. Dad was a baseball player of prominence at Abraham Lincoln (second team All-City in 1981) and Kyle, a pitcher, is leaning in the diamond direction, also.
No sweat. Orders to back off "Start throwing strikes!" can likewise be delivered.