BY AARON PATTERSON
DANVILLE — Upon signing to play for the Danville Area Community College Jaguars next season, D’Lando Carter wasn’t sure how he would fair playing guard after spending all last season at forward for Kankakee Community College.
So far, things are looking good, and DACC men’s basketball coach DaJuan Gouard should be pleased with his newest addition.
In Friday’s opening round game of the Dustbowl, Carter scored a team-high 21 points including a 13-point performance in the second half to help Indy Stars advance to Saturday’s semifinal.
He followed it up with 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists on Saturday in a 61-52 win over Mayan’s Palace to put his team in the men’s division championship for the second consecutive year.
Three players from last year’s championship squad — including Carter, Will O’Neal, and Stacy Robinson — will be playing in today’s championship against Leek and Son’s at 4 p.m.
Carter scored five points in the first half of Saturday’s semifinal but had four of his five assists as Indy Stars earned a 34-24 halftime lead.
“I was just getting the feel of the game at the beginning; getting my teammates involved so they could play defense for me and do the extra things for me,” Carter said. “I was just trying to get everybody involved before I could start scoring.”
Carter’s offensive output in the second half ultimately became more a necessity than a luxury. Much of the early scoring came from University of Indianapolis forward Joe Lawson who scored 14 of his game-high 17 points in the first half. But both Lawson and Will O’Neal (13 points, six rebounds, three steals) found themselves in foul trouble midway through the second half forcing Carter and the other guards to step up.
“We have limited players so it was tough when the big men started getting in foul trouble,” Carter said. “The guards had to pick it up on the rebounding end, helping out on defense, and scoring the ball, too.”
Robinson finished with six points for Indy Stars and Glennie Watson, Jr. had eight.
Mayan’s Palace was led by 11 points each from Charles Glass and Tiger O’Neal, nine from David Picken, eight from Jeff Johnson, and seven from Walt Battle.
Indy Stars will take on Leek and Son’s who were led in their semifinal win by Lewis Jackson and O.J. Harrison.