On Thursday Night I had the opportunity to watch round three of NC’s newest Rivalry between Burlington Christian and Trinity Academy of Raleigh. The two schools split the first two meetings, BCA winning @ Trinity in the last of the meetings and both of the games were exciting down to the last buzzer and last night wasn’t any different with Trinity of Raleigh coming away with the win by the score of 72-65. Let’s take a look at some of the top performers!
5’11 2021 Tyler Gill: Trinity Academy (27 Points)
Tyler Gill has gotten better and better as this season has gone along and it all came to fruition for him last night against Burlington Christian where he was the best player on the court throughout the process. Scoring aside, he’s a super pesky defender, making life difficult for the BCA guards, and turning defense into offense. He and Isaiah Todd got into a rhythm in the 2nd half, playing a lot of 2-man game and coming up with timely buckets in the 2nd half. Gill has gotten incredibly comfortable in ball-screen situations, finding the soft spot in the defense, pulling up for a jumper, or using his strength to finish through contact at the rim. He also hit a half-court buzzer beater at the end of the 1st quarter that was a huge momentum lift for his team. His energy was contagious and he looks to be settled in as the Point Guard ready to lead this team into the NCISAA 2A playoffs, where the Tigers are an incredibly dangerous bunch if they continue to play like this. As Gill continues to work on his overall efficiency (limiting mistakes, making FT’s, etc) he’s going to become a hot commodity in the crazy deep 2021 class.
6’10 2020 Isaiah Todd: Trinity Academy (21 Points)
Isaiah Todd continues to show time and time again why he’s one of the best players in the 2020 class. He brought a high level of intensity to last nights matchup, and found a way to be incredibly productive despite Burlington Christian’s emphasis on denying him the ball, and doubling him 95% of the time as soon as he touched it. He scored it at all 3 levels, and made plays that left your jaw dropped throughout the contest. Possessing the ability to get his shot off at any time, Todd is a walking mismatch at the High School level, he’s pushing 7 feet with better ball skills than 90% of the players on the court with him. Sometimes I wish he’d take 2-3 less jumpers and post up on the block 2-3 more times per game, but with the way BCA was trying to defend him, he was able to really make the defense pay on the perimeter tonight. There are rumors about a reclassification, but there are differing reports about the legitimacy of those rumors. Just know that regardless of what Todd and his family decide to do, he will be incredibly successful if he continues to work, the sky is truly the limit for him!
6’4 2020 Jake Bertolini-Felice: Trinity Academy (9 Points)
Jake found a way to be an impact guy for this Trinity team despite not scoring the ball a ton through his energy and slashing threat off the bounce. He always plays with a fearless mindset and stays the course when a bounce or two doesn’t go his way. His length and ability to move laterally help his defensive versatility as well, look for Felice to continue to make a name for himself over this playoff run that has a chance to be really special for Trinity.
6’4 2021 Ryan Roberts: Burlington Christian (21 Points, 5 3s Made)
Ryan Roberts was absolutely lights out for BCA in this one, drilling 5 3s and most of them coming at just the right time to keep them in the game. Every time BCA was down by 7 or so and they were in desperate need of something to go down, Roberts was the go to guy, and he delivered. He has a chance to be one of the best shooters in NC’s 2021 class and he’s more than just a catch and shoot guy, capable of being a secondary ball handler in spots, with a crafty in between game. He’s a super valuable piece for this young BCA team and he should continue to get more attention his way if he can build off of this performance.
6’0 2021 Brock Williams: Burlington Christian (19 Points)
When an “off night” is you scoring 19 points you’re probably doing something right, Williams still found a way to be a productive player despite dealing with a mixed bag of illness’s all week. It took him a few minutes to get engaged with the game, but he still found a way to take over the game for a few stretches of time. He had to deal with Isaiah Todd at the rim and he found a way to finish over the 6’10 rim protector a few times, but at the end of the day it wasn’t quite enough. He showed his ability to score in both the half-court sets and in transition. As Brock continues to really grasp his understanding of the game, and limit bad shots, he will become more of a can’t miss prospect than he already is. He and his BCA teammates are on the cusp of accomplishing things that the school probably didn’t think was possible in recent years, if he continues to work, Brock has a chance to go down in the record books as one of the best scorers the HoopState has ever seen.
6’4 2020 Jackeem Herbin: Burlington Christian (15 Points)
Herbin was really really good for BCA last night, despite dealing with foul trouble throughout the contest. He had a couple touch fouls called on him and had 4 fouls from early on in the 3rd quarter until the end of the game and was fairly tentative on both ends due to the fact that he had to play in order for his team to have a chance. In the first half he was awesome on both ends of the court, using his quick hands to cause deflections leading to easy offense, and scored it from the outside and at the cup extremely well, fighting through contact at the rim for tough buckets. He’s a division one prospect in the making and as he improves, he should be garnering attention from Low-Majors around the region. He and Williams will need to come up big if BCA wants to make some real noise in the NCISAA 2A playoffs.