On Thursday, Phenom Hoops traveled to Oak Ridge, North Carolina as the Northwest Vikings were prepared for a playoff battle against the Myers Park Mustangs. This game featured two really strong, well-rounded squads with clear-cut identities on the basketball court. We’ve seen Northwest as much as anyone this season and they’ve been quite impressive, especially defensively. The junior-duo of Christian Hampton and Dean Reiber is arguably the best two-man tandem in the state and they’ve burdened most of the load this season. As for Myers Park, we’ve seen them multiple times, but usually without their multi-sport star in Drake Maye, so this was set to be an incredible matchup.
The game opened somewhat slow, as these two squads traded baskets for most of the first quarter and the Vikings ultimately held a 13-11 lead going into the second period. The momentum began to shift towards the Mustangs, as their role players stepped up and provided great a secondary scoring punch, giving them a 31-25 lead at the break. The floodgates simply burst open in the second half, as it became a battle of the star prospects. Farris and Maye accounted for 24 of the their 32 second-half points while Hampton and Reiber accounted for 20 of the Vikings 27 second-half points. Northwest didn’t work the post and settled for more jumpers than they typically do, but Maye was also unstoppable down the stretch and basically willed his team to victory. Northwest held a lead in the fourth quarter, but the Mustangs’ 14-2 run to close the game was almost shocking. Myers Park advances 63-52 over Northwest Guilford and will advance to play at Davie County next.
6’5 ’21 Drake Maye
It took some time to get comfortable, but Maye was clearly the most dominant presence on either team and it wasn’t close. His jumper wasn’t falling in the first quarter, but he displayed the ability to consistently mix it up and attack the basket whenever he desired. Maye has an excellent feel for the game and offers an incredible balance between scoring and playmaking. He’s capable of working inside, spotting-up along the perimeter, and initiating offense/creating for others. Maye is an efficient three-level scorer with a strong feel for the game and extremely well-rounded athleticism. The scoring display was somewhat effortless for him, so we were really impressed with his ability to rebound the ball on both ends of the floor. Maye is a highly-touted football prospect, but he’d be a high-level basketball recruit should he pursue a career on the hardwood. Final stats: 25 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal.
6’6 ’19 Duwe Farris
The second most important guy for this team was Farris, given his status as a floor-stretching forward with the ability to apply scoring pressure from the perimeter. Though his shooting form is somewhat unorthodox, Farris absolutely cannot be left alone on the or else he’ll absolutely make the opposition suffer. He communicates and leads by example, playing smart, conservative basketball on both ends of the floor and never forcing the action. College coaches in need of size and shooting should take a look at Farris. Final stats: 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal.
6’2 ’19 Caleb McReed
Though he didn’t score a ton or post an eye-popping stat line, McReed was very important to this Myers Park squad and their success. He was the steady, reliable presence that calmed things down when needed. McReed did most of his scoring in the first half and then focused heavily on defense and initiating the offense in the second half. Like Farris, McReed should be considered a college-level prospect and could contribute to a variety of programs at the next level. Final stats: 8 points and 3 rebounds.
6’1 ’20 Christian Hampton
Though their season came to a close, Hampton should keep his head extremely high for how much he’s grown throughout the last six months as a prospect. His two-way leadership is in a class of its own and he’s guaranteed to motivate any group of teammates. Hampton didn’t shoot the ball particularly well but still looked to relentlessly attack the basket, which yielded solid results and led to a vast majority of his points. As stated many times before, he’s a true dog that should see a massive uptick in his recruitment sooner than later. Hampton is simply a guy that every team should want to pursue. Final stats: 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal.
6’9 ’20 Dean Reiber
Like his running mate, Reiber enjoyed a phenomenal all-around season and really left nothing more to be desired. He was among the most efficient scorers in the state this year. We saw Reiber’s overall assertiveness progress on both ends of the floor throughout this season and now expect him to become an even bigger priority for college coaches. He’s gotten tougher and improved considerably as a rim-protector, but still possesses that unique blend of skill and athleticism, which has been his foundation from the very beginning. Final stats: 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 1 steal.