Carmel Christian MLK
Final thoughts, takeaways and stock risers
The 3rd Annual Carmel Christian MLK event sponsored by Phenom Hoops was another outstanding and successful event. There were high-level teams, players and games played before near-capacity crowds for the entire day. Below are the scores from the action on Saturday and our final thoughts, takeaways, and stock risers.
Asheville Christian 82 Cardinal Newman 67
Myers Park 68 Covenant Day 58
First Assembly 81 A.L. Brown 55
Davidson Day 57 Cannon 53
Carmel Christian 49 Vance 48
6’4 2021 Solomon Todd (Asheville Christian)
Not often does a player come off the bench and lead their team in scoring and earn game MVP honors. That was the case in point with the junior wing from Asheville Christian. Trailing early in the first quarter, Todd was inserted in the lineup and instantly made an impact. He scored seven quick points and his play on both ends of the court was evident. Todd finished with 26 points and quickly won us over with his high motor, leadership and good sportsmanship. Todd plays the game the right way and is such a complete all-around player.
6’3 2020 Tyler McKinney (Asheville Christian)
Tyler McKinney was equally worthy of game MVP honors. He finished with 26 points scoring from all three levels. He has outstanding range and touch. McKinney is highly skilled, fundamentally sound, has a high basketball IQ and simply plays with a competitive edge. More importantly, we were also impressed with his vocal and court leadership throughout the game. McKinney plays with a full throttle approach that is appealing and fun to watch.
5’11 2020 Thomas Tyler (Cardinal Newman)
From start to finish, Thomas Tyler plays with effort and passion. The quick on quick scoring guard plays with a high motor and relentless approach. He is extremely athletic and can score from all three levels. He has touch/range and the ability to get to the rim with his “blow by” speed. Thomas finished with 24 points.
5’11 2023 Aden Holloway (Covenant Day)
Let’s just state the obvious! Aden Holloway is poised and mature beyond his years and will be in the conversation as one of the top players in the absolutely loaded North Carolina 2023 class. Holloway has the complete package. He is athletic, skilled and has an advanced understanding and feel for the game. Holloway finished with a tourney high 31 points. He scored from the 3-point line, made midrange shots off the dribble/bounce and has silky-smooth body control and ability to finish at the rim.
6’3 2021 Trae Benham (Concord First Assembly)
Trae Benham has to be in the conversation as one of the top 3-point shooters in the state regardless of class. He has “parking lot” range on his 3-pointers and the southpaw has excellent shooting mechanics, extension, form and follow through that allows each and every shot look like it is going in. Benham finished the game with a team high 29 points hitting seven 3-pointers. In addition, Benham plays with a lot of effort and passion and we should see a tremendous uptick in his recruiting come this spring.
6’5 2020 Jackson Threadgill (Davidson Day)
Jackson Threadgill simply has game. He is so fundamentally sound, has a high basketball IQ, and maybe one of the more complete players in the North Carolina 2020 class. He has good size for a shooting guard, excellent range and has really gotten stronger and more athletic. He impressed us with his ability to take his man off the dribble and finish with the exclamation dunk. Threadgill finished with a game-high 21 and timely points in the win over Cannon.
Coach Scott Taylor has a lot of be excited about. He has another team that should make another run into the NCHSAA state playoffs. They are well-coached, have good fundamentals and have balance which was evident in their 68-58 overtime win over Covenant Day. Leading the way was 6’0 junior Xavier McKelvy with 19, while 6’5 junior Drake Maye and 6’6 freshman Elijah Strong finished with 13 and 10 points respectively. In addition, 5’10 sophomore Jacob Newman came off the bench and provided the spark that enabled Myers Park to secure the win. Newman scored nine points in the second half hitting one key free throw after another and using his athleticism to grab some key rebounds in the overtime period.
Coach Ron Johnson has won an NCISAA state championship at Cannon and at The Burlington School and don’t be surprised if Davidson Day is added to that list. His teams are always fundamentally sound, execute on offense and plays terrific team defense.
Give Che Roth tremendous credit. He has challenged his young team by playing a tough and difficult schedule. We have often stated, coach Roth sees the big picture and his paving the way for future success. He too has a young team and should be battle-tested come playoff time.
Carmel vs Vance
These are the games fans love to watch. Private vs. public schools and this game was no exception. Carmel came away with the one-point win, but the game was not decided until the final second clicked off the clock. Carmel has been battling injuries and Vance is a young team filled with tremendous talent. Both teams played extremely hard and absolutely laid it on the line.