City of Oaks “Final thoughts, takeaways, and stock risers”
The 2nd Annual Phenom City of Oaks Classic took place on the beautiful campus of North Raleigh Christian Academy. We had five exciting games with some interesting story lines. Once again, we had high quality teams, high quality players, and high-quality performances. Now, let’s check out our “Final thoughts, takeaways and stock risers.”
6’0 ’21 Jamarii Thomas (Piedmont Classical) “Playing with heart”
Jamarii Thomas had a “statement” performance in Piedmont Classical’s 63-53 win over NCHSAA 4A Holly Springs. Thomas finished with a game high 26 points going 8-15 from the floor, 1-3 from the 3-point line, and 9-11 from the free throw line. More importantly, Thomas recorded a tourney high seven steals. Thomas is a strong, explosive and energetic point guard. Simply put, Thomas brings it each and every game, especially on both ends of the court. He plays with a proverbial chip on his shoulder and his strength, athleticism and body control allows him to initiate offense where he finishes at the rim or draws enough contract to draw a foul. He continues to turn heads and his tough as nails approach will make him a coveted point guard in the North Carolina 2021 class.
6’9 ’21 Dante Kisenhofer (Holly Springs) “Next in line”
Standing a lengthy and athletic 6’9, Dante Kisenhofer is a great example of our “3 P” prospect. (Performance, production and potential) In the game against Piedmont Classical, Kisenhofer recorded yet another “double double.” He finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks. That being said, what you currently see is not the finished product and that alone is the scary part for his opposition. We’re talking about an active, mobile and fluid power forward that runs the floor and has the ability to knock down shots from various spots on the court. As he continues to improve and progress, he will need to limit his turnovers, but outside of that, Kisenhofer is definitely trending upward.
6’4 ’20 Zavian McLean (Village Christian) “The One that got away”
Zavian McLean has enjoyed an absolutely great high school career and to this day, is one of the most undervalued players we have covered in quite some time. We’re talking about a high academic student athlete that will be enrolling into Columbia University for the fall. The strong, active and southpaw wing plays the game the right way. In the loss to Durham Academy, McLean finished with 33 points going an impressive 14-21 from the floor, 2-2 from the 3-point line and a perfect 3-3 from the free throw line. In addition, McLean dished out two assists and even collected one steal.
6’1 ’21 Cole Sinclair (Durham Academy) “Not just a 3-point shooter”
Cole Sinclair has enjoyed a lofty reputation as being one of the state’s better 3-point shooters. That being said, he has improved his ball handling skills and ability to make strong, aggressive and cagey moves to the rim. Playing without the services of national prospect MJ Rice, Sinclair has stepped up and become more vocal and allowing his performance on the court do all the talking. Sinclair finished with a team high 24 points going 7-13 from the floor, 3-7 from the 3-point line, and an impressive 7-9 from the free throw line.
Coach Tim McKenna (Durham Academy) “This guy can flat out coach”
Coach Tim McKenna has led Durham Academy to an impressive 19-4 record and this is without the services of one of the top sophomores in the country, MJ Rice. After Rice was lost for the season, many pundits expected a mid-season collapse after Rice’s injury. That being said, Durham Academy upset NCISAA 1A defending state champs, Greenfield School at the John Wall and beat NCISAA 3A power Village Christian in overtime. Durham Academy is playing superbly and extremely well as a team.
6’1 ’21 Bobby Pettiford (South Granville) “Strong, explosive and the real deal”
Many pundits thought Bobby Pettiford may have been one of the top players in the entire City of Oaks event. We’re talking about a strong, explosive point guard that allows the game come from within. In the game against Leesville Road, Pettiford had a team high 21 points, collected nine rebounds, dished out six assists and even had three steals; all while committing only one turnover for the game.
South Granville “Don’t forget about us”
South Granville moves to 16-0 for the season and will be in the conversation as one of the top teams in the NCHSAA 2A classification. They are well coached by Jake Wolhfeil and have one of the top point guards in the state, Bobby Pettiford, running the show. They are quick, athletic, and will flat out get after it on both ends of the court. In addition, coach Wolhfiel has a nice blend of talent to rely on. Three reliable seniors in Kobe Jones, Micah Jones, Wy’Kise Allen anchor down the majority of playing time.
6’3 ’21 Elijah Jamison (Louisburg) “Mr. Double Double”
It’s hard to image another guard in the state that can lead an event in both scoring and rebounding, but Jamison just made the difficult look easy. Jamison went for a “quiet,” yet tourney high 40 points along with a tourney high 13 rebounds. He went 15-23 from the floor, 3-6 from the 3-point line and 6-7 from the free throw line. Jamison has an effortless game. He scores within the framework of the game and just has a sixth sense when it comes to the “feel of the game”