From the Sidelines

Saturday Observations

Phenom Hoop Report travelled to Ridge View High School in Columbia, South Carolina to cover the third and final day of the Bojangles Bash. It was a first class event that featured quality teams and a packed gymnasium.


West Florence 90
Ben Lippen 74

Word of God 69
A.C. Flora 64

Dorman 70
Sumter 61

Trinity Christian 50
Orangeville Prep 47

Huntington Prep 85
North Mecklenburg 79

Cox Mill 68
Ridge View 48


Most Outstanding Player

6'8 '20 Jaemyn Brakefield (Huntington Prep)

Brakefield has a unique blend of athleticism, strength, size, and skill. The southpaw simply has a smooth and fluid game and has the ability to score from all three levels. In the game against North Mecklenburg, Brakefield finished with a game high 30 points going 11-15 from the floor, 4-6 from the 3-point line, and 4-6 from the free throw line. In addition, Brakefield collected seven rebounds and had two steals.

Moral Victory

While North Mecklenburg lost to nationally ranked Huntington Prep, Coach Duane Lewis has plenty to be proud of. After shooting a dismal 26.5% in the first half half, North Mecklenburg only trailed Huntington Prep by 43-34 at the break, not to mention senior point guard was unable to play due to a knee injury. Huntington Prep is absolutely loaded and has a roster of eight high major prospects. North Mecklenburg pulled it within two on several occasions and eventually lost 85-79. North Mecklenburg features high major prospects 6'8 '19 Jae'lyn Withers and 6'2 '20 Tristan Maxwell. That being said, North Mecklenburg has 6'4 freshman Chris Ford who is going to be one of the top players in the state for his class.

Give Coach Jody Barbee Credit

Coaching high profile players like 6'6 junior Wendell Moore and 6'8 senior Rechon 'Leaky' Black will create high expectations. Coming off a NCHSAA 3A state championship, we were impressed with the overall team play displayed by Cox Mill. Coach Barbee ulilitized a pressure 1-2-1-1 full court press and repeatedly mixed up his defense to keep homecourt Ridge View off balance. Cox Mill finished with a 20 point win, but it's apparent Coach Barbee has the team zeroed in on the big picture.

The Trinity Trio

The future looks bright for coach Heath Vandevender. He has a terrific roster of underclassmenand the trio of 6'8 '19 Joey Baker, 6'8 '19 Greg Gantt, and 6'6 '19 Au'Diese Tony. In the game against a tough and talented Orangeville Prep, Trinity Christian pulled out an impressive 50-47 victory. 6'6 combo guard Au'Diese Toney led the way with 16 points going 5-9 from the floor and 6-8 from the free throw line. In addition, Toney collected 10 rebounds to collect the double-double. 6'8 Duke commit Joey Baker finished with 14 points while 6'8 Greg Gantt finished with eight points and 11 rebounds. Gantt currently sports offers from high major schools and look for the same in regard to 'Au'Diese Toney. Toney has a high major muscular frame that is collegiate ready.

Back to being 'Leaky'

6'6 junior Wendell Moore has enjoyed an outstanding start to the season averaging over 30 PPG and has garnished the majority of the publicity. That being said, Rechon Black looked like the 'Leaky' of old. He finished with 17 points going 7-12 from the floor, 1-4 from the 3-point line, and 2-2 from the free throw line. In addition, Leaky collected 12 rebounds, dished out two assists, blocked three shots and had five steals. In our opinion, it was a superb all around game.

Never bashful

One thing is for certain, Coach Brian Clifton of Word of God will play anyone anytime. Never one to worry about his own personal win loss record as a coach, he is wired to compete and put his team in the best situations. He is more worried about player development and putting them in a high profile setting and the Bojangles Bash was another event to add to the list. In the game against A.C. Flora, Word of God pulled out a 69-64 win.