On Monday night, Phenom Hoops traveled to Wake Forest to watch NCHSAA season-opener as Heritage hosted Broughton. This was an intriguing matchup, especially given the guard play between Heritage’s Justin Monden and Broughton’s Will Otto. Needless to say, the game lived up to expectations and both guards played tremendous games for their respective teams.

The first quarter was back and forth with Broughton holding onto a 17-15 lead at the end of the quarter. In the second quarter, Broughton was able to extend their lead as Heritage’s Justin Monden picked up his second personal foul. Offensively, Broughton’s ball movement was impressive. They assisted on 8 of their 13 made field goals in the first half. Broughton led 35-23 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Heritage went on a run led by Justin Monden and Evan Ashe. Monden knocked down near back-to-back pull-ups jumpers in transition. Then a couple of possessions later, Evan Ashe went coast-to-coast for the and-one to cut the deficit to three at 40-37. Broughton was still able to maintain a 44-41 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, every time that Heritage would get it within striking distance, Broughton would come up with a big play. And it wasn’t just one player. Each player on the court did something that helped contribute to their team winning. McCallum Wright had a big-time block to prevent an easy layup. Manning Lasso was tremendous on the boards, grabbing nine rebounds. Grady Bizyak played a complete game. Broughton extended their lead late in the fourth and finished with a 66-56 win. Broughton played an incredible team game. 14 of their 24 field goals were assisted. That is impressive. All night long, they forced Heritage to guard them for multiple passes and ball reversals each possession. They were able to attack closeouts and get their opponent in scramble, ultimately leading to open looks.

Final Score:
Heritage 56
Broughton 66

Heritage Stats:
Justin Monden – 28 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
Evan Ashe – 11 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks
Jared Bush – 6 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Lex Thomas – 5 points, 3 rebounds
Axell Steamer – 4 points, 3 rebounds
Anthony Giordano – 2 points, 4 rebounds

Broughton Stats:
Will Otto – 24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Grady Bizyak – 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
Manning Lasso – 10 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
James Parrish – 8 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist
McCallum Wright – 6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block
Hayes Carlin 3 points, 2 rebounds
Devin Emerson – 2 points, 3 rebounds

Player Standouts

6’3 2023 Will Otto (Broughton) – 24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Otto set the tone from start to finish for Broughton. He plays with poise and always seemed to be under control. He got to his spots on his terms. For someone who scored 24 points, he didn’t force anything. He took what the defense gave him whether it was a drive to the basket or a catch and shoot three. On his drives, he used his body well to shield off defenders and get his shot off. He also made plays for others, finishing with 4 assists. He would get into the paint and force the opposing defense to help, and he would make the right read, whether it was a drop-off to a teammate for a layup or a kick-out to a shooter for three.

5’11 2022 Justin Monden (Heritage) – 28 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
Monden simply put on a clinic from the midrange. He was spectacular all night long. His ability to create space off the bounce, get to his spots, and under control elevate over defenders for his jumper is something that you don’t see too often. He has a lethal crossover move, either direction, that allowed him to get into the paint seemingly at will. He was able to put pressure on the defense with his speed in the open court. In addition to pouring in 28 points, Monden also finished with 4 assists. He put the pressure on the defense from the start with his ability to score, and used this as an opportunity to find the open man. The defense would collapse on him, and he would make the drop-off or kick-out pass to the open man. Expect Monden to have a huge senior season.

6’3 2022 Grady Bizyak (Broughton) – 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
Bizyak played an extremely complete game for the Caps. He did a little bit of everything. Most impressively was his decision making. He took the right shots. He found the open man. He was a big part in how Broughton played offensively. Bizyak’s toughness on both ends of the floor was vital in the team’s success.