The second day of Phenom’s Tip-Off Classic began with Gaston Christian and Victory Christian in an absolute battle. Although Victory Christian quickly asserted themselves in the first quarter and looked prepared to dominate, Gaston Christian regained their footing and turned things around in a hurry. Despite allowing an early run and lead, Gaston Christian ended the quarter with a 19-18 advantage. The second period was largely controlled by Victory Christian, who regained their lead and continued to dictate the action through guys like 6’6 ’22 Lewis Duarte and 6’8 ’22 Randi Ovalle, entering halftime up 36-38. On the other end, 6’3 ’22 Will Kelly and 6’8 ’21 Cody Chapman led the way for Gaston Christian. The second half was equally as competitive, as both squads continued to go back and forth. Gaston Christian regained the third quarter lead at 56-52, but things quickly turned back into the favor of Victory Christian upon the start of the final period. Though it remained a one-possession game for majority of the fourth quarter, Victory Christian ultimately pulled away down the stretch and secured a 69-73 victory over Gaston Christian.
6’6 ’22 Lewis Duarte (Victory Christian)
Although extremely talented across the board, Duarte was the best player on either team and it really wasn’t close. His toughness, nonstop motor, and two-way versatility allowed him to dominate various facets of the game. Duarte rebounds the ball incredibly well for his size and position, capitalizing on a plethora of second-chance opportunities. However, he also highlighted playmaking instincts and the ability to effectively create, and score, on all three levels. Duarte is a quality all-around athlete with a strong transition presence and great defensive prowess. Easy to see why he’s a priority amongst Division I programs.
6’8 ’22 Randi Ovalle (Victory Christian)
The appeal should be fairly obvious with someone like Ovalle, who regularly showcases flashes of greatness on both ends of the floor. It starts with his offensive abilities, specifically as a knockdown shooter and capable playmaker at 6-foot-8. Ovalle possesses a quality frame, mobility, and fluidity as an athlete, which makes him a legitimate matchup problem for most opponents of his size. He displays IQ, rebounds the ball well, and has the tools to become even better over time. Like Duarte, it’s easy to see what makes him coveted by all types of coaches.
6’3 ’22 Will Kelly (Gaston Christian)
In terms of pure production, it would be difficult to ignore the two-way abilities of Kelly within the confines of this squad. He was arguably their main, and most reliable, offensive focal point and scored the ball in an efficient variety of ways. Kelly attacked the basket, cut without the ball, and knocked down perimeter jumpers within the flow of the team. He made an impact in transition and on the glass while effectively containing his assignment defensively. Kelly showed an adaptable skillset and enjoyed a strong showing as a result.
5’10 ’21 Greg Brockington (Gaston Christian)
Though slightly undersized, Brockington continues to highlight his quickness and dynamic scoring threat. He’s a sharp, crafty ball-handler with a great first step and the ability to touch the paint and finish or set up others. Brockington actively mixes up his approach and can score on all three levels, but typically prefers beating his man off the dribble and attacking.