Greenfield vs. Farmville Central
These two schools are 20 minutes apart. They are also each defending state champions and return a lot of their firepower from last year’s team. With all of that said, these two programs, who are each carrying the torch for their area, have not played one another. This game means a lot…Greenfield is led by their backcourt duo of 6’5” Dji Bailey (Wake Forest) and 6’1” Creighton Lebo. During last week’s win in the National High School Showcase, it was 6’7” Trey Pittman who won MVP awards after a double/double performance. Farmville is also led by their backcourt of 6’ Justin Wright (NC Central) and 6’2” Terquavion Smith (NC State). But 6’6” Leonte Moye and 6’ Semage Teel are also players who will turn heads. Yes, Greenfield is a 1A private school and Farmville Central is a 2A public school, but each are premier programs within the state of North Carolina. Again, this game means something!!
Village Christian vs. Moravian Prep
Village Christian Head Coach Kurtis Darden always seems to do more with less. I do not want to mince any words here to misconstrue this as saying Village Christian is not good, their senior wing duo of Zavian McLean and Justin Thomas will rival and duo head to head that North Carolina has to offer. However, when you add in the Darden factor, this Village Christian team will always have a chance. Looking at Moravian Prep, they seem to be a team no one in North Carolina will be able to touch. They are beating the brakes off everyone right now, and they are taking on all the smoke. Josh Hall is elite, Shakeel Moore is a high-level difference-maker, you have Jamari Harvey, Amarie Haynie, Luke Davis all falling in line and Javarzia Belton is coming along from his wrist injury. In typical Village Christian fashion, they are undefeated as of this writing, including a road win over nationally-ranked Word of God. They will be ready for Moravian.
How Good is Freedom Christian?
This team has started the year 7-0, this is after coming off a 3-0 showing at Phenom’s High School Jamboree. What is there not to like, they have a great coaching staff to go with talented players who are athletic, and can handle, pass and shoot, with size across the lineup. They are led by 6’5” junior Jayden Doyle 6’10” senior Aymeric Toussaint and 6’ senior Manny Alverado. Doyle is a high flying, shot-making wing. Toussaint long and athletic is a rim running big who can step out to knock down shots and protect the rim. Alverado is the consummate lead guard who is shooting 40% from 3 and dishing out 8 assists per game right now. When you but a deep bench with at least 5 other college-level players on the roster, you begin to understand why this team is off to such a hot start. Currently, they are vying for the number 1 private school spot in the state, but no one is talking about them. After a matchup with Pender and Liberty Heights in this event, that conversation should start. College coaches from every level should start paying attention to this team.
Another big test for Combine Academy
It’s no secret coach Jeff McInnis and Combine Academy is playing a challenging schedule. So far, they have played Oak Hill Academy, The Burlington School, ISA Academy and Moravian Prep. This coming week, Combine will play the Cannon School at the Charlotte Hoops Challenge and drive down Saturday to the Hoops and Dreams to play national power Huntington Prep. Huntington Prep features 6’8 Duke signee Jaemyn Brakefield, 6’9 West Virginia signee Isaiah Cottrell, and 6’3 Michigan State signee AJ Hoggard. Huntington Prep. They are a senior-laden, big and athletic team that could overpower the much smaller Combine Academy. That being said, coach McInnis will utilize pressure defense and team defensive principles to offset the size differential, not to mention coach McInnis will have his team fired up for this contest which will be another big-time match that will help solidify Combine’s standing on a national level.
Trinity Christian vs. Piedmont Classic
This matchup could be one of the more “under the radar” matchups at the Hoops and Dreams. You have local favorite Trinity Christian coached by Heath Vandevender going against Piedmont Classical and coach Kenneth Free. Both teams are super athletic, tough, gritty, play with passion and purpose and are looking to develop their own identity. Trinity is undefeated and Piedmont Classical is coming off the one-point win over NCISAA 4A Cannon School. This game will be hard played and is another quality game that will help define the progress of these two well-coached teams.
How Will the NC Powerhouses Fare with Huntington Prep?
There’s an abundance of talent set to take the floor this weekend at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina for the Hoops and Dreams Classic. Huntington Prep is going to be the most star-studded team across the entire field, but they’ll certainly have plenty of work cut out for them if they expect to go 2-0. They open the event with Word of God, which features a slew of high-level prospects like Isaiah Todd, Po’Boigh King, and Saiquone Harris among various other Division I players. In terms of talent, this could be a dogfight. The very next evening, they’ll face off against Jeff McInnis and Combine Academy—a group that has proven capable of knocking off big-time opponents on any given night. What will be the result? Only time will tell.
The Underrated Matchup: Freedom versus Liberty Heights
Right now, few teams in North Carolina can rival the on-paper talent of Liberty Heights but Freedom Christian is arguably the most underrated team in the state. The noon matchup on Saturday features a showdown between these two squads and should make for great entertainment. There’s something for all types of college coaches at every position within these two rosters, but the Jayden Doyle/Tay Williams matchup alone will be worth the price of admission.