On Friday night, Phenom Hoops travelled to Kinston, North Carolina to see the rematch between Kinston and Washington. On January 14th, Washington won 76-40 at home. But this time was different. This time, the UNC commit Dontrez Styles was back for his first game for Kinston after an injury during the first game of the season.

In the first quarter, Washington threw the first punch jumping out to a 4-0 lead. But Kinston didn’t get rattled. 6’6 junior Jeremy Dixon had a big opening quarter with 10 points and 4 rebounds. He was spectacular the entire game for Kinston. Kinston finished the quarter with a 13-2 run and ended the quarter with the 13-6 lead.

The second quarter was back and forth as each team made plays. Washington’s Jamauri Bryant was big all game. He made plays on both sides of the ball the entire game. He had 6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 1 assist in the first half. With this being said, Kinston held onto a 24-16 lead at halftime.

Kinston came out in the third quarter in a 2-3 zone to change up the pace, but Washington, Matt Van Staalduinen knocked down a catch and shoot three-pointer on the first possession. Then Jamauri Bryant finished a strong drive with a pull-up jumper off the glass. And just like that Washington went on their own 5-0 run to cut the deficit to 24-21. Then Kinston responded with their own 6-0 run as Jeremy Dixon drilled a fadeaway off the reverse spin, and the Dontrez Styles scored four straight by driving to the basket and finishing once and getting fouled on the next where he knocked down two free throws. Kinston held onto a 34-28 lead as Jaylen Cobb came off the double ball screen at the top of the key and was able to get all the way to the rim for the layup.

In the fourth quarter, Kinston held onto a 43-37 lead as Dontrez Styles rip drove it right and made the baseline drift pass to Jeremy Dixon for an open corner three. Then Washington went on a little run of their own. Jamauri Bryant had a crafty finish at the basket, and then on the very next possession, he snagged the rebound and took it coast to coast for the euro step finish at the rim. Washington started to pick up the pressure. Matt Van Staalduinen deflected the ball out of the trap, and Terry Moore intercepted the pass for the layup to tie the game up at 44-44 with 1:16 remaining.

In the last minute of the game, Jeremy Dixon and Dontrez Styles made winning play after winning play for Kinston. Up 46-44 with 0:30 remaining, Jeremy Dixon prevents a baseline drive to the rim, and Washington doesn’t get a good look. Kinston grabs the rebound and Styles is fouled. Styles misses the front end of the one-and-one, but Dixon makes the hustle play keeping the ball alive by tipping the offensive rebound out where Styles was able to come up with it. This time, Styles connected and Kinston too the 48-44 lead. On the next defensive possession, Styles and Dixon both got a piece of the blocked shot to prevent the layup for Washington. Kinston comes up with the rebound and goes to the foul line. Kinston misses the free throw, but again Dontrez Styles comes up with the offensive rebound and was fouled. He went to the line and knocked down both free throws to extend the lead to 50-44.

Kinston held on for the 51-47 victory. Hustle plays like those from Styles and Dixon down the stretch were key in the Kinston victory.

Let’s take a look at some of the game’s top performers:

Jeremy Dixon 6’6 2022 (Kinston)

Jeremy Dixon was great all night, from start to finish. He came out in the first quarter and really took charge for Kinston. He continued this play all game. He ended the game with the double-double of 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Dixon showcased his full offensive arsenal. He made shots from the perimeter with his smooth shooting touch. He got to the midrange where he could elevate over defenders. At the end of the second quarter, he created off of the bounce and knocked down the long pull-up two-point field goal. He also was able to make plays off the bounce, creating and attacking the basket. In addition, he did a great job on the offensive glass, coming up with multiple put-backs and making hustle plays like that at the end of the game where he tipped the rebound from the missed free throw so his teammate could ultimately come up with the rebound and get fouled to extend the late game lead. What was most impressive about Dixon’s play was how impactful he was down the stretch. He came up with winning play after winning play. He prevented straight line drives, forced tough shots for his opponents, blocked shots, and came up with timely rebounds. He was in my opinion the player of the game!

Dontrez Styles 6’8 2021 (Kinston)

It was Styles’ first game back since his injury during the first game of the season. The UNC commit made his presence felt on both ends of the floor. He finished the game with 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Styles is elite when he’s able to create off the bounce and attack the basket. He is so tough to guard with his size and athleticism. He gets to the basket where he can finish through contact or draw fouls and get to the line. In addition, he does a great job getting to his spots in the midrange, where he elevates over defenders and knocks down the jumpers. On the defensive end, he came up huge contesting shots at the rim and rebounding the ball.

Jamauri Bryant 6’4 2021 (Washington)

Jamauri Bryant was the player of the game for Washington. He set the tone on both ends of the floor and finished with a double-double of 12 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks. To start with on the defensive end, he is a strong, active defender who is able to guard multiple positions. For his size, he does a great job of protecting the rim. Offensively, he excels getting downhill and attacking the basket. He is strong and athletic, and definitely uses this to his advantage as he’s able to finish above the rim and through contact. What stood out the most to me during the game was his willingness as a passer and team-first mentality. In the fourth quarter, he had two open looks from three, but made the extra pass both times to wide open shooters who knocked down the shot. These were winning plays and it’s great to see a player make the right play for his team.

Omarion Blount 6’2 2021 (Washington)

Omarion Blount finished with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists for Washington. He was really good on the defensive end by pressuring the ball. He also excelled off the bounce and attacking the basket. He has the ability to break defenders down off the bounce and get into the lane. He was able to get into the paint and find shooters like Matt Van Staalduinen as the end of the game. In addition, he showed his ability to knock down the perimeter shot as he drilled a catch and shoot three-pointer to start the fourth quarter. He also hit the shot fake, one-dribble jumper in the midrange.

Terry Moore 6’1 2022 (Washington)

Terry Moore is a vital piece of this Washington team. He sets the tone on both sides of the ball. The dual-sport athlete is physical and explosive. He attacks the basket strong. Moore excels in transition where he is able to get out and finish above the rim. He is also a very unselfish player, and would find open teammates at the end of his drives. Defensively, he can guard multiple positions. And he does a great job of anticipating the passing lanes for steals. Moore finished with 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal.

Kinston Final Stats
Jeremy Dixon – 23 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks
Dontrez Styles – 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks
Horace Smith – 6 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block
Jaylen Cobb – 3 points, 1 steal
Dontae Ellis – 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal

Washington Final Stats
Jamauri Bryant – 12 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks
Omarion Blount – 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Matt Van Staalduinen – 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assists
Terry Moore – 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steals
Jack Kirkman – 6 points
Jaden Hambri – 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steals
Jeremy Bryant – 2 points