On Tuesday night, Phenom Hoops traveled to The Burlington School in Burlington, North Carolina as the Spartans prepared to host national powerhouse Moravian Prep. It was a highly-anticipated matchup and would ultimately turn out to be a test for both squads. Moravian Prep is fresh off the heels of some difficult battles at Bojangles Bash and our Battle at the Rock, defeating every opponent and really proving themselves on a big stage. Meanwhile, this was easily one of The Burlington School’s most important games of the early season. 

From the opening tip, TBS approached each possession like its own individual battle and was able to match Moravian’s scoring output for most of the first quarter. The trio of Josh Hall, Jamahri Harvey, and Shakeel Moore really controlled the action for the entire first half, each maintaining a calm, steady presence on both ends of the floor. TBS held tough behind Mylyjael Poteat and the shooting of Ji’Lil Michael and, without Kuluel Mading, needed someone to take over. It was Poteat who continued his excellent two-way showing in the second half and brought TBS within a single-digit deficit. However, Hall and Moore were just too strong to contain down the stretch, vaulting Moravian Prep to a 79-63 victory over The Burlington School. 

Moravian Prep:

6’1 ’20 Shakeel Moore (NC State)

Arguably no player was consistently better on both ends of the floor than Moore. He’s well-known as a defensive monster but has also grown into an extremely poised floor general. Moore has such unbelievable instincts and anticipation, literally able to locate the ball like a magnet binding to its other half. He suffocates opposing ball-handlers unlike anyone in North Carolina, looking eerily similar to the Langley twins from last season. Moore is a constant threat to force transition play and attack above the rim, but also highlighted great breakdown skills and the ability to set up others with relative ease. Final stats: 20 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 6 steals.

6’9 ’20 Josh Hall (NC State)

At this point, Hall seems to impress every time he takes the floor, and this showing was no different. The long, smooth, athletic wing continues to showcase all facets of his game. After asserting himself as one of the top three-point shooters around, Hall has placed a strong emphasis on his all-around scoring ability. He attacks the basket, works out of the post, utilizes the midrange area, and has no real offensive weaknesses at this point. Hall simply knows how to make the game look easy, both for himself and others, and is rebounding the ball as well as ever on either end of the floor. Final stats: 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 assists.

6’4 ’20 Jamahri Harvey

Although Moravian Prep offered a pretty balanced attack, Harvey stood out as one of their most vital performers—especially in the first half. His ability to shoot the ball at a high clip while offering a secondary creation role is quite valuable for this squad. Harvey defends well, sets up others, and maximizes his offensive touches without forcing the action. Final stats: 15 points (three three-pointers)

The Burlington School:

6’10 ’20 Mylyjael Poteat (Rice)

No one for The Burlington School was better than Poteat, who anchored the interior incredibly well on both ends of the floor for the Spartans. His body continues to look better and better and his game is as consistent as ever. Poteat possesses IQ, great hands, footwork, and excellent touch with either hand around the basket. He utilizes his body and patience very well to finish, rebound, and capitalize on second-chance opportunities. Poteat continues to look like an absolute steal for Rice and will only keep getting better over the next few years. Final stats: 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 steals.

6’5 ’20 Ja’Dun Michael (Wichita State)

The strong, versatile wing/forward prospect did a great job of highlighting quality two-way flashes throughout this contest. Michael did a little bit of everything but mainly rebounded the ball and worked to score as needed. He stepped up in multiple big moments and was arguably better on the defensive end of the floor. Final stats: 13 points and 7 rebounds.

6’2 ’20 Ji’Lil Michael

Aside from Poteat, arguably no player was more valuable for The Burlington School than Michael. He hit big shots on various different occasions, specifically from beyond the arc, and was a major factor from start to finish. Michael also offered a quality secondary playmaking role, breaking the press and making the extra pass whenever available. Final stats: 14 points (four three-pointers) and 4 assists.