North Mecklenburg 67 Hough 56
Phenom Hoops travelled to Cornelius, North Carolina to cover the I Meck 4A matchup between North Mecklenburg and Hough. North Mecklenburg entered the contest with a 12-1 record with their lone loss coming to nationally ranked Mountain Brook of Alabama. Hough came into the contest with a 11-2 record, which is the best start in school history.
Hough came out hot in the first quarter and took a 19-13 first quarter lead. 6’0 senior guard Jackson Bissette led the charge hitting three 3-pointers while 6’9 senior and 6’5 sophomore guard Graham Worland both had solid quarters as they both chipped in four points. Hough was clicking on all cylinders and ran their offensive sets to perfection. North Mecklenburg enjoyed an outstanding second quarter and outscored Hough 14-7 to take a slim one-point lead into the half.
The third quarter was a game of runs as North Mecklenburg went on a 6-0 run to secure a 33-26 lead with 5:37 remaining in the quarter. Not to be outdone, Hough went on a 9-0 run to take a 35-33 lead. With 2:36 remaining in the third quarter, 6’7 sophomore Jeremy Gregory hit two free throws to tie the score at 35-35 all. North Mecklenburg regrouped and went on an 8-0 run to secure a 43-37 lead going into the final stanza.
North Mecklenburg went on a 24- 13 fourth quarter run to capture an important 67-56 conference road win. Leading the way for North Mecklenburg was 6’9 Robert Morris signee Trayden Williams with 24 while 6’7 sophomore Jeremy Gregory finished with 18 and 17 points respectively. 6’5 sophomore Graham Worland led the way for Hough with 15 points while 6’8 senior Beau Maye chipped in 10 points. North Mecklenburg moves to 13-1 while Hough moves to 11-3.
Game MVP: 6’0 Trayden Williams (North Mecklenburg)
Trayden Williams may just be one of the most underrated players in the state. Broad statement and rightfully so. Williams has signed with Robert Morris and if his performance Tuesday night against Hough is any indication, Robert Morris basically “stole one” from the “Hoop State.” We have often stated, Williams has one of the best midrange games in the state regardless of class and this skill set was on full display. Williams has superb quickness and is terrific in beating this man with dribble penetration where he stops, elevates and buries the midrange. He did this time and time again against Hough. Williams finished with a game high 24 points going 11-15 from the floor. In addition, he dished out seven assists, collected four rebounds and only committed one turnover in the nearly flawless performance.
Quiet but deadly: 6’3 Tristan Maxwell (North Mecklenburg)
Tristan Maxwell has a reputation for being “streaky” at times, but in the game against Hough, Maxwell was efficient. To take it a step further, it was a “quiet” 18 points. Maxwell played within the team offensive structure, never forcing or trying to manufacture points. For the game, Maxwell went 7-10 from the floor and 4-7 from the 3-point line. In addition, Maxwell collected six rebounds and dished out three assists.
A Grown Man’s Game: 6’7 Jeremy Gregory (North Mecklenburg)
Jeremy Gregory has size, fundamentals, and a high basketball IQ. He won’t wow you with athleticism and explosiveness, but will simply win you games. Gregory finished with 17 points, collected five rebounds, and blocked three shots. We’re talking about a highly skilled power forward that may be one of the best at setting correct ball screens. He has mastered the pick and roll, the pick and slip and also has the ability to be used effectively in the “pick and pop.” Gregory has “glue-like hands” and good footwork in the post, but is crafty around the basket where he has the ability to draw fouls.
Mr. Fundamentals: 6’5 Graham Worland (Hough HS)
There’s no secret that Graham Worland has all the proper fundamentals, basketball IQ and great overall feel for the game. He has good size, ball handling skills and has the ability to score or distribute timely passes to teammates. We were impressed with his poise, maturity and court leadership demonstrated throughout the game, even though they came up on the losing end. Worland finished with a team high 15 points including three 3-pointers.
The Maye Legacy: 6’9 Beau Maye (Hough HS)
Beau Maye, like Jeremy Gregory, is exceptional in the screen and roll, pick and pop, and moving well without the ball. Maye finished with 10 points and brings senior leadership to coach Jason Grube’s team.