On Tuesday, Phenom Hoops traveled to Oak Ridge, North Carolina for a quality matchup between the Page Pirates and the hosting Vikings of Northwest Guilford. We saw these two do battle earlier this season and the Vikings walked away with an eleven-point victory. This has mainly been a rebuilding year for the Pirates, but they possess a solid foundation and nice mix of prospects on their roster. They’ve hovered around the .500-mark for most of the season, so these games are truly about finding their identity and getting better against strong competition. Meanwhile, Northwest has seen their fair share of ups and downs this season, but their core, coaching, and team construct have brought them a lot of success.
This contest opened up somewhat slow, but the Vikings quickly took advantage of the lead and never looked back. Page did a phenomenal job of competing and adjusting to Northwest’s pace on a whim, but they just lack an identity on offense and struggle to space the floor. For the Vikings, it appears that we might be in the midst of Christian Hampton’s blow-up, as he’s been nothing short of incredible this season. Elon and UNCG were in for Dean Reiber, who continues to be among the most intriguing players in the area and displayed some amazing passion against Page. As mentioned above, Northwest secured the lead and was in total control of this contest, winning 69-59 over Page.
6’1 ’20 Christian Hampton
We’ve been fortunate enough to see the guard prospect an abundance of times this season. Every time he performs, Hampton seems to outdo himself and showcase something even more unbelievable on the basketball floor. Now equipped with an extremely reliable three-point shot, there’s no real ceiling for Hampton or his abilities. He brings the full package as a point guard, creating for others, making smart decisions, setting the tone on both ends, being a vocal leader, scoring whenever he desires, and overwhelming opponents with his special blend of IQ and athleticism. There’s simply no knock on his game right now, which should make his recruitment quite exciting throughout the next six months, as he could easily accumulate 15 to 20 Division I offers. Final stats: 23 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals.
6’9 ’20 Dean Reiber
The big man struggled with foul trouble throughout this contest, but still made enough contributions to have a serious impact on the game. There’s a very calming demeanor that Reiber maintains, but it was great to see him get somewhat chippy and amp up the aggression. He mainly operated around the paint and worked to get quality looks from the low-post. Reiber is so smooth and possesses such excellent fluidity for his size, yet still has the ability to continue expanding his game on both sides of the ball. Though it wasn’t his best showing, Elon and UNCG should be extremely interested in the inside-out big man. Final stats: 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals.
6’0 ’20 Robbie Boulton
Though slotted alongside Hampton, many folks would consider Boulton the true “point guard” of this team. He’s great at setting the pace, initiating offensive sets, and simply managing all facets of the game. Boulton rarely forces the action and maintains a pretty aggressive pass-first mentality, but also possesses the ability to score when necessary. Last night, he took advantage of those chances and added a much-needed scoring punch for the Vikings. Final stats: 15 points and 3 rebounds.
6’0 ’21 Jaden Ellis
It was set to be a very difficult matchup for the sophomore guard, given the multiple quality defenders that the Vikings possess in their backcourt. Ellis handled the ball well and showed the ability to get downhill and attack. He offered a strong mix of shot attempts last night, but was forced to work through some minor shooting struggles along the way. Ellis takes care of the ball pretty well and should be one to monitor going forward, as he’s certain to continue developing on both ends of the floor. Final stats: 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.
5’11 ’20 Will Clem
The other primary ball-handler for this team is Clem, who does a nice job of being smart and playing within his comfort zone. He doesn’t force the action and typically only looks to score when necessary. However, Clem has been among the most reliable all-around players for this team and could benefit the Pirates by looking to score more often. Final stats: 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal.