Phenom Hoops was back on the prowl to check out the talent around the state of North Carolina, this time looking at Harding University as they welcomed in Olympic.  What ended in being a thriller, these two teams competed every second of the game.

Starting off, both teams were trading baskets, looking to attack, and got several players involved early on.  2023 Kendarion Thomas led the charge early with two early threes and eight first-quarter points for Harding, while it was a balanced attack by Olympic, as Harding found themselves up 14-13 early.  Olympic’s senior Jemez Herd got more involved in the second quarter and Harding’s offense struggled at times, as Olympic was able to go into halftime with the 26-24 lead.

It remained a two-point advantage at the end of the third quarter as well, as Herd continued to find success in the paint and getting to the line while 2024 Quincy Dunn really helped carry the load for Harding. 

It was a battle all throughout three quarters and it seemed like it was going to come right down to the end, which it ultimately did.  Olympic was able to tie the game up at 54 with three late free throws but it was a late basket by 2023 Darius Abraham with 1.5 seconds to go that ultimately proved to be the winner for Harding.

Final: Harding 56 – Olympic 54

Harding: Quincy Dunn 16pts/ Darius Abraham 15pts/ Kendarion Thomas 13pts
Olympic: Jemez Herd 17pts/ Nikayle Hodge 9pts/ Cameron Burns 6pts

Standouts/ Thoughts:

  • 2023 Darius Abraham (Harding) stepped up big throughout, especially in the fourth. He is a strong, sturdy guard that gets downhill, finishes well, and understands when he needs to step up as he hit a big three and the game-winning bucket for his team.
  • 2022 Jemez Herd (Olympic) continues to showcase his versatility, using his size down low to score well and get to the line, but also is still able to operate from multiple levels, put the ball on the deck, and help on the boards.
  • 2024 Quincy Dunn (Harding) came off the bench and really stepped up for his team. He is a scrappy guard, scored in a variety of ways, knocked down big shots, and was able to show his ability to attack the defense.
  • 2022 Tai Hamilton, a 6’10 senior for Olympic, grabbed my attention with his overall impact as a shot-blocker, a rebounder, and his mobility as a long forward.  He made several plays on both ends and made an impact in an array of ways.