Phenom Hoops continues their tremendous coverage of the public school playoffs, as we checked out Seventy-First as they welcomed in Rocky Mount for an absolute showdown. Both teams came out strong and traded baskets, with Seventy-First earning the early edge, 15-13. The Falcons used a balanced attack early on between their size and guard play, while 2023 Jamal Townsend got things going for Rocky Mount.
Second quarter, it was the 2023 Jared Davis show for Seventy-First, as he looked incredibly dominant on the court. He played with a physical feel and with a ton of energy, really attacking the basket and finishing on several occasions; he ultimately scored 11 points in the second quarter to lead the charge. Rocky Mount had six different players score in the second quarter, as this remained a tight matchup throughout the first half, with Seventy-First leading 30-28.
Early on in the second half, Seventy-First came out strong and was able to create a little cushion behind the play of Davis, 2023 Xavier Tubbs Matthews, and others but Rocky Mount never gave in, as they battled back from the play of 2023 Malik Hill and 2024 Tyler Barnes. Going into the fourth quarter, Seventy-First led 44-42.
Hill continued to play well for Rocky Mount, as the Gryphons took a lead around the six-minute mark but Seventy-First answered right back behind 2023 James Scott, Matthews, and 2023 Randy Dockery. Once they were able to regain the lead, Seventy-First never gave it up again and ultimately sealed it late with key baskets. Shots didn’t fall late for Rocky Mount, as Seventy-First sealed the 63-54 victory at home and will now be moving on.
Final: Seventy-First 63 – Rocky Mount 54
2023 Jared Davis (SF): Davis was off the charts in this one, leading the way, playing strong, finishing well around the basket, and being that physical force. He used his size, strength, and motor to really take charge and lead his team, scoring 21 points in the win. Very impressive performance from the junior to help his team.
2023 Xavier Tubbs Matthews (SF): Matthews was one of the other players to step up big, especially in the second half. Matthews played strong, created for himself, got downhill and out in transition, and put the pressure on the defense. He scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half to help seal the deal.
2023 Jamal Townsend (RM): Though shots didn’t’ always fall for the junior guard, Townsend showed his ability to create for himself, create space to find his shot, and also get to the basket at times. Only listed at 6’0, he plays bigger than listed and plays extremely hard on both ends of the floor.
2023 Malik Hill (RM): Hill was the other guard that captured my eyes, as he displayed tremendous quickness on the court, got downhill, and made some big plays in the fourth quarter for his team to have a chance, scoring eight of his 15 points in the quarter.