In our second game of the night, Phenom Hoops and all the fans got an absolute thriller between Legion Collegiate and United Faith on the boy’s side of things.  Both teams had some intriguing talent coming in that you will see playing at the D1 level.  It took a little time for both teams to get settled down, as United Faith was able to get out to an early two-point lead after the first quarter, 13-11.  2022 Marcus Willis led the charge early while four different players got on the board early for Legion Collegiate.  Legion started to pick up on the defensive end, creating turnovers and making it tough for United Faith to find consistent looks.  2022 Shane Blakeney started to find more of his rhythm offensively as well, as it helped Legion hold a 34-27 halftime lead.

Second half, 2022 Xavier McKelvy and Willis started to pick up on the offensive end, getting to the lane and scoring strong around the basket, while Alex Bates knocked down two big threes as they climbed right back into this game, only down four at the end of the third.  2023 Timmy Salter had a strong third for Legion, scoring 10 big points. It stayed much of a one-possession game throughout the fourth quarter, with United Faith eventually taking back the lead with just over two and half minutes left.  Back and forth these teams went and each was looking to seal the game at the line.  Down two though, Legion was able to capture a late miss and Blakeney was able to get the putback to tie the game at 61 and send this into overtime.  In overtime, it remained a back and forth affair, with United Faith holding on to the lead late once again.  Up three, Blakeney stepped up again hitting a long-range three with five seconds remaining to tie it at 75.  United Faith wasted no time, getting the ball in quick and rushing down the floor to eventually find 2023 Lance Gill for the game-winning lay-in and sealing the 77-75 overtime thriller.

Final: United Faith 77 – Legion Collegiate 75

Top Scorers:
United: Marcus Willis 24 points/ Xavier McKelvy 24 points/ Alex Bates 15 points
Legion: Shane Blakeney 24 points/ Timmy Slater 16 points, 10 rebounds/ Marcus Kell 9 points

Standouts/ Thoughts:

  • The point guard play in this matchup was off the charts.  Starting with Drexel commit, 2022 Shane Blakeney was incredibly impressive.  With his length, he really sees the floor extremely well and just naturally finds ways to set up his teammates.  He has long strides that works well in transition and changes direction really well.  Add that to his perimeter threat but also carved his way through the defense to get buckets.  Now, moving on to 2022 Marcus Willis for United Faith; he is one of the more underrated guards in the state.  He is a terrific ball-handler that uses his speed to get around defenders, attack in transition, or create for himself.  He is a tough small guard that you just want to have the ball in his hands. Also a scrappy defender.  Coaches need to start looking more his way.
  • 2022 Xavier McKelvy continues to do what he has always done.  Whether it is his explosive bounce and strong finish at the rim, his ability to create and knock down tough jumpers, or dissect the defense and find ways to get to the basket, McKelvy scored in a variety of ways.
  • Was impressed with the 2023 big man in Timmy Salter from Legion Collegiate. He has worked hard with his body and has strong hands. Time and time again, he finished through defenders in the post, got on the boards, and got second-chance points for his team.  Finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for Legion Collegiate.