Phenom headed out in part of a 2-game night in Raleigh, with the first matchup on the list being Middle Creek at Garner. With a good crowd on deck for an early game, Middle Creek was one that came out punching early, taking an early 7-0 lead. The Trojans of Garner struggled to put the ball in the basket for the first-half of the first quarter but eventually finding some light from behind the arc. Middle Creek responded, slowing the tempo down and making the Trojans work on defense. Thadius Suggs played really well to lead the way for Middle Creek with 11 points, while D. Dunn had nine first-half points to lead Garner. The Mustangs retained their lead for the entire second quarter but it was only by a bucket or two.
Halftime: Middle Creek 33 – Garner 29
It was a much different story in the second half for both teams. Middle Creek struggled to find any type of rhythm offensively; at times had trouble getting it over half court. Garner’s defense really stepped up, along with their speed and length. It is what flipped the switch in this game dramatically, as Middle Creek found themselves down by double digits early in the fourth quarter. The Trojans’ ability to pressure the ball, speed Middle Creek up, and attack the basket offensively was simply too much in the second half.
Final: Garner 70 – Middle Creek 52
Middle Creek: Tharius Suggs 15 points/ Sam Perez 12 points/ Lorezno Bulnes 10 points
Garner: Daveon Dunn 14 points/ Benjamin Hines 19 points/ AJ Daniels 9 points
2021 6’2 Tharius Suggs: The junior guard plays with a strong feel to his game, as he played through contact multiple times. Also showed that he has range in his game, knocking down a few 3-pointers. Suggs showcased leadership, good handles, and ability to break down defender’s one-on-one
2020 6’1 Daveon Dunn: The senior point guard was lightning quick on the floor, not matter if it was after a make or a miss by Middle Creek. Dunn’s blend of speed and vision on the floor was tough to stop, as he threw some full-court dimes on multiple occasions but also put the ball on the floor and attacked. The shiftiness and speed that he has is fun to watch, especially with a program that can utilize that to their advantage.
2021 6’0 Benjamin Hines: Hines stepped up big in the second half for Garner, scoring 19 points and knocking down multiple 3-pointers. He was aggressive but showecased his range in the second half in a big way.
2020 6’0 AJ Daniels: Daniels brought a lot of energy to the floor and was aggressive all throughout the game. His outside shot helped get Garner on the board early, eventually allowing him to open up the floor and attack. Really enjoyed his IQ and motor all throughout on both ends of the floor.