We were told to arrive an hour before game time as both teams were expected to bring big crowds to watch the 4th round matchup at Westover High School. The matchup was the 4-seed Clayton against the 1-seed, and undefeated, Westover High School. The crowd showed up, and the atmosphere was great, everything you'd want in a playoff atmosphere.
The matchup everyone was watching, coming in was on the wing. BJ Freeman (Clayton) vs. D’Marco Dunn (Westover). Freeman, the thirteenth ranked player in NCs 2021 class, came into the game averaging 21.3 points and 11 rebounds per game this season. Dunn, the fourth-ranked player in NCs 2021 class, came into the game averaging 21 points on 45% from three with 7 boards and 3 steals per game.
The showdown never really materialized until the fourth quarter, where BJ Freeman tried to will his team back into it, but the damage was already done. NC Wesleyan commit Mason Rausch had a solid showing for Clayton with his 13 points and JaQuan Ross started off the game hot, scoring 8 points (all before halftime). Clayton led 5-4 early on, then once Westover took the lead, they never relinquished it.
Freeman ended the game with 17 points and 12 boards, he was at his best in transition, when he would grab and go he looked great in transition able to make plays. He knocked down 3 threes in this game, and he grabbed a number of traffic rebounds. Overall, it was a good showing for Freeman, he showcased why he's top 15 and why he has a handful of offers already.
Dunn ended the game with 29 points, and he walked away being the talk of the gym. After the show, the old heads were outside just raving about how good he was, comparing him to previous Fayetteville greats. Dunn has a smooth, effortless approach, some have mentioned similarities to Jerome Robinson at the same stage. Standing at a lengthy 6'5' with good athleticism, he shoots the cover off the ball with deep range, but he is also able to score off closeouts or on the block. A well-rounded player overall, there is something about him that shines bright. There could be a huge blow-up from him this summer.
6'7' unsigned senior Traymond Willis Shaw showed that he is a full scholarship college player, a guy who should have a handful of D1s and D2s fighting over him. With Willis Shaw you have a very long and active defender who can run the point of the press in the full court as well as block shots from the weak side in the half-court. He also shot the ball at a high clip showing catch/shoot 3s as well as dribble pull-ups. A lot to like here as he is an integral part in this undefeated run Westover is having.
Westover won the game 63-54 and will advance to play in the 3A Eastern Finals to face Northwood.