Concord First Assembly 67 – Hickory Grove Christian 52

It was a battle in the semi-finals at Hickory Grove Christian but Concord First Assembly showcased why they have been so successful this season. CFA came out strong, running their half-court offense and making it tough for Hickory to find shots early on.  CFA was able to build a double-digit first quarter lead and take that into halftime, leading 30-20.

Even though Hickory started to find their groove in the second quarter, CFA made sure there was no doubt in the third, coming out strong, finding open shots and increasing their lead early on, eventually taking a 54-28 lead after three.  It was cruise control from there for CFA, eventually taking the 67-52 win.

Concord First Assembly

2021 Isaac Boothe:

Honestly love how this kid plays on the floor.  Plays well beyond his age, displaying a high IQ on the floor, can play in the halfcourt and fullcourt and runs an offense to perfection.  He is the key that starts this team.  Boothe should garner attention if a college coach loves a leader and confident point guard.  Boothe doesn’t only have great vision on the floor, he reads defenders tremendously and showcased he can create for himself and finish strong. Stats: 14 points

2021 Trae Benham:

This sophomore guard is tough and plays like a veteran.  In fact, if you didn’t know Trae, you would think he was the experienced senior on this team for how smooth he plays.  Benham displayed confidence on both sides of the floor, knocking down 3 three-pointers with ease while finishing with contact and finding the small openings to score. He is a smart player on the floor and one that didn’t make many mistakes in the victory. Stats: 18 points

2020 6’8 Garrett Hien:

Hien continues to prove himself on the court.  Phenom Hoops has said that we love his versatility and length, along with his skill set and he continues to put it together on the court.  In the victory, he ran the floor really well and had quite a few strong finishes at the rim.  However, he also continued to show his ability to knock down the open jumper, use his size to his advantage, and move without the ball very well. Another intriguing factor to his game is that his eyes are always moving on defense, locating ball and defender, while sitting down on defense. Stats: 19 points

Other Notes:

2020 Derrick Butler: Butler was given the task of guarding AJ Smith and that is exactly what he did.  Butler did the gritty work on both sides and made it tough for Smith all day long.  He was all over the court.

2019 Peter Olatunji: strong power forward that came alive in the second half, powering himself around the rim, using his length on the defensive end, and simply doing the little things to help his team.  Whether it was altering shots, stepping in for a charge, rebounding, or scoring around the rim, Olatunji did what he needed to do.

Hickory Grove Christian

2021 AJ Smith:

Smith came in as one of the leading scorers in North Carolina in the sophomore class.  Smith plays physical; there is no doubt about that.  For much of the game, he played off the ball (it would have been interesting to see what he could have done more with the ball coming up the floor).  When he was able to get open, he attacked the paint as no one could stop him from getting to where he wanted.  The CFA defense collapsed and really focused on him, but he still was able to knock down tough shots or get to the free throw line.  It is only the start for this young man and as he continues to develop his overall game, more and more programs will be heading his way. Stats: 13 points

2021 Jacori Owens:

Standing at 6’8, there is automatic intrigue but he backs it up with his skill.  Owens is still so young and developing his overall ability down low.  At times, he did play a little too fast but the future is bright for him.  Loved his ability to put the ball on the floor and get to his spot, using his pivot foot to get his defender in the air or off balance.  Has a smooth touch around the rim and will continue to only get stronger in the paint.  The most impressive factor about his game on Thursday was his jumper, displaying a confident release, ranging almost near the three.  He covers a lot of ground and is vocal, two attributes that coaches love from a young prospect. Stats: 14 points