On Wednesday, Phenom Hoops traveled to Oak Ridge, North Carolina to see a battle between two of the most talented teams in Greensboro. The Cowboys of Southwest Guilford entered this contest with an undefeated record of 19-0 and were out to prove themselves as the best team in the area. Meanwhile, the Northwest Guilford Vikings have enjoyed a quality season, but have suffered three of their four losses in winnable games throughout the month of January. So this was set to be an excellent test for both squads as both teams prepare for the upcoming conference play.
This game began as the “Christian Hampton show,” as he nearly single-handedly established an early lead for Northwest. It didn’t take long for Southwest to come charging back and do what they do: apply crazy defensive pressure and maximize their offensive possessions. The first half was an absolute bloodbath, as they traded the lead countless times and neither team appeared to be backing down. Southwest went on a late run to close the half and entered the break with a 31-41 lead. The thing that makes this Southwest group so special is their ability to defend as a unit. Of course, Kobe and Keyshaun Langley deserve a ton of credit, but it simply isn’t the same without the meticulous, nonstop flurry of Jay’den Turner, Christian Martin, and Joe’L Pettiford all being involved. The second half entailed more of the same, as Hampton and Dean Reiber were forced to continue carrying almost the entire scoring load for the Vikings. The Southwest Cowboys maintained their undefeated status, winning 90-66, and now joining Millbrook as the only undefeated public school teams with twenty wins.
6’0 ’19 Kobe and Keyshaun Langley
These two are being included together just this once, because they played such a similar game last night and both of them truly understand how to elevate their supporting cast. From the opening tip, it was clear that scoring was not going to be a priority for the twins and they made a clear point to get everyone involved. Kobe and Keyshaun represent the phrase “leader by example” as well as anyone in the country and it was rather evident throughout this contest. Both brothers finished with more assists than points, yet still scored the ball at an efficient clip. They are still the best defensive duo in the state and it’s really not close. UNCG is going to really love these guys, as they are a pair of very special prospects. Kobe’s final stats: 5 points, 9 assists, and 2 steals. Keyshaun’s final stats: 7 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.
6’4 ’19 Jay’den Turner
It’d be impossible to discuss this game without talking about the absolutely phenomenal two-way showing from Turner. He scored the ball in virtually every way last night, spotting-up, penetrating through contact, playing above the rim, creating for himself off the bounce, and everything in between. It’s almost unfathomable that Turner doesn’t hold more scholarship offers, as he’s been among the most consistent two-way players in the state this season. He defends with such purpose and possesses the length/athleticism/versatility combination to really dominate his assignment throughout the course of a game. Final stats: 31 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 block.
6’4 ’19 Christian Martin
As impressive as this Southwest team is, none of it would be possible without the incredibly reliable glue-guy status of Martin. He’s simply a competitor that understands how to constantly affect various facets of the game through utilization of his motor, strength, and by embracing his role. Martin doesn’t necessarily require touches on offense, but he’s become a more capable scorer throughout the last calendar year and now looks very strong from beyond the three-point arc. His role is extremely valuable for this team and many schools have begun to notice, as his recruitment continues to unfold. Final stats: 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
6’5 ’19 Joe’L Pettiford
The main big man for Southwest had an excellent showing last night, displaying toughness and poise from inside the paint. He protected the rim well and fought extremely hard on the glass from start to finish. Pettiford finished strong through contact and made his presence felt at the free-throw line. His ability to run the floor in transition can be somewhat overlooked, but Pettiford operates nicely in transition and plays hard at all times. Final stats: 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block.
6’2 ’20 Christian Hampton
The point guard continued to solidify his case as a high-level Division I prospect last night, showcasing a lot of what he’s been doing all season long. Hampton’s three-point efficiency hasn’t wavered all year, which should provide a massive boost to his recruitment. He’s a rugged leader that does an unbelievable job of setting the tone on both sides of the ball. Hampton handles and passes the ball very well, but struggled to get much scoring help from most of his supporting cast. He performed as well as any guard has against the Langley’s all season and was only forced into one single turnover. This upcoming summer will be interesting, as Hampton could become one of the most coveted prospects in North Carolina. Final stats: 23 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal.
6’9 ’20 Dean Reiber
The most intriguing prospect on either team was undoubtedly Reiber, who is capable of putting together extended stretches and flashes of being the most unstoppable player on the floor. He battled through illness last night and was still able to assert himself on both sides of the ball. Reiber is so skilled and scores the ball so effortlessly from all three levels, but really emphasized his interior presence throughout this contest. He possesses great touch and operates extremely well around the basket. As effective as Reiber already is, Coach Reavis hit the nail on the head by saying “he’s still only beginning to scratch the surface of his true capabilities.” Final stats: 21 points and 11 rebounds.