This Saturday, Phenom Hoops will be traveling to Trinity Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina for our second annual City of Oaks Classic. We’ve reached our final preview in the series, but it’ll be exciting, as it’s going to have the potential to shut the gym down. These two teams share few similarities, but both squads have something to prove. Each team contains a senior committed to a Division I program, but it’ll likely come down to the surrounding cast to establish a victor.
The Ravenscroft Ravens have not enjoyed as much success as they likely anticipated when entering the season, but still possess a ton of talent on their roster. Many people will look at their record and get concerned, but they’ve played an absolutely brutal schedule thus far. They’ve lost some winnable games, yet are able to upset teams like Durham Academy, so it’s difficult to get a proper reading on them. Bucknell commit Jake van der Heijden has been pretty strong throughout the season while establishing himself as a college-ready power forward on both sides of the ball. His younger brother, Eric van der Heijden, is already contributing on a regular basis and should be among their main building blocks going forward. Brady O’Connell is an intriguing prospect and Steven Riley does a nice job of impacting the game. That being said, Luc Richard Rameau has been leading the team in scoring and setting the tone defensively. He’s built like a linebacker, yet has no trouble mirroring his assignment on defense. This team is still very capable of surprises, so it wouldn’t be wise to bet against them.
However, this Athens Drive squad is tough and hangs their hat on the play of Northern Kentucky commit DJ Robertson on a nightly basis. He’s a quick, scoring guard that penetrates well and touches the paint with great frequency. Robertson has built a reputation as a fan-favorite in North Carolina, so it’ll be interesting to see if they show out, as either team could claim this contest. Alongside Robertson, Lawrence Frost and Chase Graham are the main contributors for Athens Drive. They lack true size, so it’ll be fun to see how they approach a pretty sizable Ravenscroft squad on Saturday afternoon.