Phenom Hoop Report was on hand to provide coverage throughout the day at Session II of the 12th Annual VaPreps Classic. The event featured two of the best big men in the country in Steward School 7’0 five star junior Efton Reid and John Marshall’s 6’11 junior center Roosevelt Wheeler. Some of Virginia’s top teams were on hand including 2019 VHSL Class 3 State Semifinalist John Marshall, Oscar Smith who was a VHSL Class 6 Semi-finalist a year ago, Western Branch also a VHSL Class 6 semi-finalist and teams like Varina, Lake Taylor and Western Albemarle who have recent state title game experience. Here is a brief recap of each game:
Steward 60, Great Bridge 39
Steward School 7’0 five star center Efton Reid was dominant hitting 14 of 16 shot attempts for 31 points while grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking 5 shots as UVA Assistant Coach Jason Williford watched one of their priority recruiting targets earn player of the game honors, Virginia offered Efton in June 2019 and other schools are aggressively recruiting him including Louisville, Georgetown, NC State, Wake Forest, Iowa State and Miami. Thanks to Efton’s 11 rebound effort, Steward was able to out rebound Great Bridge 42-27 leading to an equally lopsided advantage in second chance points. Dynamic 5’10 junior guard Isaiah Simmons sliced up defenders all afternoon long with explosiveness and crafty ball handling. Simmons who holds offers from Cansius and Drake was able to get into the lane at will. He dished out 11 assists tying him for the VaPreps Classic assist record set back in 2015 by Kellam High School and current South Carolina State floor general Janai Raynor-Powell. Isaiah also pulled down 7 rebounds in the win. Great Bridge got 12 points from AJ Walters and 11 from Isaiah Wilson in the loss.
Churchland 68, Osbourne Park 39
Churchland jumped to a 17-2 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. The home standing Truckers held Osbourne Park to just 3 of 24 shooting in the first half and led by 22 points at the break. Sage McClellan led three Truckers in double figures scoring 18 points and earned player of the game honors. Lynquel Dickenson-Glover added 15 points and 6’5 forward Tywon McKenzie scored 14 points in the win. Churchland forced 21 turnovers which led to 28 points. Jaquan Askew led the defensive charge with four steals while Lynquel Dickenson-Glover had three steals. Osbourne Park was playing without talented sophomore point guard Cameron Cole, lost for the year with a knee injury.
Western Albemarle 54, Nansemond River 49
Western Albemarle trailed much of the game and saw Nansemond River go up by as many as 7 points with 1:58 left in the third after Justin Fatherly and Jakari Joy turned steals into layups on consecutive possessions. Western Albemarle then sprung to life in the fourth! 6’6 sophomore Henry Sullivan scored back to back layups, his second with 4:02 left in the fourth put Western Albemarle on top 42-41. Western Albemarle increased their lead to 7 points as the clock ticked inside the final minute after a Riley Pritchard free throw made it 50-43. There were 7 ties and seven lead changes in a tightly contested affair and an entertaining battle between recent 1,000 point scorers Tommy Mangrum of Western Albemarle, a Hood College commit and Nansemond River’s Justin Fatherly. Mangrum was a very efficient 12-18 from the floor, 3-5 from beyond the arc scoring 31 points to earn player of the game honors. Justin Fatherly meanwhile, led Nansemond River with 26 points and 6 rebounds.
Varina 60, Lake Taylor 57
Varina stormed back in the fourth quarter to break open a game that had been close for three quarters. Trailing 49-42 entering the fourth Varina used stingy defensive pressure sometimes full court, sometimes half court stunts and forced thirteen fourth quarter turnovers to compile 11 of their 18 fourth quarters points outscoring Lake Taylor 18-8 in the final eight minutes to secure the win. Alphonzo Billups scored 12 of his team high 23 points in the second half, nine of those points coming in the fourth quarter to lead the Varina comeback and earn him player of the game honors. A Kahihl Venable basket with 1:00 left in the fourth gave Varina what proved to be the winning points. Varina got another solid performance from 6’4 sophomore forward Christian Carden who finished with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocked shots in the win. Lake Taylor was led by seniors Zyrail Mitchell (28 points) and Naquan Lyons (7 points, 14 rebounds) and got 11 points from promising 6’4 sophomore Malachi Washington.
North Stafford 57, Menchville 52
North Stafford survived a sea saw affair that featured 10 ties and 10 lead changes and used stingy defense that limited a very good shooting Menchville team to 35% shooting enroute to the win. It wasn’t the most efficient effort offensively by either team with regards to ball security; the result of successful programs who pride themselves on defense and preparation. North Stafford turned it over 18 times and Menchville 17 but North Stafford was able to capitalize to the tune of a 20-8 advantage in points off turnovers largely because they shot the ball so well hitting on 22-41 for the game for 53.7% shooting. North Stafford used a late third quarter run to go in front by ten points, 44-33 after a Shawn Asbury three pointer with :44 seconds left in the third. Elisha Brown hit a pair of three pointers and scored 8 of his team high 17 points during that pivotal third quarter. Menchville got to within two, 45-43 after an Allen Strothers jumper with 4:41 left but North Stafford pulled away. Back to back layups by Egan Holt led another charge as North Stafford went back in front by as many as eight points in the final minute and held on from there. Elisha Brown finished with 17 points to lead North Stafford and earned MVP honors. Indiana University football commit Javon Swinton scored 15 points and Holt Egan added 13 for North Stafford. Menchville got 17 points and 8 rebounds from Jayson Harris, 13 points and 7 rebounds from Chaunce Jenkins in defeat.
Western Branch 56, LC Bird 39
Western Branch jumped to a 12-2 lead just 3:42 into the game and cruised from there. Bobby Johnson scored 16 of his game high 20 points in first half as the Bruins took advantage of nine LC Bird turnovers and carried a 36-20 lead into the locker room at the break. Cameron Edmonds got a steal and basket just :27 seconds into the third quarter and an Efrem Johnson steal led to a Jayson Vaughn basket with 6:59 to go in the third to push the Western Branch lead to 20 points, 40-20 with 6:59 to go in the third. LC Bird could never get on track despite a solid effort from a pair of sophomores in 6’7 Keyontae Lewis who finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds and 6’6 Arbriel Winfield who scored 7 points and grabbed 4 rebounds off the bench. Western Branch was led by the game’s eventual MVP Bobby Johnson who scored 20 points. Cameron Edmonds added 15 points and 5 rebounds for the Bruins.
John Marshall 78, Oscar Smith 66
John Marshall used a 16-4 run midway through the fourth quarter to break it open. The visiting Justices trailed 53-49 early in the fourth and finally took the lead after back to back scores by Elijah Seward and Roosevelt Wheeler put John Marshall in front 55-54 with 5:12 to play. Roosevelt Wheeler scored 12 of his game high 26 points in the fourth as John Marshall took the lead and continued to pull away. Elijah Seward added 8 of his 10 points during the fourth quarter as John Marshall turned a four point deficit into a 12 point lead in just over four minutes in the final stanza. Wheeler, a 6’10 four star junior center currently holds offers from Georgetown, VCU, NC State, Wake Forest, Old Dominion and Hampton earned player of the game honors with his 26 point, 9 rebound performance. The Justices had four players in double figures including Jason Nelson’s 22 points and 7 assists. Nelson shot a sizzling 7 of 10 from the floor in the win. Freshman Dennis Parker, Jr finished with 12 points and Elijah Seward 10 points. Oscar Smith was led by their freshman sensation Kenyon Giles who finished with 22 points and shot 6 of 10 from beyond the arc. Torrey Jordan scored 16 points on 6 of 9 shooting including a perfect 3 for 3 from deep and Andre Bottoms added 11 points, 5 assists in the loss. Tomorrow we will highlight the events top performers which includes what may be breakout performances from some promising up and comers.