On Tuesday night, Phenom Hoops traveled to Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, North Carolina as the Trojans prepared to host the Falcons of United Faith Christian Academy. On paper, these two teams have similar amounts of talent and should be on a fairly even playing field with one another. Both squads have prospects of varying ages and positions that college coaches should be recruiting. United Faith is known for their consistent bevy of talent from around the Charlotte area while Wesleyan does an excellent job of securing guys from the Greensboro/High Point area. It had all the makings for an intriguing contest.
The game opened up in sluggish fashion but the two teams battled back and forth throughout the first quarter, ultimately ending with a 15-10 advantage for United Faith. The following period is where Wesleyan completely turned the game around and asserted their dominance, walking into halftime with a 30-21 lead after a 20-6 second quarter. Wesleyan continued to maximize their ability to space the floor and get out in transition, which simply led to more of the same in the second half. Though United Faith continuously battled, Wesleyan only tightened their grip on the lead throughout the third and fourth quarters, which resulted in a 58-40 victory for the Trojans.
6’5 ’21 Isaiah Ray
In many ways, Ray was the most valuable performer for either team during this contest. His first half play established the tone and put him on pace for a triple-double. Ray operated as the primary creator, which actually worked quite well and allowed him to apply constant downhill pressure on the opposition. Given his surrounding personnel, he was able to force the defense to collapse and kick-out to open shooters or dump-off to the short corner quite effortlessly. Ray made excellent decisions with the ball in his hands, both as a scorer and playmaker, and secured a plethora of second-chance opportunities. On the other end, Ray was equally as effective, wreaking havoc for opposing ball-handlers and making his presence consistently felt on the glass. His blend of IQ, size, skill, length, and athleticism makes him a matchup problem for a majority of opponents. Had he been instructed to keep his foot on the gas, Ray would’ve likely stumbled into an elite stat line but still enjoyed a phenomenal two-way showing. Final stats: 8 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block, and 4 steals.
6’0 ’21 Aisaiah Phillips
Typically seen as their most dynamic threat, Phillips came off the bench in this contest as a result of still recovering from injury. He started off slow but quickly found his footing and offered a pretty balanced approach on both ends of the floor. Phillips knows how to break down the opposition and utilize his quickness and craftiness to control the offensive action. He was featured a lot more without the ball, which allowed him to make multiple plays as a cutter or spot-up threat. Though still recovering, it’s easy to see why Phillips has been the main leader for this group. Final stats: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Other noteworthy performers:
6’6 ’20 Kaleb Brooks- 6 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block
6’5 ’20 Josh Wiggins- 4 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 block
6’5 ’23 Dice Royster- 10 points
6’2 ’21 Kade Darr- 10 points
United Faith Christian:
6’0 ’21 Cedric Patterson
There’s a legitimate case to be made for Patterson as the most reliable and productive performer for Untied Faith, especially in the first half. He was a steady two-way presence that managed the game quite effectively from the point guard position, consistently setting up others and scoring as needed. Patterson made intelligent decisions and never looked to force the action. He also proved to be a quality defender and rebounder, especially for his size. Patterson was arguably their best performer from this contest, despite playing very sparingly in the second half. Final stats: 6 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.
6’7 ’20 Anjay Cortez
Although they suffered defeat, United Faith should be extremely encouraged by the showing from Cortez, who highlighted flashes of excellence on the defensive end. He’s a known athlete with great length and athleticism but his versatility and overall defensive instincts were undeniably impressive throughout this contest. Cortez altered an abundance of shots around the basket and forced opponents to think twice before entering the paint. Final stats: 4 points, 6 rebounds, 7 blocks, and 1 steal.
Other noteworthy performers:
6’5 ’20 Josh Massey- 11 points and 3 rebounds
6’2 ’21 LJ Johnson- 8 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 steal
6’3 ’24 Micah Gilbert- 6 points and 4 rebounds