On Thursday, Phenom Hoops traveled to West Stokes in King, North Carolina, as the Wildcats prepared to host the Vikings of North Forsyth in the second round of the 2A NCHSAA playoffs. These squads met twice in the regular season, where West Stokes took both contests by a narrow three-point margin (including an overtime battle). Needless to say, North Forsyth was looking to rewrite the script and earn their way into the third round.
The contest opened up in favor of West Stokes, as they quickly established the lead behind Kelin Parsons and the red-hot perimeter shooting from Elan Muniz. However, North Forsyth remained resilient and continually fought to stay within fighting distance. Freshman Lewis Walker was clearly their most consistent force—especially in the first half. The Wildcats led 26-20 at halftime over the Vikings. The second half was more of the same, as West Stokes held onto their lead quite well until a late fourth-quarter surge by North Forsyth. The Vikings tied it up at 38-38 with 4:30 remaining but were unable to maintain the momentum, ultimately falling 57-40 to West Stokes.
6’3 ’20 Elan Muniz
It would be impossible to call anyone other than Muniz the MVP of this contest, simply because he was unconscious in terms of shooting the ball. He’s built a reputation as a noted three-point shooter but was truly spectacular with the degree of difficulty on most of his attempts. Muniz went a phenomenal 7-for-8 from distance and was rising up with absolutely no regard for defensive pressure. The sniper should have an obvious place at the next level. Final stats: 24 points and 2 rebounds.
6’3 ’20 Kelin Parsons
Although Muniz shooting was a major factor in this win, one could legitimately argue that Parsons all-around game was equally as valuable. He was an excellent utility player from start to finish, making the hustle plays, controlling the glass, and scoring as needed. Parsons did the tough, gritty work and was often rewarded for his efforts on the stat sheet. Final stats: 11 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
6’2 ’20 Isaac Spainhour
The primary leader throughout the season, Spainhour was the most steady, consistent presence for either team in this showing. He ran the team with poise and patience, working to set up teammates in favorable position whenever possible. Spainhour scored and rebounded the ball effectively but mainly prioritized being a calm floor general. Final stats: 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Other Noteworthy Contributors:
5’10 ’20 Amon Conrad- 5 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal
6’3 ’20 Luke Mickey- 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
6’3 ’23 Lewis Walker
Despite a losing effort, Walker was a definite shining spot for the Vikings. He’s young but already displaying impressive signs of maturity and overall understanding for the game. Walker is smart, built like a tank, and affects various facets of the game but is still truly just beginning to scratch the surface of his long-term potential. He operated as an offensive initiator and as the centerpiece to break the opposing zone, able to receive the entry pass and find scoring opportunities or make plays for cutting teammates. Walker showed flashes of a blossoming inside-out game and will certainly be a prospect worth watching over the coming years. Final stats: 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 block.
Other Noteworthy Contributors:
5’10 ’20 Dedric Hickman- 11 points, 1 steal
5’10 ’20 Kedric- 4 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists
6’4 ’20 Marquez Hurst- 4 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal