By Marcus Shockley

Raekwon Harney Kendrick Flomo
Raekwon Harney drives against North Forsyth’s Kendrick Flomo

Today’s Frank Spencer Holiday Classic tournament features matchups with several collegiate prospects in both divisions.

For those not familiar with “The Frank” the tournament structure currently divides the games into two brackets, the “Champion” bracket (named for sponsor Champion apparel) and the “Pepsi” bracket.

The Pepsi bracket title game today will feature reigning champion Forsyth Country Day, who are led by Colton Bishop (PG, 6’1, 2014) and Cory Hanes (SF, 6’5″, 2014). Bishop scored 33 points in his team’s overtime win over McMichael HS to return to the title game, while Hanes added 22.

Forsyth Country Day will face North Davidson, who downed West Forsyth to clear their path the title game. North has a solid big man in Brandon Easter (PF, 6’7″, 2014) and will be looking to take advantage of their size to battle with FCD’s strength on the wings.

In the Champion bracket, a huge showdown between reigning 1-A North Carolina state champion Winston-Salem Prep and 4-A title contender Mt. Tabor will finish off this year’s event. Prep has a really solid bevy of guards in Raekwon Harney (PG, 5’10”, 2013), a deft ballhandler and passer, Mike Hughes (SG/SF, 6’2″, 2014), who is an athletic wing with an excellent game in transition, and Aaron Lipscomb (G, 5’8″, 2014) a deadly three point shooter.

Mt. Tabor has one of the best overall starting lineups in NC this year, possibly even more talented than the team that coach Andy Muse led to the state title a few years ago with current Wake Forest starter C.J. Harris. Matt Madigan (G, 6’4″, 2013) is a very quick handed lefty guard with great ability to pass ahead in transition, and excellent size at the guard spot.

Deion Robinson
Deion Robinson slashes to the bucket in Mt. Tabor’s victory over Ronald Reagan HS

Lepreece Lynch (SG, 6’4″, 2013) may be the most prolific scoring guard in the state and this year he’s been running a bit more point guard as well. Nate Long (SF, 6’5″, 2013) is having a really solid season and is effective in transition on offense and disrupting the passing lanes on defense. Deion Robinson (PF, 6’4″, 2013) is an extremely consistent player, who makes smart decisions with the basketball and is very effective around the basket. Ty’Quan Bitting (C, 6’8″, 2013) has become an impact player, scoring with a very soft touch around the basket and now becoming a serious shot blocker. In the first round of the tournament, Bitting scored 19 points in one half (finishing with 26) and recorded 8 blocks in the same game.

Both Prep and Tabor are at their best in transition, so it will be a battle to see who can use their strengths more to their advantage. Prep has more speed on the perimeter but Tabor has athleticism and size on their side. Both coaches have won state titles so this should be one to watch.

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