Nov. 23, 2007
By Van Coleman
Special to CSTV.com & Hoopmasters.com
Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.
The Trusted Choice Tournament of Champions tipped off today at Washington & Pekin High Schools in the Peoria, Ill. area and a number of players put up big numbers as the teams struggled to shake early-season jitters.
We will be bringing you all the action from the
This one was close in the early going as Chicago Hales Franciscan went up 15-14 on a spin move by 6-foot-8
The second half began like the first half ended, with Hales Franciscan opening the third quarter with a 15-4 run behind 5-foot-10 Phil Williams and 6-foot-2 sophomore Brandon Spearman who combined for 10 points in the run to go up 46-29 just over four minutes into the half. Morton cut it to fourteen points on two occasions, but couldn't get a run going as Hales Franciscan rolled to a 78-54 victory over the Potters.
Hales Franciscan was led by Crittle, who finished with a triple-double as he scored 12 points, pulled down 15 boards and set a tournament record with 10 blocked shots in the opener. He got solid support from his 6-foot-6 future
In game two, it was close again in the early going as
This game was a game of spurts as Champaign Central opened with a quick 8-0 run and never trailed in the game. It was 15-8 at the end of the first quarter, but Central again put together a run, this one for 15 straight, to open the second quarter. That run opened an insurmountable 30-8 margin behind the three-headed attack of 6-foot-4 Verdell Jones, 6-foot-4 Donald Stewart and 6-foot-5 Keith Biggers, who combined for 11 points in the run. Central went into the locker room in total control of the game at 43-22 over Lafayette Carencro.
The second half began with another 11-2 run for Central as they built the lead to 54-24 just less than two minutes into the third quarter. It took some stellar play in the second half by 6-foot-4 Patrick Richard to keep Carencro from an embarrassing finish. The athletic wing scored 17 in the half as Carencro closed to within 20 points early in the fourth quarter, forcing Champaign Central to re-instate their starters. But there weren't any miracles to be had this afternoon, as Champaign Central went on to an 85-65 victory.
Central was led by Jones, who finished the game with 23 points, while Stewart chipped in 19 points and Biggers added 19 of his own. Carencro's top gun was Richard who tied for game honors with 23 points and 13 boards. He received solid support from 6-foot-1 junior Ricky Johnson who finished with a solid 14-point performance.
News & Notes from Pekin High: In one of the early tournament surprises, St. Anne's, Ill. High upended Dothan, Ala. Northview 69-57 as 6-foot senior point guard Cliff Fleming led the way with 29 points. Northview was led by 6-foot-10 Xavier Gibson, our No.44-rated prep, who finished with 19 points in a losing effort. In the other game at
Tonight's Trusted Choice Tournament of Champions Games:
This weekend we will be at the Trusted Choice Tournament of Champions in