Trusted Choice TOC - Day Two (Pt. I)

North Carolina bound No. 10 ranked Ed Davis puts up triple-double in victory

Nov. 24, 2007

By Van Coleman &

Van Coleman

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The Trusted Choice Tournament of Champions continued Saturday and really heated up at Washington & Pekin High Schools in the Peoria, IL area as we had a heavyweight battle in the opener between Richmond (VA) Benedictine and Chicago (IL) Hales Franciscan.


It was a great match-up and the teams both delivered in today's opener.  It was a tourney classic!  That was followed by an all-out backyard war between Washington and St. Anne's in a great start to day two of the Trusted Choice Tournament of Champions.


Richmond, VA Benedictine 55 - Chicago, IL Hales Franciscan 53


Don't let the time (10 a.m.) fool you - both of the heavyweight squads in this match-up showed up like it was "Prime Time!"


The stars were out as Hales' Oregon connection 6-foot-5 Matthew Humphrey and 6-foot-8 Josh Crittle were ready to do battle with the Benedictine duo of 6-foot-9 Ed Davis (UNC) and 6-foot-5 Bradford Burgess (VCU).  And it started out like a war.


Both clubs were set to go inside and force the early action, but it was the stellar guard play of 5-foot-9 junior D.J. Cooper, who had two big steals and hit a key three, that kept Hales even as Davis and Burgess did their damage on the baseline.  Hales jumped into a full court press after a timeout with 1:53 to go in the period and finished with a quick 6-2 spurt to go up 17-13 at the end of one quarter.


The second quarter started with Crittle and Cooper hooking up for four quick points to extend the Hales Franciscan lead to 21-14.  But Crittle was called for foul number two on a questionable call in the lane and had to sit out the final 5:54 of the first half.  Benedictine chipped away at the Hales lead behind Davis and 6-foot-3 Darien Brothers to narrow the gap to 29-27 at the intermission. 


The first half was clearly the best played and most competitive of the weekend and left the crowd buzzing as Davis missed a long three to take the lead. 


Hales' top gun in the first stanza was D. J. Cooper with nine points on four steals that turned into buckets.  He got solid support from Matthew Humphrey and Phillip Williams with five points each. 


Benedictine was led by Ed Davis with nine points and some stellar defense with seven blocks. He got solid support from 6-foot-5 Bradford Burgess, 6-foot-7 Wayne Whiting, and 6-foot-3 Darien Brothers who added seven, six, and five points respectively.


The second half started much like the first with Cooper setting the tone for Hales Franciscan, trading buckets with Brothers as the both teams exchanged leads on three occasions in the third quarter.  Benedictine went up three on Hales, 37-34, on a dunk by Davis off a sweet spin move.  But Cooper and Humphrey combined for two quick buckets to put Hales back on top 40-39 at the end of the third stanza.


The fourth quarter had all the drama of a state title game as Crittle turned his ankle on a Davis miss with 7:21 left in the game. He would miss four minutes before returning later in the quarter, and without him, Hales Franciscan relied on Cooper and Humphrey to keep it close.  They did just that until 6-foot Kevin Gill hit a three for Benedictine to tie it at 46-all.  That shot seemed to light a fire under the Benedictine squad as they ran off seven straight points to go up 53-46 with 2:13 to play. 


However, Hales wasn't done yet as they survived a trio of Davis blocks to pull back even at 53-all on a Cooper three-pointer with 36 seconds to play. 


Benedictine went to their man inside and the North Carolina signee delivered with a ferocious dunk to go up 55-53 with 18 seconds left. 


That set up a final possession for Hales Franciscan, and the Spartans got the shot they wanted but Cooper hit the front of the rim with a potential game winning three at the buzzer. He was their hot hand, and the reason they were in a position to hit a shot to win it. 


This was one great game played by state champion-level opponents.  It's definitely the highlight of the Trusted Choice Tournament of Champions at this point of the competition!


Benedictine was led by 6-foot-9 Ed Davis, who finished with a triple-double scoring 17 points, pulling down 12 boards and blocking a new tournament record 12 shots.  He was awesome on the defensive end.  He received solid support from Bradford Burgess and Damien Brothers with 13 points each, while Wayne Whiting chipped in with nine points.


Hales Franciscan's top gun was the ultra quick D.J. Cooper, who had a game-high 24 points (including their last nine points) and seven steals to keep the Spartans within striking distance all afternoon.  He just didn't have the support he needed as Matthew Humphrey finished with nine points and Phil Williams chipped in five points in the hard-fought loss.  Foul troubles and a great defensive scheme by Benedictine kept Josh Crittle from being a factor, and it was enough to be the difference in the final analysis.


Washington, IL 74 - Saint Anne's, IL 59


This one started like a real backyard brawl as both teams put on the pressure early.


Saint Anne's jumped to a quick 7-0 lead before Washington's guards settled down and came back to pull within one, 18-17, just before the buzzer on a Matt Roth (Indiana) three-pointer from deep in the corner. 


The second quarter was a see-saw battle that had Washington take its first lead, 23-22, on a Dyricus Simms-Edwards three from deep on the wing.  Saint Anne's re-took the lead, 24-23, on a bucket by 6-foot-3 Varron Burdunice, in what was their last lead of the game as surprising as it may seem.  Washington closed with a 7-2 run to open a slight 30-26 lead as the two teams headed to the locker room at the half.


The third quarter started with the two squads trading buckets and Washington holding a slim 37-34 lead.  A long three by Roth ignited the Panthers' fire, with a 12-4 run coming midway through the third to open up a double digit advantage, 55-43, at the end of the stanza. 


The fourth quarter started with five quick points by Simms-Edwards to open up a 60-43 bulge that Saint Anne's never seemed to be able to mount a comeback against.  The Cardinals didn't give up, but just couldn't convert in key situations as Washington went on to a 74-59 victory.


Washington was led by Dyricus Simms-Edwards and Matt Roth, who finished with 18 points each.  Simms-Edwards was a steady force for the Panthers as Roth had an off night from the field only hitting 4 of 11 threes.  They got solid support from 6-foot-3 Ben Worner with 12 points while 5-foot-11 Brian Tigue added 11 points in the win.  Saint Anne's was led by Varron Burdunice, who finished with 16 points, while 6-foot All-Stater Cliff Fleming came back from early foul trouble to add 15 points for the Cardinals.


Saturday Night Games: 


Indianapolis, IN Howe - Milwaukee, WI Custer


Dothan, AL Northview - Eureka, IL


Washington, IL - Memphis, TN Briarcrest


Champaign, IL Central - Richmond, VA Benedictine


Look for that coverage from the Trusted Choice Tournament of Champions Sunday, right here at "Generation Next".

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