Nov. 24, 2007
By Van Coleman
CSTV.com & Hoopmasters.com
Van is one of the nation's premier recruiting experts.
The Trusted Choice Tournament of Champions continued Saturday and really heated up at Washington & Pekin High Schools in the
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.
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'
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
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
The fourth quarter had all the drama of a state title game as Crittle turned his ankle on a
However, Hales wasn't done yet as they survived a trio of
Benedictine went to their man inside and the
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
The third quarter started with the two squads trading buckets and
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
Saturday Night Games:
Look for that coverage from the Trusted Choice Tournament of Champions Sunday, right here at "Generation Next".