This year's Slamfest Tour features five private schools and three city schools, mostly from the Richmond area. I'll be there covering all four games and I look forward to seeing some outstanding basketball.
Two sophomores highlight the first matchup with Atlantic Shores tangling with John Marshall. Atlantic Shores has two good perimeter shooters in Andre Dawkins and juniorSteven Pledger [pictured left], while John Marshall has Travis McKie who can do a little bit of everything. All three played for the Boo Williams AAU team. McKie is averaging close to 20 ppg after kicking in 14 as a freshman. Dawkins led Atlantic Shores to the state semi-finals as a freshman, and they are ranked first in the State Division II polls. Atlantic Shores has a lot of firepower on the perimeter as both Dawkins and Pledger are capable of scoring 30 points every night. John Marshall's best chance to win is to feed the ball inside.
The second game should be the most competitive with Hampton Roads Academy (featuring Calvin Kibwe and Lucas Pervan) facing a Collegiate squad who beat Mills Godwin in the Slamfest last month. The teams faced each other last year with Collegiate winning by 15. Collegiate has a balanced attack with point guard Patrick Corrigan and super sophomore Jake McGee, who was an All-State quarterback. Hampton Roads only lost was in the championship game of the Westminster Holiday Classic in Atlanta. The 6-foot-2 Kibwe [pictured right] was an All-State selection after averaging 18 ppg and he is over 21 this year. Ovie Soko is second on the team in scoring (17.6) and he leads the team in rebounding with 8.1 per game.
The main event takes place in the third game when Benedictine takes on Booker T. Washington. The teams are fairly even in talent but they are heading in opposite directions record-wise. Benedictine ran a good Miller School team off the floor in winning the BCCC tournament championship and they beat an Oak Hill team that defeated Booker T. Washington by 40 points earlier in the year. UNC recruit Ed Davis had a quit game scoring 13 points against Miller, but the Cadets road the shooting of Bradford Burgess and Darien Brothers.The Bookers have played a monster schedule and lost 2 of 3 in the Ronald Curry Christmas Tournament. Junior DeShawn Painter [pictured] used the summer AAU tournaments to elevate his stock as one of the top juniors in the state. Still, the Bookers will need a big from Desmond Lee if they hope to knock off the Cadets.
The Miller School will look to rebound from their lost to Benedictine when the take on the Meadowbrook Monarchs in the nightcap. The Monarchs two losses have been to Central Region favorites Highland Springs and Petersburg. Senior Paul Finn (6-foot-5) leads Meadowbrook in scoring with 16 ppg and 6-foot-7 Quinton Doggett kicks in 15 points and nine boards. Combo guard Andrew Simmons is only a sophomore but he averaged five points and three assist in 14 games last year. Miller counters with 4-star prospect Marshawn Powell [pictured right] and shooter Shamarr Bowden. Powell has a variety of moves around the basket and has a quick first step off the dribble. Also, on the front line is Hippolyte Ngoufack Tsafack, a 6-foot-8 transfer from Cameroon. Tevin Swann, who played at Walsingham Academy last year, runs the point.
General Admission Tickets $10 for All 4 Games | Courtside Reserved Seating $25 for All 4 Games
Tickets Sold at Door Only. Entry to event will be through old gym.
*4:30 pm Washington Redskins vs. Seattle Seahawks on the Big Screen in connecting Old Gymnasium at Concession Stand/ Concession Lounge so fans can enjoy high school basketball in one gym and still not miss the big game in the other.
Staff writer Will Garlick covers basketball for Virginia Preps, the #1 high school site on Rivals.com. He will provide game recaps, player profiles, and team info. You can reach him via email at VirginiaPreps@verizon.net or his MyFanPage