COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND: This reporter attended the five games Friday evening at the Armory at the Charlie Weber Invitational Tournament on the University of Maryland, College Park, campus. (For more on the tournament schedule, format, attendees, etc., please click here for our earlier story.)
It was a long walk back to where my car was parked near the Cole Field House at just before midnight. The uphill (this time) trek was helped by the cool evening air. Maryland students were enjoying the first fall Friday evening that was highlighted by all all-nighter at the Stamp Student Union on Campus Drive. Many were anticipating the Terrapins Saturday afternoon's football contest at Wake Forest. The 27-20 victory extended UMD's record to 3-0.
The tournament has a rule for calling games when the lead is 20 points on more with three minutes left to play. This rule was utilized in three of the five contests viewed Friday.
Game 1: National Christian Academy (MD) vs. Tom Jones Basketball (DC):
NCA was declared the winner when the score reached 75-54 with less than 1:30 left in the game. Tom Jones, which is actually the Mary Margaret Washington High School, was led by Deonte Taylor, at 6-4 junior, with a game high 23 points. The significantly bigger NCA squad was led by DC-area 6-6 junior swingman's LaKeith Blanks 19 points and three big men: Anthony Ivory, a hefty 6-8 sophomore with surpising agility had 15 points; Jabbar Young, a 6-11 senior from New Orleans, added 15 and Dakin Braddick, a slimmer 6-11 senior from Charleston, SC, pumped in 10 points.Game 2: Face Systems (MD) vs. Mason - Dixon (PA)
Face Systems, comprised of the Hyattesville, MD, DeMatha High School squad, ran awy with this contest. They were declared the winner at the 3:00 mark with the score, 74-31. Highly regarded 6-9 senior big forward Travis Garrison outmanned any player coach Joe Ayers could though at him. Garrison had a game high 21 points. Corey McCrae, a 6-2 senior added 15 while 6-1 senior Warren Williams contributed 10 points. With international players and talent from Baltimore and the York, PA, area, Mason-Dixon's top scorer was 6-6 Nehimiah Boykin, a senior now at the Laurinburg Academy in North Carolina.Game three: Connecticut Gold North vs. Fairfax County Stars (VA)
This game saw a battle between some top scorers on two well-coached teams that played hard defense. Pressing defense and fast moving offense resulted in a see-saw game with Fairfax pulling out a three-point win. (Missed chance to get scores when stats where picked up by officials while interviewing players.) Fairfax was led by 6-8 senior big man, *Tyrone Beale, who attends Archbishop Carroll High School in the DC area. Beale was a strong underneath force with 20+ points. At one point in the second half, wrote "Beale is scoring at will now." Connecticut's leader was Jeff Viggiano, a 6-6 swingman from Suffield (CT) High School. Viggiano, who sacrificed himself by fouling as the clock was running down, reached five fouls fighting for a Fairfax missed free throw with Bearle. Viggiano hit threes, dished off excellent assists on the break, blocked three shots and had a dunk and an undunk (short for layin when dunking was not advisable.)Game 4: Timmy Thomas Playaz Jrs vs. Richmond Metro.
Guy Buster's Richmond squad gave the New Jersey area Playaz a strong game though TTP eked out a 67-64 win. Timmy Thomas (who earler this year were called T1T then T5T) had four preps in double digits: Jamal Warren, a 6-2 junior guard from Holyoke High School, and Sean Banks, a 6-6 freshman from Bergen Catholic High School, each poured in 16 points. Art Bowers, Jr., a 6-3 junior from St. Bendict's High School, added 15 points while 6-8 junior power forward Will Sheridan, Jr., from Hockessin High School in Sanford, DE, contributed 10 points. Richmond was led by Jack Browne, a 6-6 junior from Commonwealth Christian High School. Also hitting double digits were Patrick Gill, a 6-1 senior from Lloyd Bird High School and Justin Wansley, a 6-6 senior from Henrico High School, with 10 points each. Game 5: Timmy Thomas Playaz Srs. vs Diaper Dans (VA)
While the elder Timmy Thomas group may have been without Eljiah Ingram (click here for story), they still got a declared 90-57 victory at the 3:00 mark. The Thomas' were led by 6-5 senior Vincent Greer from the Bonner Academy in North Carolina with 24 points. Top 6-4 senior guard John Winchester, who is also prepping at Bonner, added 20 points and 5-9 senior guard Donald Copeland from St. Anthony's High School contributed 16 points. The Diaper Dans were led by P. Linas's 21 points, who impressed the smallish late night crowd with his untiring play even with the game out of reach. (He was a late addition to the roster; more info later).
* Original story had player's name misspelled as Bearle (DC - 10/3/01)