Here is a summary of the results, game stories, notes on the tournament and today's schedule for the St. James Invitational Tournament. The games start at 2:00 p.m today.
* times approximate
The final game will match two of the four teams ranked in the top 10 by the Washington Post. Thomas Johnson (18-1) from nearby Frederick, MD, is second behind Oxon Hill (MD) H.S. (19-1). Notre Dame Academy (22-2) from Middlesburg, VA, which held the top place for a few weeks last month, topped National Christian (21-5), the current number 6 team and the Post's preseason first place squad. This was yet another overtime contest for NCA. The Post's number 9 team, Montrose Christian (17-5) was rated as high as second by the paper
The four teams in the semis were all ranked in the top 10 by the Post
The final will feature three guards headed to the ACC, Atlantic 10 and Big East. For TJ (as the event announcer refers to the school from nearby Frederick) -- Jermaine Thomas who's headed to La Salle; for NDA, Todd Galloway and Daevon Hoskins, headed to Florida State and Rutgers
This is the first time that Thomas Johnson has made the finals; invited to the event for the first time in 1996, TJ finished third twice ('96, '99). One year makes a huge difference for this squad who took seventh place in the 2001 competition
NDA's highest finish was second place, losing in the finals to Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA) in the '99 finals. NDA first competition was in the 1998 tournament.
Last year's champion was Oak Hill with a 95-78 victory over the Newport School (Kensington, MD). Newport isn't back but it's former coach, Chris Chaney, brought Laurinburg Institute (NC) this year
The first tournament was in 1974. Host St. James won the event in '77 and '78
Flint Hill (Oakton, VA) was the featured team from 1978 through 1992. Oak Hill competed from 1993 through last year. Flint Hill won the championship nine times, including six straight from '81-'86. Oak Hill was crowned five times. Their streak of three straight was broken only since their schedule didn't include this event; OHA beat Bonner Academy Thursday. Six of last season's all-tournament team are playing Division I ball this season: Rashaad Carruth (Oak Hill, Kentucky), Jonathan Hargett (NCA, West Virgina), Leve Watkins (Montrose, NC State), Tony Bethel (* Montrose Christian, Georgetown), Billy Edelin (Oak Hill, Charlotte) and Gil Goodrich (Newport, Howard). The other two were juniors. Both are headed to SEC schools: Steve Leven (Newport/Laurinburg, Auburn) and Mario Boggan (Oak Hill/Hargrave Military, Florida).
For more informatiom on the tournament, including directions to the school, please check our preview story: link
* Originally had Bethel's high school as Oak Hill. Should've checked rather than rely on faulty memory. But when saw Montrose's Eric Price with a green #3 jersey, knew that I was probably wrong