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December 25, 2013

TDIT - Day 3 Recap

Times-Dispatch Invitational Day 3 Recap

Boys Scores:

Championship - - Benedictine 81, Henrico 52
3rd Place Game - - Armstrong 56, Highland Springs 48
5th Place Game - - John Marshall 63, Trinity Episcopal 61 (OT)
7th Place Game - - St. Christopher's 64, Matoaca 55

Cadets Capture Crown Again:
For a record fifth time, the Benedictine Cadets captured the crown at the Times-Dispatch Invitational Tournament Monday night at VCU's Siegel Center in Richmond. Benedictine not only moved to 10-0 overall, but they steamrolled Henrico in a matchup of reigning private school State Champ vs. defending public school State Champ, 81-52 in a game where they never trailed.

Named MVP of the TDIT was Benedictine guard and four-star prospect Robert Johnson, an Indiana signee who shook off foul trouble to heat up in the third quarter. In that third period, Johnson scored 13 of his game-high 21 points while connecting on 8-of-13 from the field. He also collected six defensive rebounds, two assists and a pair of blocks.

The Cadets' supporting cast around Johnson made their presence felt, particularly in the second quarter when he was on the bench due to trouble. In that period, Benedictine outscored Henrico 27-13, and in the first half they shot 57.1% (16-of-28) as a team. Helping spark the strong start for the Cadets were senior guards Josh Bailey (6-foot-4) and Reid Jacoby (5-foot-10).

Bailey scored 17 points with nine points and six boards coming before half-time. Jacoby put up all 13 of his points in the first half Together, those two converted 7-of-10 from three-point range.

Another lift for Benedictine was provided by Class of 2015 point guard C.J. Wiggins, a Highland Springs transfer. After scoring juts two points against his old team on Saturday, Wiggins got in a groove quickly vs. the Warriors with seven points in the first half, concluding the night with nine points, four boards, four assists and three steals.

Henrico (6-1) saw their 26-game winning streak snap as they shot only 29.3% from the field and just 1-for-11 from three-point distance. Three of their starters shot a combined 0-for-17 on the evening. Sophomore standout De'Monte Buckingham managed to score 18 points after a scoreless first quarter to go with his nine rebounds. Tony Daniels was the Warriors' only other double-figure scorer with 11.

Postgame Audio Links with Benedictine's Robert Johnson & Ryan Marable

Cats Roar, Beat Springers By 8: Down 8-0 out of the gate, things weren't looking too good for the Armstrong Wildcats. They quickly turned things around, closing the half on a 26-14 run in a 56-48 triumph.

Guard play and speed did the trick for the Cats. Seniors Robert Valentine and Kevon Cooley were the catalysts in the backcourt, both offensively and defensively. Valentine bunched 12 of his 20 points during a crucial second quarter stretch. He made 6-of-8 from the foul line and hit a pair of three-pointers. Cooley posted a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds, yanking down seven offensive boards in the opening period alone.

On the night, Armstrong controlled the offensive backboards with 23. Senior forward Harrison Bates and junior guard Everett Patterson added 12 and seven boards, respectively.

In the third quarter, Armstrong seized control with its defense, forcing Highland Springs into six turnovers. Starting the fourth quarter up eight, the Wildcats decided to employ the 'stall ball,' tactic, and were able to burn two minutes off the clock before either team attempted a shot.

While the Wildcats move to 5-1 overall, Highland Springs drops to 5-3 overall. In defeat, junior guards A.J. Gaston and Mike'l Simms combined for 20 points. On the night, the Springers shot just 3-of-14 from long range. They made all five of their free-throw tries, but that was 26 fewer attempts than what Armstrong had.

Postgame Audio Link with Armstrong Coach Darryl Watts

Justices Survive in OT:
After coughing up a nine-point lead with 2:02 to play in regulation, the John Marshall Justices recovered in overtime and edged Trinity Episcopal, 63-61. The win moved the Justices, ranked #1 in the state in Group 3A by VirginiaPreps.com, to 7-1 overall. Their only loss thus far came to eventual TDIT Champs Benedictine in the opening round.

In the extra session, senior guard Quaman Burton hit 5-of-7 from the foul line after going only 1-for-6 at the charity stripe prior to OT. Burton notched 12 points and six assists in the win.

Leading the way for the Justices was sophomore guard Jeremy Sheppard with 22 points, including four makes from behind the three-point line. Sheppard was 6-of-8 at the foul line. Complementing Sheppard and Burton was junior wing Taqqi Muhammad with 10 points and seven boards.

Trinity was able to force OT when star junior guard Josh Brown kicked a pass out to Nate Swift, who drilled a shot straight away from 25 feet out as time expired. Brown had 23 points, going 8-of-10 from the foul line. Senior Abraham Ferrell-Logan chipped in 17. Swift and senior forward Austin Williams combined for 15.

Postgame Audio Link with John Marshall Coach Ty White

Boys All-Tournament Team:
Robert Johnson, Benedictine (MVP)
De'Monte Buckingham, Henrico
Robert Valentine, Armstrong
Josh Brown, Trinity Episcopal
Nick Sherod, St. Christopher's

Girls Scores:
Championship - - Cosby 50, Highland Springs 49
3rd Place Game - - Hermitage 38, Patrick Henry 37
5th Place Game - - Glen Allen 43, St. Catherine's 24
7th Place Game - - Meadowbrook 51, Collegiate 46

Girls Roundup: With 1.1 seconds to play, Cosby senior Dorothy Adomako sank a pair of free-throws to give the Titans their third consecutive Times-Dispatch Invitational Tournament title in Girls Hoops, and fourth in six years. Cosby was able to recover after blowing 39-30 lead going into the fourth quarter, remaining undefeated on the season at 8-0 overall.

Adomako scored 12 points during the contest, while teammate Tyra Whitehead, a Georgetown commit, put up a game-high 18 on her way to earning MVP honors.

For Highland Springs (7-1) in defeat, guard Briana Justice supplied tough defense and scored a team-high 14 points, including a perfect 6-of-6 at the charity stripe. Justice, a Delaware State commit, was selected to the All-Tournament team.

In the Third Place Game, Hermitage edged Patrick Henry 38-37 when junior guard Destini Walker was fouled on the game's final play from behind the arc as time expired and made the first two free-throws to give her team the win. Walker also was an All-Tournament choice.

Also prevailing in consolation contests were Glen Allen and Meadowbrook.

Girls All-Tournament Team:
Tyra Whitehead, Cosby (MVP)
Dorothy Adomako, Cosby
Briana Justice, Highland Springs
Summer Price, Patrick Henry
Destini Walker, Hermitage

Matthew Hatfield serves as State Basketball Analyst for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail hatfieldsports2k4@yahoo.com, and don't forget to listen to him every Saturday from 10AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.

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