"It's All About The Game"
A Hubert Davis Trio
Ron Bailey, Publisher
December 27, 2007 – The Hubert Davis Tournament of Champions, now in its fifth year of existence, has become one of Northern Virginia’s premier high school confabs for boys holiday hoops. Held at Lack Braddock High School, the school Davis, a former high school, University of North Carolina standout and 11 year professional attended, is always well run and entertaining. This year continues the trend.
Yesterday was the event’s quarterfinal round of games, and recaps of three contests follow:
Edison 73 Suitland 54
In the type of cross-state match up holiday tournaments should provide, Edison (VA) used a 28-10 third quarter run to pull away from Suitland (MD), and thereby seal their 67-49 victory. Good ball movement and fast break discipline proved the key.
“It’s something we call Eagle” said Edison’s coach, Kevin Quinian of his team’s relentless, five man fast break. “We explain it every day in practice”.
Quinian (kneeling) developed a very detailed, effective game plan.
Senior swingman Jamire Davis (14 points) has listened, as during that crucial third quarter he hit three trey-balls in fast break situations, where the ball was either initially passed to him or received after first finding its way inside. According to Quinian, that ability to shoot from the perimeter is a direct result of hard work this summer.
After lauding his team’s penchant for shifting Suitland’s zone with passing, Quinian shared his game plan also stressed offensive rebounding, which came to fore in the first half; senior forward Kendall Wallace (25 points) obviously studied what his coach’s game prep, given his repeated stick backs generated by cleaning the offensive glass.
For the game, Suitland had trio of players with 10 points, including senior swingman Denzell Holmes and his classmate, forward Sean Williams, along with junior guard Nicholas Ross.
This, another jurisdictional showdown, saw Herndon (VA) pull away and best Kima (DC), 59-52. With the game tied at 48 with around a minute and a half to go, Herndon’s senior guard, Tucker Lucas (11 points) scored on a deep three pointer; possibly the game’s paramount play. The Hornets would finish the contest on 8-4 run, created by great foul shooting for which they exhibited all game, given their 100% charity stripe mark (something that has not occurred for Herndon in at least five years).
That more or less epitomized Herndon, led by coach Chris Whelan, as they did what was necessary to prevail.
“It was a gutty win” said Whelan, a former Herndon player who is in his first year leading the Hornet’s bench, immediately after the contest. “It was ugly, but a win is a win”.
John Auslander, a senior post player and Isaac Johnson, a junior forward both aided Lucas with 10 points, while Kima benefited from the offensive exploits of senior forward Geran Pope (25 points).
Continuing with the rare match up angle, host Lake Braddock (VA) saw a solid eight point advantage almost slip away, but righted themselves to defeat Douglass (MD) 68-63. To win, they had to return to what they do well, their Princeton-esque offense.
Petros (left) and Morra engage in a halftime discussion with a Lake Braddock assistant coach.
“The tempo definitely the key” noted senior Bruin forward Haban Petros (8 points), of his team’s fourth quarter swoon, one in which Douglass got within two points after senior guard Jonathan Siberon’s (29 points) foul shots. Soon thereafter, Lake Braddock returned to their offensive sets that generally see at least three players touch the ball, thereby eschewing the rather frenetic pace Douglass forced, in part due to a 2-1-2 full court zone press.
Petros, also known as ‘Hobbs’, went on to identify his team’s penetration defense as important. So was the play of the junior duo of guard Dominic Morra (24 points) – a cagy guard who attacked the rim, battled and shot from the perimeter - and Mike Landon (10 points). Landon also finished with 14 boards, a stat further enhanced by 10 being offensive.
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