Posted On: 12/28/17 1:55 PM
As I do every Holiday season, I will be traveling across the state of Virginia to check out some of the best holiday tournaments in different areas of the state over the next week. My second stop was James Monroe High School in Fredericksburg, VA, featuring four games with eight teams, most of them coming from the Fredericksburg area. There wasn’t a shortage of talent at the event, so here’s 10 guys who stood out on the first day. Stay tuned for more standouts and stories from across the state over the holiday tournaments!
Folkes stood out as a name to watch and possibly next up for Stonewall Jackson since all of the Raiders starters are seniors. The 6’0” guard showed the ability to score it in a number of different ways, and exhibited a skill set much beyond his years. He could attack and handle with both hands, finished in the middle with a soft touch and showed good form and range on his jump shot. He finished with 17 points, five rebounds and chipped in three steals defensively, and with time should continue to improve and be a big time scorer for them moving forward.
Warner was the leader and floor general that directed Stonewall to the win. When they lost the lead going into the second half, he came out and scored five straight to open the third quarter, and his decision making and playmaking ability on both ends was the reason they were able to keep it moving forward. He showed real toughness, got after it and set the tone, on the way to 13 points, 6 rebounds, four assists and four steals to help the Raiders seal the deal.
Every winning team needs a guy to do the dirty work, and that’s exactly what Waddy provided for the Raiders in their win. The 6’6” big man who’s committed to Mary Washington finished with just 10 points, but he manned the paint and provided a tough anchor for the Raiders with 15 rebounds and five blocks on the game. He was consistent on both ends of the floor, and his size in the paint caused real problems for a Lancaster team with nobody taller than 6’2” on the floor.
Standing 6’3”, Davis battled every minute with Waddy and used his quickness to his advantage as he ran the floor and finished with consistency through traffic. He showed a great nose for the ball, always being around it in the paint and being in the right place to make plays. He showed the ability to hit the three ball when set, scored in the post and despite giving up a few inches was all over the glass on both ends. He finished with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds in the loss for the Red Devils.
Reed was a huge factor coming off the bench for Lancaster, as he knocked down shots consistently and made plays down the stretch to keep the Red Devils in the game. The 5’9” lefty finished with 19 points, shooting 50% from deep and 53% from the floor. He showed a quick release, good range and was fearless attacking the cup, and whenever Lancaster needed a big shot he came up with one for them.
Henderson, who’s the leader of this Lancaster team, didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but that didn’t stop him from making an impact on both ends of the floor. He plays every position for the team, and at 6’2” is one of the tallest and most athletic players on the team, so they need him to do a lot of things and he steps up to the task. He finished with just four points, but pulled in 16 rebounds, dished out 8 assists and had three blocks and three steals on the defensive end.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a quieter 21 points in my life, but that’s probably because Cadden was so efficient the entire game. The 5’10” senior finished shooting 7-for-8 from the field and 4-for-6 from the line, getting many of his shots off the bounce in transition or coming off screens in the half court. He’s a bouncy guard with a smooth stroke and some toughness about him, as he pulled in five rebounds as well for the Bears in their win over Freedom-Woodbridge.
The highest point output of the event’s first day goes to Burton, and it will be tough for anyone to catch him. The 6’1” senior finished with 42 points, almost single handedly bringing Fredericksburg Christian back to beat Essex after trailing by as many as 13 points in the second half. Burton scored 29 of his 42 points in the second half, and made his living by attacking the teeth of the zone and getting to the line. He finished 21-for-26 from the line, and his gutsy takeover performance has Fredericksburg Christian moving on to face host James Monroe today.
His numbers didn’t blow anyone away, but Jones showed a good understanding of the game, the ability to be a dual threat guard and some toughness. They went away from him late, which probably hurt them down the stretch. He showed poise and a lot of playmaking ability, finishing with 10 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in their close lost to Fredericksburg Christian.
In the finale, James Monroe didn’t play their best game of the year, but were able to pull out a 61-44 win over Manassas Park. They showed flashes of brilliance, and when they did so it was usually started by Gray, who’s their leader and leading scorer. A long 6’1” point guard, Gray understands how to play and has a great skill set as a scoring point guard. He has a tight handle, plays with pace, is able to get in the lane at will and can finish through contact with both hands. He still has a lot of room to improve, but he’s light years ahead of most guards his age, and his rapid improvement from last year means he’s likely going to take a jump every year. He finished with 23 points and three steals in their win.