Posted On: 12/20/17 2:49 PM
The annual Richmond Times Dispatch Invitational Tournament took place from Friday through Tuesday, with eight of the best guys and girls teams in the Richmond area going at it, giving us some great basketball over the last week before the Christmas break. Trinity Episcopal defended their championship, but we learned a lot and there were a lot of big time performances from multiple players. Here’s part one of the standouts, featuring eight players from four different teams.
Armando Bacot | 6’9” PF | Trinity Episcopal
The MVP of the tournament dominated on championship day and was the big reason that TES defended their TDIT championship after holding off a good Varina team for a 61-58 win. Bacot was a factor on both ends of the floor, scoring 25 points, pulling in 8 rebounds and blocking 6 shots for the Titans. After taking a hard fall in the first quarter, he looked like he may be a little slow as he was limping a little bit, but showed great resiliency and toughness as he bounced back and carried them late. He was consistent throughout the event, averaging 26.3 points per game over the three game tournament.
Henry Coleman | 6’6” F | Trinity Episcopal
Coleman was named to the All Tournament Team with an impressive string of three games in which he averaged 23.3 points per game. He stepped up big in the championship game especially, as ODU commit Jason Wade was forced to sit for much of the second and third quarter with four fouls in which he finished with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. He was also the high scorer in their second game, scoring 27 points, grabbing 5 rebounds and coming up with three steals as well. The 6’6” forward has been a big addition to the defending state champions, and his athletic and high motor style of play fits in perfectly with their uptempo and high flying style of play.
Tyrese Jenkins | 6’5” WF | Varina
Jenkins has been one of the most improved players so far this season, and he was huge in Varina’s run to the championship game. In their overtime win against LCA, he scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half, and pitched in 8 rebounds and 5 assists as well. He followed that up with a 20 point, 9 rebound, 3 assist game in their second round win over Highland Springs, and then a 16 point, 9 rebound 3 assist game in their loss to Trinity Episcopal. He was aggressive on both ends and a real mismatch problem as a guy who can stretch the defense and hit the glass on both ends. He averaged 18.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists on the way to being named to the All Tournament team.
AJ Williams | 6’1” PG | Varina
Despite being just a freshman, Williams has played a big role in on a good Varina team so far this season, and the TDIT was his coming out party where he showed he is a player to watch moving forward in Richmond. He hit a big shot in overtime to help seal the deal for them in their first round win over Life Christian, in which he finished with game high 20 points and 6 assists. He followed that up with 15 points in their round two win over Highland Springs, and had 11 points and 7 rebounds in their championship loss to TES. The sweet shooting PG is only going to get better, so be sure to keep an eye on him moving forward.
Elvin Edmonds IV | 6’2” CG | Hopewell
Another freshman that had a coming out party, Edmonds showed star potential as a scoring combo guard with a number of big showings that led to him being named to the All Tournament team despite Hopewell going 1-2 on the tournament. He opened the tournament with a 17 point, 5 rebound, 4 assist game in their win over James River, and scored 19 points and 17 points in losses to Trinity Episcopal and Highland Springs, respectively. The sweet shooting guard showed the ability to make shots from all three levels off the bounce, and he’s going to score a lot of points for Hopewell this season.
Malik Jefferson | 6’7” PF | Hopewell
Jefferson must love playing in the Coliseum, because this was his second straight year having a big game on that stage. The senior forward had a big game in Hopewell’s 66-61 loss on Tuesday to Highland Springs, and you can’t blame him for a lack of effort in the paint. He had a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 7-for-11 from the field and cleaning up in the paint throughout the game on the offensive end. He was all over the glass throughout the event, showing that he can be an impact even without being a focal point in the offense.
Nathaniel Pollard | 6’4” PF | Highland Springs
Rounding out the All Tournament team in this senior leader from Highland Springs, who was big time in their win over Hopewell on Tuesday. The 6’4” power forward did a little bit of everything, scoring 21 points, grabbing 6 rebounds and dishing out 7 assists from the post. His unselfish yet dominating performance was even more impressive when you look at the fact that he was 8-for-9 from the field and only turned the basketball over twice. After a tough loss to Varina Saturday, in which he finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds, he was the biggest reason in Springs getting a big bounce back win over one of the Class 3 favorites this season. Springs has a talented group, but it will be up to Pollard to help lead them to a playoff run.
Jordan Crump | 6’3” WG | Highland Springs
Crump played a big role in Highland Springs win over Hopewell Tuesday, as he scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half, hitting six three-pointers on the night. The wing with good size showed a smooth shooting stroke from deep when he got it going, finishing 4-for-9 from deep in the second half. Crump does well without the basketball, setting his feet quickly and showing confidence in his shot even when he’s in a slump. This was his second straight big showing in the TDIT, as he had a 30 point game last year for Springs.