Posted On: 11/30/18 6:03 PM
In the first boys game of the 20th annual Travis Dale Tournament, Carmel School out of Caroline County took on Hargrave Military Academy’s varsity team in an anticipated matchup of dark horse teams in the VISAA D3 (Carmel) and D2 (Hargrave). The game was physical and tight throughout the first with both teams locking in defensively. However, Carmel started to dictate the tempo and speed things up, and they started to pull away late in the second half to head into halftime leading 45-28.
There was no quit in Hargrave, who tested Carmel in the third quarter but the Wildcats were able to keep their distance as they were up 60-42 at the end of the third. However, Hargrave started to turn up the pressure, and they cut the deficit to just 10 with 2:19 left. Carmel was able to rebound though, and they made a lot of their free throws down the stretch to come away with a 78-66 victory. Both of these teams will be tough outs come March.
MVP: Josh Campbell | Carmel School 2020
Campbell was huge in the Wildcats second quarter push to pull away from Hargrave before halftime. The 6’3” wing showed a little bit of everything, shooting the ball well from deep, being the secondary ball handler and playing well in the paint against bigger guys. He hit two big threes before half time to break the back of Hargrave, and he scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half. He got it done across the board as well, pitching in six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Play of the Game
It was the second of Campbell’s three pointers toward the end of the second half that gets the nod for the play of the game. It was a long rebound that was pushed ahead by Campbell, and with just over 10 seconds left he saw the defense retreating and with the hot hand he pulled from about 24 feet to sink a triple to cap a big time run for the Wildcats. They weren’t done though, as they then forced a turnover and point guard Tanner Hatchett finished a layup to really give them the momentum.
Best Offensive Performer: TJ Sonnett | Carmel School 2019
A transfer from James River, Sonnett looked really good as both an off the ball scorer and as a guy who can work in isolation sometimes as well. The lanky 6’4” wing showed his athleticism with some impressive finishes, an improved jumper with both a three and a couple of tough pull-ups and he got to the line and converted late to help them secure the win. He finished with 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field.
Best Defensive Performer: Elijah Roye | Carmel School 2020
A Canadian born big man who has only been playing a couple of seasons and just got to the States, Roye made a big impact on the game on both ends and showed he should be a guy to watch moving forward for scholarship schools. A lanky 6’7” big with a good frame, he made his presence felt instantly in the paint as he had 9 rebounds in the first half. He also showed the ability to hit the midrange, work out of the triple threat and he has a soft touch around the rim. The best part? He still has room to grow! He finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.
Best Guy off the Bench: Wade Thomas | Hargrave 2019
Everyone loves a shooter off the bench, and Thomas is the guy who can do it for Hargrave. In the first half he came off the bench and provided a big spark by hitting three three-pointers in about four minutes. While he couldn’t find the bottom of the net after that, he should be a big time shooter for them with great confidence, form and a quick trigger.
Best Intangibles: Tanner Hatchett | Carmel School 2019
Hatchett didn’t have his best shooting game of the night, but he does so much for Carmel on both ends of the floor as far as setting the tone. He defends the basketball well, he can handle pressure and beat the press by himself and he can make plays for others. The 5’10” lead guard has good speed and toughness, and he has the heart of a guy who will do anything to help his team win. He finished with 6 points, 7 assists and two steals.
Best Under the Radar Performer: Matt Brown, Jr. | Hargrave 2019
As Hargrave started to fade, Brown gave everything that he had to keep them in the game even if it didn’t work out in the long haul. On a team that needs someone to create shots, he’s going to be the guy moving forward that can do it. The strong 6’0” combo showed a quick first step, the ability to find contact and get to the line and that he can make shots from all three levels. He showed guts and toughness getting knocked to the deck hard multiple times and getting right up and to the line. He finished with a team high 16 points.
Best Underclassmen: IJ Ezuma | Hargrave 2021
When it comes to long term prospects, Ezuma may be the one in this game that stood out the most. A strong 6’7” big man who moves well and gets off his feet easily, Ezuma showed flashes of a division one prospect moving forward. He showed soft touch with both hands, he rebounded in and out of his area well and he was quick to go back up when he hit the offensive glass. He also showed the midrange jumper, and with development and growth he could be a paint protector that will be a mismatch moving forward.
Best Skilled Big Man: Izeah Alexander | Carmel School 2019
Alexander is a little short to be a big man at about 6’3”-6’4”, but he has a wide and strong body and a solid skill set that’s similar to a guards. He can handle the basketball both in transition and to create a shot, he has good strength to finish around the basket and he showed the ability to make tough shots. While he’s shorter he can use his body to clear out space and his skill set makes him a mismatch. He finished with 12 points and four rebounds in the win.
Best Rebounding Guard: Grant Okolo | Hargrave 2019
Okolo didn’t have the greatest game from a shooting perspective, he showed the ability to be a stat sheet stuffer on both ends of the floor. One of the best attributes he has at 6’1” is his ability to rebound the basketball. He has good length and strength, and he isn’t afraid to get physical and get in the paint to rebound the basketball. He also made plays for others and on the defensive end.