Posted On: 11/28/18 7:36 AM

It was an early season Class 5 Region B matchup between Meadowbrook of Chester and Highland Springs of Henrico. With both of the teams playing their first game, things were a little sloppy, especially early. With both teams full of athletes, they both pressed the whole game and the turnovers were high. However, it was a competitive game throughout most of it. Meadowbrook battled back from a 19-9 deficit at the end of one to head into halftime down just five 31-26. The Monarchs continued to battle, but a shooting drought late in the third quarter that bled into the fourth was their ultimate demise. The Springers turned up the defense, forcing around 26 turnovers on the game, and ultimately won 62-42. Here’s a look at some of the key performers. (All stats are unofficial and kept by me).

MVP: Damon Werts | Highland Springs 2019

Damon Werts

Werts had a coming out game for his senior year scoring a game high 20 points. After being a role guy last year, Werts is going to be one of their go-to guys this year. He showed an improvement in his jump shot, hitting multiple midrange shots and hitting one from behind the arc. What separates the 6’2” wing is that he’s a crazy athlete that can play and finish above the rim in traffic, and he uses it defensively as he had two steals and a block as well.

Play of the Game

Speaking of Werts athleticism, he put it on full display a little over halfway through the fourth quarter. With the Springers pulling away, Werts caught the ball on the wing and attacked off the catch, blowing by his defender. With guys coming too late to help, Werts threw down a vicious one hander and sent the crowd into a frenzy and essentially iced the game.

Best Offensive Performer: Damon Werts | Highland Springs 2019

I know it’s getting repetitive, but Werts wins this one as well not only because he was the high scorer, but he was actually the most efficient one too. Werts was impressive from the floor going 9-for-13 and 1-for-2 behind the arc, and while he struggled a little at the line going 1-for-4 it didn’t hurt the team or him, and he pulled down two of his four rebounds on the offensive end.

Best Defensive Performer: Christian Wilson | Highland Springs 2020

Christian Wilson

Wilson is now in his third year as the starting point guard, and where he’s most deadly is on the defensive end. The 5’10” point guard has great speed both laterally and in quick bursts, and he uses them to wreak havoc in the press. He jumps passing lanes, gets in guys who don’t handle it well and is all over the floor causing deflections. While he only scored three points, his seven steals on the defensive end led to a lot of easy points for the Springers.

Best Scorer in Bunches: Jordan Crump | Highland Springs 2020

Jordan Crump

Crump finished with an impressive 16 points, and while he didn’t have the greatest shooting night he showed traits of a deadly scorer. The 6’2” guard made shots from all three levels and had a nice dunk he made look easy at the end, but it was the way he got hot quickly that impressed. Once he makes one shot he’s locked in and will attack and attack and continue to put it on defenses, and that’s where he hurt Meadowbrook.

Best Intangibles: Zy’Ever Wingfield | Highland Springs 2020

One of two newcomers in the Springers starting lineup, Wingfield didn’t dominate in any way but he was productive with 10 points and six rebounds, and he chipped in two steals and two blocks as well. A good athlete with decent size, he found different ways to chip in and was essential in their second half success.

Best Under-the-Radar Performance: Alphonso Mason | Meadowbrook 2019

Alphonso Mason

Mason was one of few bright spots for the Monarchs as far as scoring the basketball goes. The three year starter got hot toward the end of the first quarter and into the second quarter, and was a big reason they were in the game at all. He scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half, and was half of the total for Meadowbrook in the half. He has a good frame at 6’1” and can score it on and off the ball, and he will have a chance to put up even bigger numbers throughout the season.

Best Underclassman: Malik Tull | Highland Springs 2021

Tull was one of the few underclassmen who played significant minutes and he showed signs of promise. At only about 6’4”, he played both on the perimeter and in the paint and did a good job keeping the Monarch bigs off the glass. He finished with a modest two points and four rebounds but he held his own in his first ever start.

Best Rebounder: Sincere Clark | Meadowbrook 2020

Clark is a newcomer to Meadowbrook after spending two seasons at LC Bird, and he got the start on the first night for the Monarchs. He dealt with foul trouble for a while, and was rotated among some other bigs, but I believe that Clark’s ability on the glass is going to keep him in the game. While he didn’t have an amazing amount of rebounds with only five, many of them were offensive and kept plays alive. With his jumping ability and knack around the rim he’ll find a lot of easy points this year.

Best Gutsy Guard: Isaiah Richardson | Meadowbrook 2019

You know those guys that may not be having their best day, but they’re still playing as hard as anyone? That’s what Richardson did and it’s something you have to be impressed with. As their only ball handler against a tough press, Richardson struggled a little early handling the pressure and turned it over, and he didn’t have the best shooting night either. But, you had to admire the way he went into the trees with reckless abandonment at about 5’9”, he was the first on the floor regularly and he took a beating. He finished with a stellar 10 points, four assists and two steals.