Posted On: 11/20/18 9:48 AM

The anticipated matchup of JMU commit, Michael Christmas from Landstown, and Marshall commit, Dajour Rucker from Cape Henry went down Monday night, in the form of a benefit game, held at Landstown. The matchup begin with both squads going basket for basket, until Landstown freshman guard, Donald Hand Jr, begin to take over things for the Eagles. The Dolphins of Cape Henry just could never seem to get the same momentum on their end. The show many came to see, the Rucker/Christmas matchup did not disappoint though.  Senior, Rucker, did all he could in the losing effort, with shots not necessarily going his way, he ended the game with a team high, 12 points, and made his presence known on the defensive end. On the other end, Christmas played an all around solid game, and had a game high, 20 points, to lead the Eagles to the 72-46 victory at home. 

Best player in the 757?
Without a doubt, JMU certainly got a steal with 6’6 SF, Michael Christmas. Always coveted as one of the best players in the 757, and after a brief stint in West Virginia at Huntington Prep, Christmas showed he is back and ready to take over his throne. Christmas played a balanced game for the Eagles, scoring 10 points in each half. On the offensive end, with his size, he can be hard to defend off the ball screen, and with his improved jumper, can create shots for himself with ease. Defensively, he is no slack either, Christmas showed Monday night that he is willing to do whatever as the leader of this Eagles squad who is loaded with pieces. 

On the other end.. 
Marshall commit, Dajour Rucker did not show any sign of giving up. From the jump ball to the final horn, Rucker stayed poised. His size allows him to defend at a level that most cannot. Whether defending at the top of the key or in the paint, Rucker was everywhere on the court Monday night. Even for his size, his quickness is undeniable, shown by his ability to steal the ball in transition from smaller guards, or reject scorers at the rim. Although a losing effort, Rucker played how any coach would expect.

Freshman can go too… 
Donald Hand Jr., surprised many in the Landstown gym Monday night. With the game close after the first quarter, the freshman, who started, did not waiver. With 9 points at the end of the first half, Hand buried two big three pointers to give the Eagles breathing room early on. It’s early, but Hand may just be the best freshman in the 757, and state in general. His playing style is far beyond his years, it should be exciting to watch Hand control the show in the backcourt for the Eagles. 

More pieces for the Eagles…
Senior, Christian Jones was the third leading scorer for the Eagles, with 13 points. Jones was impressive on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ball. With so much talent on the roster, you never know who will be the stars on any given night, and Jones gave everything he needed to his squad. His knock down shooting ability is a plus for the Eagles, but his presence on defense is even more important. Jones was everywhere on the court Monday night, and showed he is not afraid to sacrifice his body for his team. 

What to Expect…
The Eagles will be good, very good. Last night, they looked like a machine. Every player who got in, did their job, and did it well. If the Eagles can keep up the strong play of Christmas and Hand Jr., as well as continue to get the other pieces on the same page, watch out. As for Cape Henry, Rucker, will be Rucker. We can expect a big season from the senior, with the assistance of senior Danny Bannister. Also, with Green Run transfer, Greg Melvin getting settled in, don’t count the Dolphins out too soon.