The official high school basketball season may still be a couple months away but Chesterfield County, VA got a taste of some exciting action this past Saturday. The annual Meadowbrook High School Fall League tipped off with seven scheduled varsity boys' basketball games on its first day. The league will continue on a weekly basis (every Saturday) up until the end of October. I was impressed in how the competitive nature preserved from the first morning game up until the last afternoon match up. Nobody appeared to have the mindset of 'Oh, it's just fall league.' Overall, the day proved to be quite enjoyable and I took notice of each team:

 

Game 1: Matoaca vs. Highland Springs

Final Score: Matoaca- 61, Highland Springs- 60. The opening game was a nail-biter! Highland Springs hit a big corner three to tie the game at 60 with nine seconds remaining in regulation. After a scoreless one-minute overtime, Matoaca junior guard Kaleb Coleman won it at the free throw line in Sudden Death.

Standout Players:

  • Tyrese Tingle '19 Matoaca HS- Tingle's dominant rebounding was a big reason in Matoaca not giving up second chance points. He did well in his positioning and showed a nice shooting touch as a trail man at times. His turnovers will have to decrease next week but the strong 6'6 senior should definitely give the Warriors confidence moving forward.

Game 2: Midlothian vs. Carmel School

Final Score: Carmel- 69, Midlothian- 43.

Standout Players:

  • Tanner Hatchet '19 Carmel School- The senior guard was hands down one of the more impressive players on Day 1. He did it all on both ends for the Carmel Wildcats with his mix of pickpocketing, shooting range, and playmaking. His ability to drive baseline and find his bigger teammates in the paint for easy points succeeded about every attempt. Simply put, he dominated Game 2 from the jump.
  • Henry Davis '19 Midlothian HS- Showing off a three-level offensive game, Davis stood out during various stretches with both his scoring and ability to move without the ball. He read backdoor cuts exceptionally well, which goes a long way into the collegiate level. Midlothian will rely on him to be consistent throughout this league.
  • Nathan Flaherty '22 Carmel School- Only a freshman, Flaherty did not play as many minutes compared to his older teammates but definitely made a statement in the second half with his intense joy that fed off on his teammates. He showed a quick shot with deep range, a crafty handle, and court vision in transition. Again, only a freshman.

 

Game 3: Huguenot vs. Amelia County

Final Score: Huguenot -69, Amelia County- 39. Huguenot's team defense was TOP-NOTCH; the Falcons caused double-digit steals well before the first half ended.

Standout Players:

  • Jordan Parham '20 Huguenot HS- The team's junior guard set the tone of the defensive presence from the very start in how he collected three steals in less than six minutes. His pestering defense didn't let up and he started to take over offensively during the second half with his shooting from the top of the key.
  • Khalil Ward '21 Amelia County HS- The Raiders' tall sophomore stood out in his decision making and efficiency. He played as a primary ball-handler even while standing as one of the tallest players on the court. If he can continue to find open perimeter looks and take them when necessary, Amelia County will see more success in their half-court game.
  • Antoine Bruce '20 Huguenot HS- A do-it-all guy for the Falcons, Bruce used his strength to an advantage in contesting shots and grabbing offensive rebounds throughout the entire game. His passing ability on the perimeter resulted in his teammates knocking down open shots. Whenever he decided to take it to the rim, he picked up fouls and made strong finishes.

 

Game 4: Meadowbrook vs. Armstrong

Final Score: Meadowbrook- 75, Armstrong- 54. The host team made a statement in protecting their home floor for Day 1!

Standout Players:

  • Ezekiel Edwards '20 Meadowbrook HS- A strong defensive presence for the Monarchs, Edwards changed shot attempts all game long in his intimidating shot blocking ability. On the offensive end, he used his body control to finish effectively inside and ran the floor well. His on-floor communication stood out as well; you always knew where he was on the court.

 

Game 5: Benedictine vs. Amelia Academy

Final Score: Amelia Academy- 73, Benedictine- 69. Another one of the day's tightly-played games, Amelia Academy's Will Steger, Jr. '19 sealed the deal with his late-game free throws.

Standout Players:

  • Jamal Grant '19 Amelia Academy- Grant's aggression late in the first half gave the Patriots a spark in which they did not relinquish. He got to the basket frequently and converted Benedictine's turnovers into quick baskets. He had a tendency to play a bit too fast at times but his motor was easily one of the best out of all the Day 1's teams.
  • Gregory Harris '21 Amelia Academy- Even as a young player, Harris had one of the more mature performances in Game 5. He displayed a confidence in his versatile offensive game: getting to the rim, swishing shots off of the dribble and making his opponents uncomfortable. Harris never appeared to show any uncertainty of his team maintaining the lead; he was ready from the start.
  • Noah Lindsay '19 Benedictine- The 6'6 senior started off the opening seconds of the game with a bang, literally, as he drove baseline for a monster dunk. Lindsay used his size as an advantage constantly by scoring easily in the paint and grabbing rebounds assertively. If he continues to work on running the floor faster, he can be a dangerous inside weapon for the Cadets in this league and upcoming season.

 

Game 6: Fork Union vs. Banner Christian

Final Score: Fork Union- 78, Banner Christian- 43.

Standout Players:

  • Antonio Pelham '19 Fork Union- I was impressed with the senior leader's blend of IQ, patience, and skill. Pelham didn't dominate right from the beginning but progressively showed all of his aforementioned attributes as the game went along, especially in the second half. He was highly efficient on the scoring side… I don't remember him missing a shot. His ability to play a ‘point-forward' role in certain situations will benefit Fork Union greatly.
  • Quadir Jones '19 Fork Union- Jones stood out in his ability and willingness to guard multiple positions; he seemed to defend just about everybody Banner Christian brought onto the floor. On the other side of the ball, his athleticism allowed him to finish above the rim and the lefty showed a knack for knocking down mid range shots.
  • Marko Bol '21 Fork Union- The young forward was a work horse for FUMA as soon as he checked in the first half. Bol completed offensive put backs with a relentlessness and ran the floor just as hard as anyone. He also had three ferocious blocks. FUMA should be excited about their 6'8 sophomore's ceiling.

 

Game 7: Thomas Jefferson vs. Dinwiddie

Final Score: Thomas Jefferson- 71, Dinwiddie- 52.

Standout Players:

  • Orlando Davis '19 Thomas Jefferson HS- The Vikings' senior wing produced in various ways with his versatility. Davis made unselfish passes, earned hustle points, and completed buckets in transition. Above all, his encouraging behavior stood out the most. Every winning team needs a leader like Davis; one who puts the team before his own self.

 

 

 

 

Looking forward to more upcoming action of the fall league!