I spent the evening at Vianney High for the final day of the 49th annual Jerry Boeckman Memorial Tournament.
The championship game pitted Hazelwood Central vs. Vashon, a pair of outstanding teams with high expectations this season. The game provided plenty of excitement and lived up to the hype as Central edged The V 73-71 to take home its third consecutive Vianney crown.
It was a high level games in which both teams mirrored each other in terms of size, athleticism and overall team quickness. The player that made the difference for Central was 6’6″ senior Xavier Sneed (pictured) who was the one player that provided serious matchup problems. The Kansas State signee scored a game high 21 points and hit some big free throws down the stretch. When the Wolverine applied their fullcourt pressure to get back in the game, Sneed took the ball in the backcourt and handled the ball for much of the fourth quarter. He also knocked down some 3-pointers and threw down a resounding slam dunk in the third quarter.
Senior guard Steve Holloway added 16 points for the Hawks. The 5’11” point guard got the Hawks going early with four 3-pointers in the first quarter to stake his team to an early lead. He is headed to Columbia College. Sophomore guard Shaun Williams added 15 points, including three 3-pointers. The 6’2″ Williams also has a nice float game. Senior power forward Dominique Dobbs scored 14 points. The 6’6″ Dobbs is a meat and potatoes player who gets it done inside without much flash. He also did a nice job from the free throw line.
Junior guard Daniel “Peanut” Farris led the Wolverines with 16 points. Farris is a powerful 5’11” guard with a body built for contact. He is very good at drawing contact and finishing at the room despite not being very tall. Fellow junior Casey Cody-Jackson scored 13 points and 6’8″ junior Levi Stockard III scored 12 points despite battling foul trouble. He is a force in the low blocks. Senior guard Dahlen Jones scored 11 points off the bench. The 5’8″ lefty gave Vashon a nice spark when they fell behind early in the first half.
The Hawks led 59-48 going into the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines employed their full court pressure and cut the lead down to 64-63. The Hawks aided in Vashon’s comeback by setting for several 3-pointers, which weren’t falling in the fourth quarter like they were earlier in the game. However, a dramatic come-from-behind victory by the Wolverines was short-circuited by their free throw shooting. They missed 20 free throws during the game.
Overall, it was a fun game played by two excellent teams who are capable of having special seasons. The Hawks advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class 5 state tournament and are looking to take that next step. They are senior dominated and very experienced. Despite the loss, Vashon definitely showed that they are back and a force to be reckoned with, especially in Class 4. It has been a decade since the Wolverines have been a major player on the hoops scene, but they are definitely back.
In the third place game, Vianney defeated Belleville West. 65-53. The Golden Griffins got a team-high 18 points from junior forward Eric Krus. The 6’6″ Krus is a long, lanky youngster with a versatile skill set. He nailed a couple of 3-pointers in the first half and scored in the second half on some nifty drives. Senior Nick Thomas added 15 points. The 5’10” Thomas is a spunky point guard who makes a lot of things happen. He scored off some nice cuts and can shoot the 3. Sophomore standout Carte’Are Gordon scored 12 points in limited duty. The 6’8″ Gordon is simply a man-child when he gets that ball down low.
The story of Belleville West was the play of 6’6″ freshman E.J. Liddell, who had a coming out party at the Vianney Tournament all week. Liddell had 19 points in West’s opening victory over Ladue. He scored 22 points against Vianney and he did it in a variety of ways. He displayed a nice jump hook, some good post moves and he displayed a nice touch from 15 feet. He also made a 3-pointer. He was very impressive. The Maroons were without 6’7″ junior center Tyler Dancy, who was out with a broken nose.
Saint Louis University head coach Jim Crews was in the house to take in the action. It was a good night of basketball. Great way to get the season going. It seemed like a fantastic task until I arrived at the initial meeting and learned that the organization had already set the write my essay for me by https://writemyessay4me.org/ agenda for the entire program