Sunday, January 13, 2008

Montrose Christian Basketball

Mustangs Win Clash With Titans in 2 OT
Game Features Eight Ties, Seven Lead Changes
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, January 13, 2008; D12

T.C. Williams Coach Ivan Thomas calls himself a "high school basketball junkie."

Thomas often makes the drive to Rockville to watch Washington area power Montrose Christian's games.

Last night, Thomas welcomed the Mustangs to Alexandria for the first meeting between the programs, which was dubbed "The Battle at the Garden."

Third-ranked Montrose rode 6-foot-8 junior forward Isaiah Armwood's 19 points for a 64-58 double-overtime victory over No. 14 T.C. Williams.

The game featured eight ties and seven lead changes and included a half-court heave from T.C. Williams junior guard Edward Jenkins (17 points) to send the game into the first overtime.

Neither team led by more than five points, and the score was tied at 21 at the half.

Jenkins's buzzer-beater from half court tied the score at 50 and sent many of the 2,500 in attendance rushing onto the court.

"I think it's important that area schools that have traditionally strong basketball programs play each other," Montrose Christian Coach Stu Vetter said. "I think this was a good opportunity for both of us. They have a good team with a strong reputation, and we're proud of our program, so playing each other is just a natural."

The Titans, the reigning Virginia AAA Northern Region champion, are 4-0 in the Patriot District and posted a 58-10 record over the last three seasons.

Montrose Christian has been nationally ranked each of the last nine years, and both programs have produced a wealth of Division I college players.

The two coaches have made an agreement to play annually in an effort to encourage area coaches to bridge the gap between public and private school programs.

Last year's meeting between the programs, when Montrose was ranked No. 1 and T.C. Williams was ranked No. 3, was canceled because of the death of Carson Wise, a 13-year-old on the Mustangs' eighth grade team who collapsed during basketball practice and died from an undiagnosed heart condition the day before the scheduled Jan. 27 meeting.

"I was real impressed with how T.C. Williams handled it," Vetter said. "It was a real big game for them. They were not only understanding, they sent their condolences."

Montrose (9-2) won its third straight, and T.C. Williams (9-2) had its winning streak end at seven.

No. 3 Montrose Christian 64, No. 14 T.C. Williams 58

Winbush Fuels Titans: T.C. Williams's Anthony Winbush scored eight of his 13 points to spark a 12-1 Titans run to start the second quarter.

Vinsanity: Montrose's Terrell Vinson -- one of three 6-foot-7 juniors -- scored 16 points.

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