Friday, February 01, 2008

T.C. Williams-Benedictine Hoops

Benedictine's Davis Is Too Much for Titans
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, February 2, 2008; E09

RICHMOND, Feb. 1 -- Benedictine senior forward Ed Davis sat his 6-foot-9 frame on a bench just outside his locker room following last night's 69-61 victory over visiting T.C. Williams.

Davis, who posted a triple-double with 30 points, 22 rebounds, 10 blocks and 4 assists, turned away from T.C. Williams Coach Ivan Thomas, who quickly put him in a headlock, offering a little playful payback for Davis's big night.

But Thomas, who coaches Davis on his Boo Williams 17-under AAU team, already knew of the North Carolina-bound forward's vicious drop-step, left-handed hook shot and high-rising shot-blocking ability before Friday night.

And that was the reason Thomas took his 10th-ranked Titans two hours south to face Davis and Benedictine -- a private school power that has posted a 182-56 record since 2001.

"I want them to be experienced on the court against what I consider a high-level NCAA player and future pro and to be able to perform in hostile environments like this," said Thomas, who is 44-0 in the Virginia AAA Patriot District since taking over the program in 2005. "We've scratched different surfaces. We scratched different title surfaces, going undefeated in our district. We scratched the region last year, so we want to scratch another level. What else really is there?"

The Titans (15-3, 10-0) expect their nonconference schedule -- which has pit them against prominent, aggressive and up-tempo teams such as Benedictine (21-4), Montrose Christian (12-2) and Norfolk Collegiate (12-7) -- might make them tournament tough.

"To be the best, you have to play the best," said Titans senior guard Travis Berry, who scored 20 points. "We know we are going to come out and compete when it's time to go for it all."

Benedictine 69, No. 10 T.C. Williams 61

A Page Out of Herndon's Book: Titans Coach Ivan Thomas said his scheduling philosophy was inspired by the 2006 Herndon team. Those Hornets (26-5) rode McDonald's All-American and All-Met Scottie Reynolds (Villanova) through matchups with Montrose Christian and DeMatha before falling to Booker T. Washington, 55-51, in the Virginia AAA final.

His Father's Son: Benedictine forward Ed Davis -- rated by at least one recruiting service as the No. 2 boys' basketball prospect in the class of 2008 -- is the son of former Washington Wizard Terry Davis, who is credited with scoring the first basket in the history of MCI/Verizon Center.

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