Sunday, March 09, 2008

T.C. Williams/State Quarters

T.C. Williams Moves On
Berry's 22 Points Help No. 3 Titans Dispatch King's Fork
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, March 9, 2008; D09

It was fitting that Travis Berry led No. 3 T.C. Williams with 22 points in its 59-39 victory over King's Fork in last night's Virginia AAA boys' quarterfinal at Robinson.

Berry, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, epitomizes why this Titans team advanced past the first round of the state tournament, when last season's group -- led by two Division I-bound college recruits -- couldn't.

"A team goes farther than talent," said Berry, who watched as Mike Davis (Illinois) and Glenn Andrews (Tulsa) combined for 46 points in an 80-70 loss to Freedom-Woodbridge in last year's first-round heartbreaker. "When you have a team that plays as a team, there isn't much you can do to stop them."

Berry began the season as a starter, but accepted his role as a reserve following a 79-74 loss to Edison in the Titans' third game of the season. Titans Coach Ivan Thomas said Berry would best help the squad as an off-the-bench spark.

Last night, Berry was one of eight Titans who scored and part of a defensive effort that held Eastern Region runner-up King's Fork (24-6) to two field goals in the second half and five points short of its previous season low.

"These guys like each other, and there is more cohesion" than last year, Thomas said. "This group buys into more of the blue-collar attitude and the team mentality."

Berry scored 14 points in the first half as T.C. Williams (27-3) took a 26-24 lead into halftime.

He then connected on two of his four deep three-pointers, fueling a 17-6 third-quarter run that put the Titans up 43-30 entering the final period.

T.C. Williams had at least a 13-point lead throughout the final 10 minutes and held the Bulldogs' leading scorers, Jaquon Parker and Jamar Wertz, to nine points each.

T.C. Williams's unselfish balance was on display in the first quarter as four different Titans scored and Joshua Jordan -- normally the team's fourth-leading scorer -- led the Titans with six points.

Seven of the Titans' nine shots in the quarter were assisted.

"We watched game tape of last year's loss all week," Berry said. "We came in determined."

No. 3 T.C. Williams 59 King's Fork 39

Up Next: T.C. Williams will meet Petersburg (27-3) in Tuesday's 7:30 p.m. semifinal at Virginia Commonwealth University's Siegel Center. Petersburg, the Central Region runner-up, defeated Northwest Region champion GW-Danville (27-1), 65-59, on Friday, ending the Eagles' undefeated season.

Riding the Wave: Known as the Crimson Waves, Petersburg has won 14 of its last 15 games behind 6-foot-5 senior forward Terneil Rhodes (15.3 points per game) -- one of four players who averages in double figures.


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