The West End of Henrico County had a good buzz in the area on Wednesday night as the visiting Lee-Davis Confederates arrived to suit up against Mills Godwin High School. Lee-Davis entered Wednesday night with a 5-1 record (a 4-0 start to the season), while Mills Godwin stood at 3-2. When looking at the makeup of both rosters I had expectations of an evenly-matched contest; the result ultimately did not disappoint. With fast-paced action, breakaway dunks, and a BUNCH of completed AND-1s all taking place, I definitely enjoyed the evening matchup and hope these two teams will face each other again at some point in the future.
Lee-Davis – 87
Mills Godwin – 78
A Couple of Game Notes
- Lee-Davis’ athleticism led to them collecting steals at a rapid rate all throughout the game. This is obviously just a rough guess, but I estimate the Confederates racked up 18+ steals as a unit. Their back-court duo of James Wallace III ’20 and Elijah Jones ’20 played the biggest role in this type of defensive pressure.
- Both teams didn’t shoot the ball great from the outside so it became more of a battle in trying to score off of aggressive drives. As I briefly mentioned earlier, this led to plenty of AND-1s, as well as other charges and reaching fouls. Godwin got in the bonus early during the first half and Lee-Davis traded stories by doing the same in the second half. Godwin earned the most charges on the night.
- While both teams gave a lot of overall effort and certainly took pride in their defense, I’d say Godwin showed the most tenacity in their rebounding, especially on the offensive glass. They had a slight size advantage with five guys over 6’3” and used it well to keep the ball alive for second-chance opportunities.
- Lee-Davis took control in the second half once they started to speed the Eagles up a bit in their decision-making. While Godwin showed a more patient approach to their offense, I could tell right away that Lee-Davis felt most comfortable when playing fast on both ends. The Confederates tend to gamble on defense more than often but they honestly found success in doing so, especially in the third quarter.
- Godwin struggled the most in their scoring once the fourth quarter arrived, which I’m sure was the last thing they wanted to happen. Still, they found a good push late in the final period and even cut Lee-Davis’ lead to six points with enough time to make a hopeful comeback. Free throws sealed the W for Lee-Davis, however.
Wednesday Night’s Top Performers
Elijah Jones ’20 – Lee-Davis: The talented 6’2” lefty guard dominated the entire outing as Lee-Davis’ top scoring option. When I watched the Confederates compete in a three-team scrimmage last month, Jones had sat it out with a minor injury, so Wednesday night also happened to be my first time observing him on the floor. He showed a ton of promise as a potential next-level scorer in his ability to create for his own looks. He kept getting to the basket all night long by using his smooth crossover to gain space and bully his way into the lane. Defensively, he never allowed his guarded man to catch a break and came up with many winning plays. Jones looked like a man amongst boys out there on the floor and I’m sure those in Mechanicsville, VA who haven’t already heard about him will take notice in no time. He led all scorers with 25 points and eight steals in Lee-Davis’ victory.
Jordan Brown ’20 – Mills Godwin: Nobody did a better job of creating plays for others off of the bounce than Brown. He’s a shifty and lightning-quick guard who knows how to set his man up and attack an opening. Once he got into the paint (which he did repeatedly), the 6’0 point guard found his teammates for easy dump-downs and/or short jumpers. Scoring-wise, Brown shot some of the best out of the other Eagles and used his explosive burst to find a way toward the rim. His confident play mainly gave Mills Godwin a chance to win it at any point up until he fouled out in the fourth quarter. He paced the Eagles with 19 points on the night; going 8-9 from the free-throw line.
James Wallace III ’20 – Lee-Davis: After a slow first half start due to some early fouls, Wallace III really exploded in the third quarter for many defensive plays that led to offense. He enjoyed living at the free-throw line for most of the second half and ended up going an overall 10-13 from the charity stripe. Similar to his back-court mate, Jones, Wallace III showed he can pretty much get to the basket whenever he wants and uses his body control well to draw fouls. He has some natural athletic gifts, shown by how he glides across the floor and elevates high over the rim; all of those traits make him an exciting player to watch. Defensively, it seemed like he shot out of a cannon to pick off most of the steals that he collected. Once Wallace III gets a good read on his pass perception, one can expect him to come up victorious with the turnover nine times out of ten. The 6’3” junior posted 18 points and seven steals.
Jeremiah Carter-Johnson ’19 – Mills Godwin: Playing as a stretch 4-man for the Eagles, Carter-Johnson showed some good productivity in his smart offensive approach. He never really rushed his looks once he had possession of the rock and used his stocky frame well to make strong plays/finishes. After going scoreless in the first quarter, the 6’3” senior got his flow going with a corner three-pointer immediately as the second period started. He then began to play more aggressively in the paint. Overall, I really liked his skill: he has good footwork, patience in the paint, and the ability to do work out on the perimeter. On the other end, he rebounded very well and served as an anchor for Mills Godwin’s efforts on the glass throughout the night. Carter-Johnson added in 14 points for his team.
Tyler Berry ’19 – Lee-Davis: Another good athlete for the Confederates, Berry finished the night with an impressive two-way performance. He made several key defensive plays in the second half while guarding many different Mills Godwin players. In the fourth quarter, he played the biggest role in fouling out Brown ’20, who had been giving Lee-Davis trouble all night long. Offensively, Berry looked best in transition and used his acceleration to give his team quick points before Mills Godwin’s defenders even had a chance to catch up. His big second-half performance, combined with Wallace III’s, proved as a key momentum swing in the game. He poured in 17 points.
Exciting battle between these two programs! Maybe we’ll see a rematch in the regional playoffs?