High School Hoops

Tompkins takes home McDonald’s Invitational title

Tompkins guards Jamal Bieniemy and CJ Washington at the MCD TX Invitational. Vype

Originally appeared on Vype.com.

After losing their opening game to Cy Falls, the Tompkins Falcons bounced back as McDonald’s Invitation Tournament Champions by defeating the Duncanville Panthers in the championship game, 59-54, the following weekend.

The championship game went down to the last few seconds, but Tompkins was able to leave with the McDonald’s Invitation trophy in their hands.

Duncanville is a sound defensive team and was able to get Tompkins’ talented starting guards Jamal Bieniemy and Eden Holt in foul trouble throughout the game. Duncanville was able to hold the lead throughout most of the game, but towards the end, they could not slow down the Most Valuable Player of the game, Tompkins guard CJ Washington.

Washington finished with a total of 19 points, followed by All-Tournament player, Jamal Bieniemy with 13 points. Tompkins guard Drake Dusek knocked down two key buckets that helped Tompkins take the lead in the fourth, and Eden Holt was able to close out the game by making five free throws in the last two minutes.

Saturday’s win made it six in a row for Tompkins since the opening loss and they look to fight for win number seven as they take on another top ranked team, the Westlake Chaparrals from Austin on Wednesday.

It will be a tough turn around match up for Tompkins, but with the “brother” motto that’s shown throughout their locker room, they feel can accomplish anything. 

Tompkins reminded all of Texas not to count them out nor forget about them in the State Champions conversation, because it is not how you start the season, but how you finish.

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1. Davis Mills had an up-and-down day under center Friday. One play saw Mills drop back and try to get rid of the ball as Jonathan Greenard was rushing him only to have Greenard leap up and intercept Mills for what would have been an interception returned for a score.

2. A few plays later Davis Mills showcased his short memory. Mills surveyed the field, looked off the safety, and pitched a strike to Brevin Jordan over the middle, wide open, for a touchdown.

3. Davis Mills doesn’t stack bad plays. It is rare to see multiple bad plays happen in a row and Mills be the cause, or a cause, of the play not working. When he misses something, he usually makes up for it the next play.

4. It was a makeshift offensive line on Friday. Max Scharping played a lot at left guard. Charlie Heck saw some snaps at left tackle while Laremy Tunsil took a breather. Veteran lineman Cedric Ogbuehi played some at right tackle. There was plenty of work emphasized on the rushing attack Friday. The offensive line was fine, nothing special. I would say slight edge to the defense overall.

5. Rookie Kenyon Green didn’t practice. Right tackle Tytus Howard didn’t practice either. Pro Football Network is reporting Tytus Howard is out with a positive Covid test. Kenyon Green was banged up last practice, but Lovie Smith expects both back in the coming days.

6.The offensive line had its hands full with the defensive line today. Jonathan Greenard made the above-mentioned play of the practice with an interception. It felt constantly like there was some level of success from the defensive line. Not to say they dominated, but I would think the defense is happy with their day.

7. Maliek Collins has been a nice player in camp. He looks a bit quicker than last year. Collins downplayed how many “close” plays he had last year citing that everyone knows the saying “close but no cigar.” I asked him if he expected a lot of cigars this year. He chuckled and said yes. Teammate Roy Lopez gushed about what he believes Collins can be for this team and called his teammate one of the best defensive tackles in the league.

8. I almost wonder if quiet Derek Stingley days are good days. Stingley wasn’t involved in a lot of plays, but I know Davis Mills saw him on Friday. Mills dropped back on one play and made a read to his left seeing Chris Moore. Stingley darted from coverage towards Moore causing Mills to move off Moore and head to Nico Collins for a score. Yes, the defense allowed a touchdown, but Stingley did his job.

9. Rookie safety Jalen Pitre is a “starting” safety for the team according to Lovie Smith. Pitre had an interception, depending on who you ask, in practice. It is clear the Texans trust him and have put a lot on his plate. I would expect to see a lot of the rookie safety, good or bad, this season.

10. Lovie Smith praised the team’s depth at linebacker earlier in camp. I scoffed a little at the notion, but there seems to be a new linebacker making a play each day. Christian Kirksey had a nice stop in the run game today. Kevin Pierre-Louis, who played very little last year, has flashed. There’s some depth here, despite my skepticism.

11. Ka'imi Fairbairn doesn’t have a challenger in camp this year. I believed this offseason should have seen at the very least someone to challenge the kicker heading into his seventh year in the league. He’s been solid in camp so far, but there have been some misses. It is tough to judge distance, but the team clearly has faith in him with no challenger in sight.

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