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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Houston couldn't keep up

Astros fall to Blue Jays as Toronto gets homer-happy

Houston's bats couldn't keep up with Toronto's Saturday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With an offensive clinic in the opener on Friday night, which helped them handily defeat the Blue Jays, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park Saturday with a chance to secure another series. Toronto had other plans, though, reversing roles with Houston by getting big home runs to even the series.

Final Score: Blue Jays 8, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 17-16, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Steven Matz (5-2)

Losing Pitcher: Cristian Javier (3-1)

Toronto flips the script and turns on their offense against Javier

Toronto flipped the script from the night before early in this middle game of the series, dealing damage to Cristian Javier, who so far in 2021 had been able to limit his amount of earned runs. After retiring the first four batters he faced, a one-out walk in the top of the second set up the Blue Jays' first hit of the night, a two-run home run by Cavan Biggio, giving them a 2-0 lead over Houston.

After a leadoff home run made it a 3-0 score, Javier would deal with the fallout of more walks in the top of the third, issuing two to set up a two-out two-RBI double to give the Jays a commanding 5-0 advantage. Javier would battle back and complete five full innings, getting one out into the sixth before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to make the call to the bullpen. His final line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 2 HR, 91 P.

Alvarez keeps mashing as Houston tries to claw back into it

Javier would exit with at least some runs on the board in support of him, with Yordan Alvarez hitting a two-run opposite-field homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to three runs. Alvarez accounted for another run in the next inning, coming through with an RBI-single to make it 5-3, which is where the game stood as Andre Scrubb would take over in the top of the sixth.

Scrubb finished that inning for Javier and returned for a 1-2-3 seventh to keep it a two-run game. Bryan Abreu was the next reliever, and he, too, was able to retire the Blue Jays in order in the top of the eighth. The Astros continued to chip away at Toronto's lead, getting another run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI by Yuli Gurriel to make it 5-4 heading to the ninth.

Toronto evens the series

Brooks Raley entered to try and keep it a one-run game with a clean inning, but instead, two runners would reach on a walk and error before Joe Smith would enter to try and strand them. Instead, a two-out home run put the game back out of reach at 8-4, with Houston coming up empty in the bottom of the inning, setting up a rubber match in the finale.

Up Next: This series's third and final game will be an afternoon start of 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Zack Greinke (2-1, 3.76 ERA) will try to add more wins to his record for Houston, while Nate Pearson will be making his 2021 debut for Toronto.

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