Boys Basketball Opens Season with Walsingham Thanksgiving Invitational Tournament Championship
Boys Basketball Opens Season with Walsingham Thanksgiving Invitational Tournament Championship
Mike Brantley

The Walsingham varsity boys basketball team is coming off the winningest season in program history, finishing 26-3, but the Trojans have been anticipating the start of the 2018-2019 season ever since their season ended in the VISAA DII State Semifinals last year. With seven returners including three All-TCIS standouts from last year, the Trojans are again poised to make a run this year.

The Trojans continued their tradition this year by opening up with the annual Walsingham Thanksgiving Invitational Tournament. This year's tournament also included Hampton Christian Academy, Peninsula Catholic, and Veritas Collegiate Academy.

Game 1: Walsingham 85, Veritas Collegiate 42

Walsingham did not wait long to assert their dominance against Veritas Collegiate in their season opener. Marcus Banks '21 knocked down a 3-pointer on the Trojans' opening possession with fueled a 10-0 run to start the game, capped by a great steal by Braden Exton '19 that led to a Sam Jones '19 layup.

The Trojans continued to score at will for the entire first half, scoring 29 points in each of the first two quarters, and held a 58-25 halftime lead.

The second half saw the Trojans give an opportunity to their young second unit, led by Lincoln Lubsen '21, Cooper Jones '22, and Paul Williams '22. The Trojans lead was never in doubt and they went on to win by a final score of 85-42. Marcus Banks was the offensive standout for the Trojans, scoring 28 points on 13 of 17 from the field. Reigning TCIS Player of the Year Jaylin Stewart '19 scored 15 points and added 7 assists. Cooper Jones impressed in his first game as a Trojan with 11 points on 3 of 5 shooting from 3-point range. Braden Exton added 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals and Sam Jones had 10 points and 6 assists. Also scoring for the Trojans were Henry Kalnius '21 (6 points) and Lincoln Lubsen (4 points).

Game 2: Walsingham 79, Peninsula Catholic 53

Walsingham matched up with Peninsula Catholic in the championship game of the tournament on Saturday afternoon. Once again, the Trojans jumped out to a commanding lead after the first quarter, this time by a score of 25-8. The Trojans' press caused all kinds of problems for their opponent as Sam Jones, Braden Exton, and Marcus Banks forced numerous turnovers.

By halftime, the Trojans had a commanding 41-15 lead and would never look back. The final score was Trojans 79, Knights 53, making Walsingham the tournament champions.

For the second straight game, the Trojans shot at least 60 percent from the field. Jaylin Stewart led the Trojans with 26 points on 11 of 14 shooting, while also adding 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Marcus Banks added 25 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Sam Jones scored 11 and led the Trojans with 4 steals. Braden Exton had 6 points and also contributed 7 rebounds and 5 deflections. Also scoring for the Trojans were Henry Kalnius (4 points), Paul Williams (4), and Cooper Jones (3).

All-Tournament Team

With their dominant performance, the Trojans were recognized with three members of the All-Tournament team. Jaylin Stewart was named Tournament MVP and Marcus Banks and Sam Jones were named to the All-Tournament team. Joining these Trojans on the All-Tournament team were AJ Baker (Peninsula Catholic), Titus Lawrence (Peninsula Catholic), and Jhalen Harris (Veritas Collegiate).

Game Notes

  • The Trojans have won 19 consecutive home games dating back to the 2016-17 season.
  • Walsingham has won the Walsingham Thanksgiving Invitational for at least 14 consecutive seasons, with records dating back to 2005.
  • The Trojans will return to action with a road contest at St. Christopher's on Friday, 11/30, before returning home on 12/3 vs. Isle of Wight Academy.