It has been 41 years since legendary Benedictine basketball coach Warren Rutledge and his hoop loving friends decided to launch a holiday tournament. Begun in 1966, the first game paired eventual champion Charleston Catholic (WV) and Loyola of New York. Although the first event was nearly cancelled due to a severe snowstorm, the Benedictine Capital City Classic (BCCC) has blossomed into one of the premier basketball tournaments on the East Coast. The inaugural tourney also included; Serra HS (Pittsburgh), Malvern Prep (Philadelphia), Cardinal Gibbons (Baltimore), St. Mary’s (Greenwich, Ct), our friends from a few miles west; Collegiate, and the host Cadets. The Cadets lost 51-46 in the first title game before achieving victory seven times during the next forty years.
Coach Rutledge’s dream of bringing eight quality teams together for three days of high caliber basketball was now a reality. The next four decades have seen 140 teams compete from as nearby as Thomas Jefferson, only a few blocks from Benedictine’s Memorial Gymnasium, to the West German Junior National team from across the Atlantic. The field almost always includes a local entry with a heavy influence of teams from the north on the I-95 corridor. In addition to Collegiate, local teams; Atlee, Blessed Sacrament, Douglas Freeman, George Wythe, Henrico, Highland Springs, John Marshall, Manchester, Meadowbrook, Mills Godwin, St. Christopher’s, Steward and Trinity have played in the “B-triple C.”
National powers St. Anthony’s; St. Benedict’s and Oak Hill have participated. If you played in the extremely competitive Philadelphia Catholic league, there is a good chance you made at least one trip to the tourney.
The first truly “great” player in the BCCC may have been Canevin (Pittsburgh) point guard Tom Clements who electrified Memorial Gymnasium in 1968. His was the first name Coach Rutledge mentioned when asked about the early years of the tournament.
Coach said, “He could really play.” We never got to see him during “March Madness” as he chose to line up at QB under the Golden Dome of Notre Dame. There were other superstars in the early years including 1970 MVP Maurice “Mo” Howard from St. Joe Prep in Philadelphia, later a guard for Lefty Driesell at Maryland. He led his team to 69-51 win against Reid Kelly, Gary Powers (William & Mary) and the Cadets in the finals. This was the first of three consecutive championship game setbacks for the Cadets.
John Kuester (UNC and co-MVP / 1972) and Mark Crow (Duke) led the host Cadets to back-to-back title tilts with Gordon Tech from Chicago. Two hotly contested battles (1971 and 1972) featured future NBA Coach Dick Versace (Indiana Pacers) and the spectacular LeeArthur Scott on the winning side. The Cadets lost 72-69 in 1971 and 52-51 the following year.
The only blemish on the Cadets 29 - 1 record in 1973-74 was a 46-45 semifinal loss to Cardinal O’Hara (Philadelphia) in the 1973 tournament. Kevin Harvey continued the tradition of outstanding Cadet point guards before a very successful career as a middle infielder for University of Richmond baseball team. Paul Kitchen, Tom McNally and Reed O’Brien teamed with Kevin as seniors on this Cadet roster. This talented quartet never lost a game to a team from the state of Virginia and finished the season with the highest winning percentage in school history. They were part of a four-year run that included 121 wins against only 10 defeats. Only a BCCC loss stood between them and a perfect season in 1973-74.
Cadet Les Henson (Va. Tech) was selected as the tourney’s Most Outstanding Player in 1974 with his brother Linwood (Va. Tech) receiving the same award two years later. The youngest Henson to wear the green and white, brother Byron (Auburn), made the all-tourney team in 1977 and 1978.
Coach “Rut” led an overachieving squad to a first round win vs. Cardinal Gibbons (Baltimore) and a 62-60 upset of highly favored St. Johns (D.C.) in the 1975 semifinals. This earned the Cadets their fifth championship game opportunity. Thomas Jefferson with Mike Perry (Richmond) knocked off Mike O’Koren (UNC) and Hudson Catholic from New Jersey in the other semi-final to set up a neighborhood clash in the finals. Over 2,000 spectators jammed the “Little Green Barn” on Sheppard Street to see the Cadets and the Vikings. The Richmond Fire Marshall informed tournament officials that, “not another person could enter Memorial Gymnasium”. The game was truly a “barn burner” with the Cadets prevailing 62-58. After nine attempts and a few heartbreaking losses, Coach “Rut” and his Cadets finally took receipt of the championship trophy. Tommy Lukish was the second Cadet (Kuester 1972) to put his hands on the MVP trophy. This was the first of the Cadets record seven BCCC titles. Gonzaga from Washington D.C. is next with four wins.
The 1978 tournament featured arguably the best player to ever compete in the event. Quintin Dailey from Cardinal Gibbons (Baltimore) put on a display that “old-timers” still talk about. “Q” tossed in 43 (pre-three point line) points in the semifinals before a title game match up with Coach “Speedy” Morris and 1977 champion Roman Catholic from Philadelphia. “Speedy” and the Cahillites were denied a repeat title as Gibbons prevailed 72-71. Quintin finished with a tournament record 115 points. He went on to the University of San Francisco before being selected in the first round of the NBA draft. Coach Morris later coached LaSalle University before returning to the high school ranks at St. Joe Prep in Philadelphia.
Prolific Cadet scorer Danny Murphy was the Most Outstanding Player in the 1980. Teammate Tracy Woodson also made the all-tournament team that year prior to playing baseball at N.C. State. One of the best players in Wolfpack history, his career led him to the Major Leagues. Tracy was an infielder on the 1988 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cadets continued their winning ways in 1981 and 1982 winning back-to-back titles. Mike Huffman (VMI) and Steve Tooker (VMI) won the MVP award in consecutive years leading the home team. The ’82 event must have been special with future stars Derrick Chevious (Holy Cross / Missouri), Dallas Comegys (Roman Catholic / Depaul), Duane Ferrell (Calvert Hall / Ga. Tech) and David Rivers (St. Anthony’s / Notre Dame) joining current Cadet assistant coach Mark Royster (Benedictine) on the All-tournament team.
Current Georgetown University Head Coach John Thompson was the MVP in 1983 while playing for Gonzaga (Washington D.C.). Mark Tillmon (Georgetown) then led Gonzaga to the second two of three straight titles (’83 - ’84 - ‘85) and was the second player to put his hands on the MVP trophy twice. Scott (’71 & ’72) from Gordon Tech was the first. The three consecutive wins allowed Gonzaga and Coach Dick Myers to take the traveling trophy home to the nations Capital.
Cadet Robert Goodman was the Most Outstanding Player in 1986 before Sam Bryant became the fifth Cadet to garner the MVP trophy, receiving it for the winners in 1988.
Yuri Barnes (Manchester) was the first non-Cadet from a Richmond area school to earn either the MVP or the Most Outstanding Player award. He was voted MOP in 1990.
Coach Bruce Croxton continued the winning ways leading the explosive Cadets to titles in 2001, 2003 and 2004. Cadets Patrick Gill and Vernon Hamilton shared the MVP hardware as the Cadets won their fifth title in 2001. Patrick also set the single game record for three-pointers, knocking down eight during a 2000 contest.
Former Randolph Macon College sharpshooter Sean McAloon took the helm in 2005, leading the Cadets to the finals before falling to Mt. St. Joseph’s of Baltimore. Coach McAloon was an assistant coach at his alma mater and at Bucknell University before becoming only the third Cadet coach since 1957.
We have even seen a father Mike Augst, make the all tournament team as a Cadet in 1966 and then cheer proudly when his son Reid won the MVP in back-to-back years (2003 and 2004). We have witnessed numerous future NBA’ers (20 at last count). BCCC graduates have played collegiately as nearby as the University of Richmond and VCU and as far away as Stanford and UCLA. They have gone on to play in the ACC, Atlantic 10, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, PAC 10, SEC and every conference in between. It has truly been a showcase of talent.
There have been low scoring defensive contests like the 51-46 final between Charleston Catholic and the Cadets in 1966 and wide open tilts like the 97-80 semifinal between Gordon Tech and St. Joe’s in 1971. There have also been some records that have stood the test of time. Kevin Furey (Bishop Shanahan) corralled 27 rebounds in one game and 63 total in 1969. The proverbial coach on the floor, Cadet Bruce Ganey had 13 assists in a game and 33 for the tournament in 1971. Mark Massimini (Cardinal Gibbons) made 21 free throws in one game and 33 for the tournament in 1974.
There have been numerous Division 1 players. Here are many of the BCCC tournament participants, their high schools and college destinations. We have compiled this list from past historical references and apologize for any inaccuracies or omissions. If you know of others who competed in the BCCC, please forward this information to the Benedictine High School AD Barry Gibrall ’64. Your help will allow us to update this historical summary next year.
Jason Aber (Gonzaga / Colgate) -- Doug Able (Calvert Hall / Boston College) -- Burnett Adams (St. Patrick’s / Boston College) -- Reid Augst (Benedictine / UNC-Asheville)
Billy Barnes (St. John’s / William & Mary) -- Yuri Barnes (Manchester / Virginia) -- Jeff Baxter (Archbishop Carroll / Maryland) -- Patrick Beilein (Benedictine / West Virginia)
-- Geoff Billett (Christian Brothers / Rutgers) -- Steve Black (Overbrook / LaSalle) -- David Bonner (Dunbar / Towson) -- Joe Brawner (Spingarn / N.C. A&T) -- Roy Brow (Oak Hill / Va. Tech) -- Barry Brown (Gibbons / James Madison) -- Kori Brown (Manchester / William and Mary) -- Gordy Bryan (Malvern Prep / Va. Tech) -- Steve Bucknall (Governor Dummer / UNC) -- Mark Bryant (Columbia / Seton Hall) -- Pete Budko (Loyola of Baltimore / UNC) – Ryan Butler (Douglas Freeman / Richmond).
Bobby Carter (Benedictine / Longwood) -- Perry Carter (Gonzaga / Ohio State) -- Derrick Chevious (Holy Cross / Missouri) -- Tim Coles (Gibbons / Connecticut) -- Dallas Comegys (Roman Catholic / Depaul) -- Craig Conlin (LaSalle / LaSalle) -- Tony Costner (Overbrook / St. Joseph) -- Mark Crow (Benedictine / Duke)
Quintin Dailey (Cardinal Gibbons / San Francisco) -- Octavious Davis (Overbrook / Mt. St. Joseph’s) -- Leon Dickerson (Gibbons / Holy Cross) -- Sherman Douglas (Spingarn / Syracuse) -- Anthony Duckett (Spingarn / Rutgers) -- Brendan Dunlop (Mt. St. Michael’s / Va. Tech) -- John Duran (Dunbar / Georgetown)
Justin Ellis (St. John’s / Wake Forest)
Duane Ferrell (Calvert Hall / Ga. Tech)
Bob Fitzgibbons (Nichols / Wake Forest) -- Chris Fox (McQuaid Jesuit / Cornell)
Dan Gadzuric (Governor Dummer / UCLA) -- Matt Goukas (Penn Charter / St. Joseph)
-- Tony Guy (Loyola / Kansas)
Vernon Hamilton (Benedictine / Clemson) -- Chris Harris (Benedictine / Navy) -- Harold Harris (Benedictine / James Madison) -- Mike Hartman (Archbishop Carroll / Catholic) -- Byron Henson (Benedictine / Auburn) -- Les Henson (Benedictine / Va. Tech) -- Linwood Henson (Benedictine / Va. Tech) -- David Hill (Flint Hill / Radford) -- Gus Hill (Flint Hill / East Carolina) -- Vernon Hill (Calvert Hall / Loyola) -- Geoff Hinshelwood (Trinity Episcopal / VMI) -- Maurice Howard (St. Joe Prep / Maryland) -- Mike Huffman (Benedictine / VMI)
Andre Ingram (Highland Springs / American) -- Martin Inglesby (Archbishop Carroll/ Notre Dame)
Justin Jackette (Iona Prep / William and Mary) -- Gerald Jackson (Flint Hill / Minnesota) -- Mark Jackson (Bishop Loughlin / St. John’s) -- Reggie Jackson (Roman Catholic / Maryland) – Tomas Jasiulionis (Trinity Episcopal / St. John’s) -- Larry Jenkins (Oak Hill / Hartford) -- Larry Jennings (St. John’s / St. Joseph’s) -- Seldon Jefferson (Bishop Loughlin / West Virginia) -- Kenny Johnson (Loyola / Virginia) -- Gary Jones (Pennsbury / LaSalle) -- John Jones (Spingarn / UNLV) -- Manuel Jones (Spingarn / East Carolina) -- Gary Jordan (McKinley Tech / Niagara) -- Tim Judge (Carroll / Catholic)
Jeff Kelly (Columbia / East Carolina) – Monty Knight (Thomas Jefferson / VCU) -- Tim Krug (Penn Charter / Penn.) -- John Kuester (Benedictine / UNC)
Jason Lawson (Olney / Villanova) -- Cade Lemcke (McQuaid Jesuit / Virginia) -- Jody Lumpkin (Hammond / College of Charleston) -- Brian Lynch (Christian Brothers / Villanova)
Dean Marshman (Mt. Vernon / South Alabama) -- Gary Massey (St. Raymond’s / Villanova) -- Glen McMillan (Holy Cross / Iona) -- Marlon Miller (McClancey / St. Joseph’s) -- Sean Miller (St. Maria Goretti / Army) -- Rodney Monroe (St. Maria Goretti / NC State) -- Mike Morin (Mt. St. Joseph’s / Towson) -- Mike Morrow (Roman Catholic, St. Joseph’s) -- Danny Murray (St. John’s / Catholic) -- Matt Murrer (Benedictine / VMI).
Chris Neiberlein (Mt. St. Joseph’s. / Rutgers)
Mike O’Koren (Hudson Catholic / UNC) -- Bambale Osby (Benedictine / Maryland) –
Michael Perry (Thomas Jefferson / Richmond) -- Mark Pitchford (St. John’s / Stanford) -- Bill Phillips (Archbishop Carroll / St. Joseph’s) -- Olden Polynice (All Hallows / Virginia) -- Gary Powers (Benedictine / William and Mary)
James Roache (McKinley Tech / Niagara) -- David Rivers (St. Anthony’s / Notre Dame) -- Donald Ross (McNamara / George Mason)
Rhea Saltz (Benedictine / VCU) -- Derrick Scott (Holy Cross / South Carolina) -- Craig Shelton (Dunbar / Georgetown) -- Derrick Simms (Flint Hill / Virginia) -- John Siorek (Roman Catholic / Drexel) -- Kevin Sutton (Flint Hill / James Madison) -- Ed Swails (McKinley Tech / Seattle)
John Thompson (Gonzaga / Princeton) -- Mark Tillmon (Gonzaga / Georgetown) -- Steve Tooker (Benedictine / VMI) -- Troy Truesdale (All Hallows / Iona).
Mark Valderas (Cardinal Gibbons / Princeton)
Alvin Williams (Germantown Academy / Villanova) -- Ron Williams (Cardinal Gibbons / Villanova) -- Russell Williams (McClancey / Manhattan) -- Walt Williams (Crossland / Maryland) -- Gordon Winchester (Mt. St. Joseph’s / Seton Hall) -- Chester Wood (Archbishop Carroll / George Washington).
Teams from nine states have won BCCC titles. Virginia leads the way with eight. Maryland and Pennsylvania are next with seven each followed by New York with six. Five titles have come from teams from the District of Columbia with Illinois having sent three eventual winners to the tourney. Two have come from New Jersey with South Carolina and West Virginia having one each.
A casual conversation in the mid 60’s has grown into a fan favorite on the Richmond basketball landscape. While other events pop up only to discontinue a few years later, Coach Rutledge’s vision for a “big-time” event has endured. The BCCC continues to attract quality players, teams and coaches.
Always the innovator, Coach Rutledge began this tournament as a venue for the top teams on the East Coast to compete. With 949 wins and 26 State Catholic titles, the creation of the Benedictine Capital City Classic (BCCC) may be one of Warren Rutledge’s finest achievements. He found a way for good high school teams to get together for three rounds of competitive basketball. Once again, Coach Rutledge has left us a gift. This one, the Benedictine Capital City Classic, is now in its fifth decade.
Former North Carolina Tar Heel John Kuester (Benedictine) is currently the head coach for the Detroit Pistons. He says; “I still bump into former players and they comment on how much they enjoyed the BCCC thirty or forty years ago”.
We hope you enjoy this year’s event … it should be another great tournament.
Benedictine High School
1975 – 1981 – 1982 – 1988 – 2001 – 2003 – 2004