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The East Carteret Mariners had four players score in double digits and used a fourth-quarter push to advance into Saturday’s Finals with a 72-59 win over Ashley to wrap up a full day of high school hoops on the campus of UNCW.
Trevor Willis put in a team-high 21 points, while Jacque Brown chipped in with 16 to pace the Mariners, who play Millbrook in the final game of the annual three-day event.
“The biggest thing is we responded. I’m as happy as I’ve ever been after a loss because we didn’t quit,” said first-year Ashley Head Coach David Rutledge. “No one stopped playing. You can see the confidence coming along. We could have easily held our heads after the first half. Down by 15 at one point, in the late game after a long day of basketball, instead, we came out in the second half and made it a game.”
Tyre Gathright had 26 points and eight rebounds to lead the Ashley attack.
“I’m extremely proud of Tyre,” said Rutledge. “He has a lot of pressure on him coming off two great years as a freshman and sophomore, and now he’s asked to do things like he did tonight on every possession. It’s hard to be that guy. But we all know in this locker room that he has that type of talent.”
The Eagles took their only lead of the game at 14-13 early in the second quarter, and East Carteret responded with a quick 12-0 run behind Willis, who knocked down a step back jumper off the dribble to retake the lead. Consecutive turnovers by Ashley turned into easy points on the other end for the Mariners with baskets by Simmons, Willis and Johnson.
Gathright stopped the bleeding with two free throws, but the momentum shifted right back to East Carteret behind Willis, who knocked down a three-pointer with a minute to go before the break.
Ashley came out in the third quarter and jumped right on the Mariners with a Ryan Keller assist to Gathright, which was followed by points in the paint by Keller. Jake Stinnett hit a three-ball from the corner to get within seven and Trey Williford made it a six-point game when he finished off a three-point play from the foul line and hitting a layup on the fast break.
The six-point deficit was as far as Ashley would come as turnovers proved to be the difference against an aggressive team from East Carteret. The Eagles did go on an 8-0 in the fourth quarter behind three straight baskets from Gathright and an Eli Prindable lay-in, but Willis was able to get to the basket late to send the Mariners into Saturday’s final against Millbrook.
Saturday’s boys championship game between East Carteret and Millbrook is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m. at Trask Coliseum. Ashley will play Hoggard in the third-place game at 4:30 p.m.
Ashley 9-16-16-18 =59
E. Carteret 13-25-9-25 =72
Stats: E. Carteret- Trevor Willis, (21); Eddie Minchen, (16); Sam Johnson (13); Ty Simmons (12); Xavier Fallin (4); Kendric Taylor (4); Donnell Johnson (2)
Ashley- Tyre Gathright, (26); Jake Stinnett (10); Trey Williford (7); Ryan Keller (6); Josh Smiley (5); Austin Henderson (3); Eli Prindable (2)
Laney 51 Southside 50
After a tough loss to open the three-day holiday tournament, Laney rebounded with a gritty 51-50 win behind 19 points from Kirby Kealon and a last-second assist to C.J. Kirchoff to send the Bucs into Saturday’s fifth-place game.
“Our road to redemption was a very short one,” said Laney Coach Nathan Faulk. “We had just a few hours to turnaround after Thursday’s loss, and to show that kind of resiliency and fight, I’m very happy for our guys and proud of them.”
Kealon hit just three field goals all game, but all three came from long range in key situations down the stretch.
Trailing 50-49 with 14.5 seconds to play, the junior guard penetrated the lane and delivered a perfect no look pass to a wide-open Kirchoff to secure the victory.
“We wanted to get the ball into Kirby for him to dribble, drive and attack,” said Faulk. “He did all that, made the right decision and that was all on Kirby.”
Laney’s 3-2 zone on the defensive end of the floor caused problems for the Tigers through most of the first half until Buster Smith started to find his presence in the paint. Smith scored a team-high 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
Rob Peterson provided the spark for the Bucs early on and put Laney up 7-0 with three minutes gone by in the opening quarter. The freshman pulled down a big rebound late in the opening frame and finished a three-point play from the charity stripe to keep the Bucs in front 14-13 at the end of eight minutes.
“Rob was big in the first half. We had a bunch of guys contribute early on until Kirby was able to get going. C.J., Keegan [Czesak] did a great job under the boards. They kept us going,” Faulk said.
Southside kept battling with a 6-0 spurt midway through the second frame to keep it a one-point game, but a basket by Peterson followed by a steal and free throws by Kealon gave the Bucs a five-point cushion at the half.
After the break, the Tigers tied the game 26-26 for the first time since late in the first quarter, and a three-point play off a reverse lay-in by Kell Allen gave Southside its first lead with two minutes left in the third quarter. Allen and Smith guided an 8-0 run for the Tigers until Kealon answered with back-to-back treys to go up 36-34 heading into the fourth quarter.
“They made some adjustments and we missed some easy buckets under the basket to keep it close,” said Faulk. “Kirby had ice in his veins. He hit those two threes late in the third quarter that were huge. And then he hit another late in the fourth quarter to tie it up again. He was big for us.”
The back-and-forth contest continued into the final frame with an easy two for Smith to tie it back up 39-39, and Southside made it a five-point game with 2:04 to play off a big slam from Allen.
Laney used a timeout and eventually used a strong effort from the charity stripe to get within three when Kealon knocked down his third trey of the game from the top of the arc to make it 49-all.
The Bucs improved to 8-4 on the year and face Miami Senior High School in a 1:30 p.m. matinee at Trask Coliseum on Saturday. Southside (3-8) takes on New Hanover at Noon in the seventh-place game.
Laney 14-10-12-15 =51
Stats: Laney- Kirby Kealon, 19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 assist; Rob Peterson, 11 points; C.J. Kirchoff, 9 points, 6 rebounds; Tariq Lane, 6 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists; Keegan Czesak, 4 points; Laquay Cox, 2 points
Southside- Buster Smith, 16 points, 4 rebounds; Kell Allen, 15 points, 4 rebounds; Roshad Griffeth, 8 points; Marquise Hamilton, 7 points; Damascus Mayes, 4 points
Millbrook 70 Hoggard 42
Millbrook’s defense forced 11 first-half turnovers, turning several of them into fast-break opportunities, and the Vikings seemed to be without answers. Senior Carlee Clemons had seven points in the Wildcat’s 14-point second quarter.
Millbrook put 14 players on the court in the game, and 13 of them scored. Chris Clemons led the way with 13 points, and Carlee Clemons and Brandon Goldsmith each had 12 points. Trevor Singleton led Hoggard with 16 points and 10 boards, and Trae Bryant added 13 points.
Hoggard will face the loser of the East Carteret vs. Ashley contest today in the third-place boys game at 4:30 p.m.
Hoggard 9- 7-13-13=42
Hoggard: Qadhafi Turner 0 4-4 4, Trae Bryant 3 4-4 13, Xavier Johnson 2 2-4 6, Trevor Singleton 6 4-14 16, Charles Stanfeld 1 0-0 3. Totals: 12 14-26 42. 3-Point Baskets: Trae Bryant 3, Charles Stanfield 1.
Millbrook: Jordan Sterrett 1 0-0 2, Chris Clemons 6 1-2 13, Faison Brock 3 2-2 8, Rob Brown 4 1-2 9, Josh Peacock 2 0-0 4, Andrew Evans 1 0-0 2, Jake Wilson 2 0-0 4, Rha’Kwon Bryant 1 0-0 2, Carlee Clemons 5 1-2 12, Sam Blue 0 0-2 0, Brandon Goldsmith 5 1-2 12. Totals: 31 6-12 70. 3-Point Baskets: Carlee Clemons 1, Brandon Goldsmith1.
Miami 64 New Hanover 59 (overtime)
A last-second buzzer beater was enough to send Friday’s contest into overtime but Austin James hit one of his four three-balls in the extra frame to lift Miami past New Hanover 64-59 at Hanover Hall in game 14 of the Brogden Tournament.
The Wildcats were able to overcome a rebound disparity of nearly three-to-one, in addition to shooting just 8-of-20 from the free throw line, but the Sting-arees of South Florida battled late with big baskets from James and a strong night at the point by Anthony Concepcion.
“We were terrible tonight. They had too many second-chance points and we were awful from the free throw line,” said New Hanover Coach Kirk Angel. “There’s not much more you can say about our performance. We’re still looking for guys to give us that production and we’re not getting it right now.”
Miami led for most of the way after a 14-2 push through the opening frame gave the Sting-arees a four-point cushion heading into the second quarter.
Ridell Camidge found the scoring column for the first time with two of his team-high 14 points one minute into the second frame, and the junior found Tyree Johnson on a back door pass to make it 16-12 before James hit back-to-back treys to extend Miami’s lead off a 9-2 spurt.
James drained his third three-ball of the quarter with 2:30 to play in the half and Concepcion made it 35-26 just before the break when he finished a three-point play from the charity stripe.
New Hanover kept it a nine-point game in the third quarter as Acchaeus Fields hit his team’s first two free throws at the midway point of the stanza to spark a quick 6-0 run for the Wildcats.
Miami extended its lead to as much as 12 early on in the fourth quarter until Tyree Johnson recorded the basket and foul with 3:17 to get back to within nine. Brad Hitchmann followed it up a minute late with a nifty drive in the lane after Nykheinma Walker sank two free throws to make it a five-point game with just under two minutes to go in regulation.
Spotty free throw shooting by Miami down the stretch gave New Hanover a chance as Lawrence Williams took advantage with two easy baskets down low. After Jerald Butler hit 1-of-2 from the foul line for the Sting-arees, Camidge took control of the ball with time running out and found Walker underneath for the game-tying score as the buzzer sounded.
New Hanover will face the Southside Tigers out of Greenville, S.C., in the seventh place consolation game inside Hanover Hall at noon on Saturday, while Miami faces Laney in the fifth place game. Tip-off between the Sting-arees and Bucs is set for 1:30 p.m. at Trask Coliseum.
Stats: Miami- Austin James (16); Anthony Concepcion (13); Anfernary Cogmara (12); Marlon Sierra (8); Jerald Butler (8); Ezacurus Dawson (3); Malcolm Nicholas (2); Marc Syrie (2)
NHHS- Ridell Camidge (14); Acchaeus Fields (13); Tyree Johnson (8); Lawrence Williams (6); Nykheinma Walker (6); Brian Howell (4); Brad Hitchmann (4); Shawn Robinson (4);