Green Hope left the South Granville Holiday Invitational basketball tournament with a dose of confidence last Wednesday night, despite being outmatched in the Columbia bracket title by a hot-shooting and lightning-quick Village Christian 76-51.
Green Hope (10-4) couldn’t keep the pace with the Knights from Fayetteville, but the tournament was a success for the Falcons, which needed a pick-me-up after three conference losses entering the holiday break.
After defeating Jordan 59-57 in the semifinals and Burlington’s Cummings High 57-51 in the first round, the Falcons are back on the right track.
“It was the best set of 16 teams since we’ve started coming here. We played three good teams that are all going to be playoff teams compete for conference championships, make it pretty far,” Green Hope coach John Green said. “Winning the first two games was important. ... It’s just good to come on the road and bounce back after losing three conference games.”
Village Christian’s Jordan Ratliffe had 23 points, hitting several 3s. That was the difference in why Green Hope toppled the first two athletic teams it faced, but not the third.
“I think the guys understand that they can beat anybody, because Jordan and Cummings are really good teams,” Green said. “The big difference was the (Village Christian) shooting ability. The first two teams didn’t shoot it particularly well, but we were just looking at it and Village Christian only missed 3-4 shots in the third quarter.”
Green Hope’s Will Harkins had a team-high 12 points. Alex Clinkscales added eight points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Yellow Jacket Basketball Classic: Cary and Middle Creek met one another in the fifth-place game of the Yellow Jacket Holiday Basketball Classic at Lee County last Wednesday. The game, which Middle Creek won 32-31 in overtime, does not count towards Southwest Wake Athletic Conference standings.
East Chapel Hill’s boys and Northwood’s girls won the tournament.
Leon Brogden Tournament: Cary’s boys basketball team moved its record to 13-0, winning the Leon Brogden Holiday Tournament in Wilmington last Wednesday.
Cleveland Classic: Fuquay-Varina’s girls took fifth at the Cleveland Classic, defeating Garner 42-37 and West Johnston 47-35 after an opening-round 46-33 loss to host Cleveland.
The boys were sixth, losing 56-55 in overtime to Clayton after a 71-57 win over Cleveland and a 59-46 loss to Nash Central.
Sanderson’s boys and Kinston’s girls won the tournament’s titles.
Eastern Guilford Invitational: Athens Drive’s boys took fifth at the Eastern Guilford Invitational, defeating Roxboro Community 94-91 in overtime and Graham 76-69 to close out the tournament after an opening-round 76-60 loss to host Eastern Guilford. The Jaguars (5-9), winless a year ago, have won three of their last four.
“If nothing else, our kids play hard,” said first-year coach Robbie St. John. “It shows the character of those guys. You have high-character kids and they’re going to come out and play hard and that’s a testament to those kids.”
The Burlington School boys and Southeast Guilford girls won tournament titles.
Sheetz Holiday Classic: Panther Creek (9-4) won the girls’ silver bracket in the Sheetz Holiday Christmas Classic at Southwest Guilford by defeating High Point Central, Camden Valley (Australia) and Southern Guilford in consecutive days.
“It’s the first year we’ve done a Christmas tournament since I’ve been on staff in three years,” coach Danielle Moore said. “It gives us a chance to see some competition we haven’t seen. That’s the whole point in coming this way.”
Point guard Shotomei Greaux was the catalyst for her team.
“I’m bringing everybody together,” she said. “When I get going, everbody gets rolling.”
Holiday Hoopla: Green Hope’s girls took third at the Eastern Alamance Holiday Hoopla tournament, picking up wins against Wakefield and an Australian club team but losing to eventual champ Eastern Alamance.