The wait is over for John Wall Holiday Invitational tournament brackets.
Half of the basketball teams in the eight-team David West bracket are from the Cap-8 Conference. The first-round matchups are: Broughton vs. Concord’s Cox Mill; Garner vs. Leesville Road; Millbrook vs. Ravenscroft; Heritage vs. Southern Durham.
The eight-team T.J. Warren bracket’s first-round games are: Hillcrest Prep (Ariz.) vs. Fayetteville’s Northwood Temple; Concord’s Cannon School vs. University School (Fla.); Thornlea School (Canada) vs. Concord’s J.M. Robinson; Cary vs. Tampa Catholic (Fla.).
The girls’ tournament is broken up into three four-team tournaments.
Hillside, Green Hope, Heritage and Roxboro Community are in one; Millbrook, Clinton, Cary and Fayetteville’s Northwood Temple in another; Southern Durham, Riverside, Ravenscroft and Fayetteville’s Trinity Christian in another.
This year’s tournament runs Dec. 27-30 at Broughton’s Holiday Gymnasium and Cary Academy.
Garner: Milan Harrison knocked down the go-ahead pull-up jumper with 15 seconds to go to give his squad a two-point lead en route to a 62-59 victory at Millbrook last Wednesday. Harrison also hit the tying 3-pointer with 1:02 to go. The two shots were his only made field goals of the night.
“I was on the bench and I was upset,” he said, “I knew I’d find a way to pick my team up … I told (coach Eddie Gray) that if he gave me one more chance, I’d go in there and hit it for him and I did.”
Millbrook: The Wildcats are getting an early-season boost on defense from the outside shooting of Patrick Dorsey and the defensive play of Gee Kalejaiye. Millbrook held off Orange on Saturday in the Phenom Hoops Showcase.
Farmville Central: The Jaguars (2-2), 28-0 and state 2A champs a year ago, lost their first game since the fourth round of the 2014-15 season after falling 82-69 to North Lenoir and 74-57 to East Chapel Hill on Friday and Saturday.
Apex: Apex (4-2, 2-0 Southwest Wake 4A) held off rival Cary on Friday. All three of last year’s meetings with the Imps went down to the wire.
“We were really gutsy out there tonight in the second half when Cary made a great comeback,” Apex coach David Neal said. “When they made their run, we certainly could’ve turned in the tired card and just said we ran out of gas and we didn’t do that. We made winning plays at the end.”
Fox and Denzel Jacobson led a balanced Apex attack with 15 points apiece while Colton Williams added 14.
Donte Tatum paced Cary with 15 points and was complemented by Jett Fortuny’s 13 and Elijah Idlett’s 12.
J.H. Rose: Freshman Creighton Lebo is second on the Rampants (0-2) with 12 points per game. He’s the son of former North Carolina player and current East Carolina coach Jeff Lebo.
North Pitt: Even with a new coach and several new faces, the defending state 2A champs are off to a 5-0 start.
Nyjanique Langley, the MVP of the 2016 2A championship game, is averaging 19.6 points per game.
While coach William Knight was pleased with the effort, he wants to be able to depend on more than a trio of Langley Ashanti Hines (12.0 ppg) and Casandra Watson (12.8) as the season progresses.
“That’s our biggest point of emphasis right now,” he said. “We’ve got to develop some players.”
Cary: Cary is off to a 3-1 (2-0 Southwest Wake 4A) start this year following a 32-22 win over rival Apex (3-4, 1-1) on Friday. The Imps had won just five games apiece in each of the last two years.
“I thought defensively we did a lot of good things tonight,” Cary coach Patrick Daly said. “We want to learn how to play with the lead and put teams away.”
Cedar Ridge: The Cedar Ridge girls (1-2) picked up their first win of the season on Friday with a 62-47 win over previously unbeaten Carrboro (4-1). Point guard Carrie Davis (18 points) and power forward Yolanda Simpson (15) each scored in double-figures for the Red Wolves.
“We haven’t played particularly bad,” coach Felton Page said. “We just hadn’t been able to turn turnovers into points, and we missed a lot of free throws.”
Complementing Simpson’s good outing, center Grace Davies and power forward Miracle Page combined to score 18 points, which helped Cedar Ridge make up for an unusually quiet first quarter from Davis.