Hawks-Naismith (Norcross High School)
The hosting Norcross Blue Devils took the final win of the evening at the Hawks-Naismith Tournament at Norcross. The Blue Devils moved past Holy Spirit Prep, 75-65, on the back of a 22-point performance from 6-foot-2 junior guard Kyle Sturdivant. Senior guard Dalvin White added 18 points and 6-foot-6 senior forward Joseph Toppin netted 16 points. Holy Spirit’s Anthony Edwards led with 22 points and teammate Gregory Maselmikov scored 11 points.
In a closely contested matchup, the St. Francis boys defeated Duluth 82-80 on the back of a 27-point effort from Dwon Odom. The 6-foot-1 sophomore guard converted 11 baskets from the floor with one three-pointer. Teammate Sam Hines added 17 points and C.J. Riley and Chase Ellis each netted 12 points.
The Newton boys took a 67-45 victory over Tift County after being down 12-11 at the end of the first quarter and 23-22 at the half. Newton turned it on in the second half with a 16-point performance in the third quarter, as Tift could only manage eight third-quarter points. Newton rolled its momentum into the final frame, outscoring Tift 29-14 to put the game away. Newton’s Dre Butler led with 17 points. Tyrease Brown added 15 points and Ashton Hagans added 13 points.
Langston Hughes flexed its muscles with a 79-60 victory over Greenforest on the back of a 31-point performance from senior Landers Nolley II. The 6-foot-7 shooting guard scored 10 of his team’s 25 fourth-quarter points as the Panthers pulled away. Teammate Tyler Smith, a 6-foot-5 senior, helped with 21 points and 6-foot-4 Tyrel Morgan added 15. Greenforest was led by Jaylen Clark (21 points) and Dylan Pritchett (12 points).
In the battle of the Creeks, Meadowcreek took a 59-51 victory over Sandy Creek. The Mustangs had four players in double-figures in the win while finding scoring from seven different players. Cory Hightower led with 13 points. Amari Kelly added 12 points and teammates Deavaris Nichols and Jamie Chaplin each scored 11 points.
On the girls side, the Lovejoy Lady Wildcats took a 52-46 victory over the Tift Lady Blue Devils. Lovejoy’s Genesis Bryant led with 25 points. Teammate Kaziah Terrell added 11 points and Lashanti Blount scored eight points. Tift was led by Nicky Jones (11 points) and Denise Duggins (10 points).
The Newton Lady Rams were not challenged as they moved past Mays 67-40. The Rams were led by Jurnee Smith, who scored 24 points. Teammates Diamond Swift and Lexii Chatman each had 10 points. Newton took a 17-11 lead after the first quarter and a 30-25 lead at the half before blowing the game open in the second half, expanding the lead to 48-34 after three quarters.
Carrollton Christmas Tournament (Carrollton High School)
Carrollton’s home crowd was greeted to championship victories by both the boys and girls teams in the Carrollton Christmas Tournament.
The Carrollton boys held on to win 63-60 in a tightly contested championship game against Greenville. The Trojans got a huge performance from guard Marcellious Lockett. The sophomore shooting guard scored 29 points in the victory. Greenville’s D.J. Henry led his team with 17 points.
The Riverdale Raiders took a 58-56 victory over Troup County, and Justin Blossomgame led the way again with 21 points for Riverdale. Troup’s King Wimkuta led his team with 15 points. Troup took a four-point lead (14-10) after the first quarter before Riverdale cut into the lead to make it a 25-23 game at the break. At the end of the third quarter, Riverdale was clinging to a one-point lead. Blossomgame’s three three-pointers in the fourth quarter helped expand the slim lead by a point.
The Heard County boys got a thrilling 61-60 victory over the M.L. King Lions on the back of a 16-point performance by Tray Dunson. M.L. King’s D.J. Frett led his team with 21 points.
Druid Hills took an impressive 79-66 victory over the Douglass Astros as it took advantage of a 25-7 run to open the game. Douglass countered with a 23-12 run in the second quarter, but a 42-point second half gave Druid Hills the game. The Red Devils were led by Marcus Douglas, who scored 22 points. Sudan Thomas led Douglass with 23 points.
On the girls side, the Carrollton Lady Trojans pleased the home crowd with a championship victory over the Valdosta Lady Wildcats, 69-59. Carrollton was led by senior Erial Daniel. The 6-foot center scored 21 points. Carrollton jumped out to a commanding 20-10 lead after the first quarter before Valdosta opened with an 18-12 run in the second quarter to make it a 32-28 Carrollton lead at halftime. The Carrollton defense stepped up in the third quarter to support a 22-6 offensive run to blow the game open. Valdosta’s Jayla Cody led her team with 14 points.
The Dutchtown Lady Bulldogs defeated the Central Gwinnett Lady Black Knights 44-38. Dutchtown took an 8-5 lead after the first quarter and a 16-12 lead at the half. Each team scored 11 points in the third quarter to keep it a four-point game entering the final quarter. Dutchtown edged the Lady Black Knights 17-15 in the final quarter to put the game away. India Bellamy led the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points.
A thrilling overtime victory for the Locust Grove Lady Wildcats over the Chestatee Lady War Eagles, 64-55, highlighted the final day of the tournament. Locust Grove took full advantage in the overtime period, outscoring Chestatee 12-3 to seal the victory. Zamaya Passmore led Locust Grove with 23 points. Lindsey Caudell led Chestatee in scoring with 27 points.
The Pebblebrook Lady Falcons took a 70-57 victory over the M.L. King Lady Lions on the back of a 28-point performance by junior Jalicia Bass. Pebblebrook took a 17-9 lead after the first quarter. Each team managed 17 points in the second quarter as the Lady Falcons took a 34-26 lead into the locker room. Bass hit three shots from behind the arc in the third quarter to aid in a 21-15 third-quarter run in favor of Pebblebrook.
Keller Williams Christmas Classic (North Forsyth)
Blessed Trinity defeated River Ridge 49-42 in Saturday’s first game of the all-boys Keller Williams Christmas Classic. Ben Shappard led Blessed Trinity with 17 points, including making five of six free throws in the fourth quarter. Matt Shaw contributed 15 points for the Titans and was 3-of-4 on fourth-quarter free throws, as was Reid Gonzalez. Chris Williams led River Ridge with 11 points. BT led 27-17 at halftime.
Forsyth Central won the day’s second game 46-41 over Cherokee. Dominic Patterson led Forsyth Central with 11 points, Gray Bowline had 10 and Jackson Leak had nine. Forsyth Central led 15-6 after the first quarter, but Cherokee cut it to a four-point halftime deficit at 24-20. Elijah Tucker led Cherokee with 11 points, and Jon Sweeney scored eight points for the Warriors.
In the final game of the event, Creekview won 68-51 over host North Forsyth. K.J. Jenkins led all scorers with 26 points, hitting three three-pointers and scoring nine of those points in the first quarter. The Grizzlies had two players score six points and three score five points to support Jenkins, who scored his 1,000th point and became Creekview’s all-time leading scorer during the three-day event. Jonathan Pefanis had 13 points and Preston Wiggins had 11 for North Forsyth.
Peach State Holiday Classic (Jackson-Atlanta)
Westlake won the Peach State Holiday Classic girls championship with a 61-40 victory over Tucker in the second-to-last game of the day. Raven Johnson and Paris Mullins each scored 13 points to lead the Lady Lions, and Anastasia Warren contributed eight points. Jasani Buchanan paced Tucker with 14 points. Westlake led 27-22 at halftime but opened up a 14-point lead, 44-28, heading into the fourth quarter.
Heritage-Conyers held off Therrell 71-65 in the first boys game of Saturday’s action, with Trelan Scott scoring a game-high 25 points, 12 in the first quarter. Scott scored all of his points on three-pointers (5) and free throws, going 10-of-11 from the line. Josh Archer contributed 15 points for Heritage, and Josh Guilford and Samaje Jones each scored eight. Therrell had four players in double-figure scoring, with Cameron (18 pts) and Tyren Stevenson (17 pts) leading the way.
Westlake’s boys outlasted Tucker 79-67 after one overtime period. Koby Isaac had a team-high 20 points for Westlake, with all but two of those points coming in the fourth quarter or overtime; Isaac had 10 points in the fourth quarter and eight in the extra period (4-of-5 on free throws in OT). Chase Hunter scored 17 points for the Lions. Tucker’s Nicholas Watson led all scorers with 29 points, hitting six three-pointers. Josh Vann scored 12 points for the Tigers.
The Cedar Grove boys defeated Pinson Valley (Ala.) 84-78. The Saints got 21 points from Jamari Dean, 20 points from Kanaris Cumming, 16 points from Blake Austin and 13 points from Malik Johnson. Austin was 5-of-6 on free throws in the fourth quarter to help preserve the win. Pinson Valley’s Colby Jones led all scorers with 25 points, and 14 points each from Ga’Quincey McKinstry and Camron Scott. Jones exploded for 13 points in the first quarter.
In the first girls game of the day, Whitewater defeated Riverdale 30-27. Courtney Smith and Jada Claude combined for 22 of Whitewater’s 30 points, with Smith scoring a game-high 13 points and Claude contributing nine. Ayanna Powell led Riverdale with 10 points, and China Heard had seven.
The Colquitt County girls defeated Douglass 68-34 behind 26 points from Diamond Hall and 21 points from ZaNautica Downs. Both players scored 10 points in the third quarter to turn a 26-21 halftime lead into a 48-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Janiyah Ellis contributed nine points for the Lady Packers. Nekiyah Thompson scored 24 of her team’s 34 points, including 11 points in the first quarter.
The host Jackson girls fell to Luella 67-49. KamyaHollingshed scored a game-high 22 points for the Lady Lions, who jumped out to a 19-10 lead after one quarter. Zaria Bankston had 19 points, and Keely Brown had 12 for Luella. Hollingshed scored 10 points in the first quarter, and Bankston scored 10 in the third. Jamila Mitchell led Jackson with 17 points, and Tamara White had 11.
War Lodge Invitational (Sequoyah High School)
Fellowship Christian’s boys fell 60-55 to North Cobb in the 1 p.m. game. The Warriors were led by 16 points from Fred Woods. Cody Frazer of FCS scored a game-high 25 points, and Teddy Keim had 12 points on four three-pointers.
Host Sequoyah’s boys defeated Washington in the 4 p.m. game. Myles McGee had 28 points to lead the Chiefs, and Todderick Rapley led all scorers with 29 points for Washington in defeat.
In the first game of the day at 10 a.m., Woodward Academy’s girls defeated Blessed Trinity 79-69. The trio of Tyler Collins, Hannah Lovett and Madison Williams dominated the game for Woodward. Collins scored a game-high 32 points, Lovett scored 24 points and Williams added 20. Katie Hynekamp of Blessed Trinity had 27 points. Collins averaged just over 30 points in the three days of the tourney.
The Fellowship Christian girls defeated Coretta Scott King 63-18 in the 11:30 a.m. game. Cameron Swartz scored 40 points to lead the Lady Paladins, and Sadie Schulz had 13 points. Shatara Goodman scored all of Coretta Scott King’s 18 points.
Sequoyah’s girls were victorious in the 2:30 p.m. game over East Hall, 77-61. The Lady Chiefs got 26 points from Sydney Rosant, and East Hall got a game-high 31 points from Carly Winters.
In the event’s final game at 5:30 p.m., the River Ridge girls defeated Washington 75-26. Faith Arthur scored 20 points for River Ridge, and Jayda Farnell had 10 points for Washington.