Published Saturday, December 29, 2012
By DOUG GORMAN
Maybe there was something about playing in their own backyard, but it was a good night for three local teams in the Heritage School Christmas Tournament.
The event started with the Trinity Christian boys getting a win over Dawson Street, followed by the Heritage School varsity teams sweeping Griffin Christian.
The Trinity Christian girls' game against Dawson Street was cancelled after their opponent didn’t have enough players to make the trip from LaGrange.
(To view photos from this tournament, please visit http://photos.times-herald.com/mycapture/ and click on Sports for the Photo Gallery.)
The Heritage School Hawks used a deep bench and some timely baskets to knock off Griffin Christian in a game that went down to the wire with the Hawks winning 92-86. The game featured 10 lead changes and 13 players scored at least one point for the Hawks en route to the win.
Freshman Spencer Perry helped the Hawks keep the lead in the fourth quarter with two 3-point shots. The Hawks went into the fourth quarter with a 69-65 lead and stayed out front the rest of the way thanks to some key baskets down the stretch.
In addition to Perry’s two fourth-quarter trey’s, Garrett Jones scored six of his 12 points in the final eight minutes. His last basket gave the Hawks an 87-82 lead.
Using tough defense in the final two minutes, the Hawks held the Crusaders to just four points. A forced turnover in the final minute led to a Caleb Vaughn basket and sealed the game.
“That was a big victory,” Heritage coach Rusty Evans said. “It wasn’t pretty but we will take it.”
Griffin Christian was paced by Jonathan Hammond who scored 32 points. Hammond started out on fire for the Crusaders, scoring 11 points in the first quarter.
Heritage relied on 3-pointers by Cooper Martin, Vaughn and Glavin Groover for to push the lead to 49-46 at the break. The Hawks scored 20 points in the third quarter and led 69-65 heading into the final period.
• BOYS – Trinity Christian 64, Dawson Street 54
The Lions used a combination of outside shooting and tough inside scoring to put away Dawson Street 64-54.
Thiago D’Elia paced the Lions offensive attack finishing the game with a double-double. D’Elia finished with 19 points including three 3-pointers to go with 10 rebounds en route the Lions’ win. Avery Braxton, who finished with 9 points, and Luke Hammock also had 3-pointers for the Lions.
J.T. Patton hit two 3-point shots in the first quarter and finished with 17 for Dawson Street.
Dawson Street led 14-8 at the end of the first quarter, but the Lions tied the game at 19-19 early in the second quarter and eventually led 31-28 at the break.
Trinity Christian held off a fourth-quarter charge en route to the victory. Leading 51-39 at the end of the third quarter, the Lions let Dawson Street back in the game with poor shot selection.
Trinity Christian took its biggest lead of the second half early in the fourth quarter after Spencer Bryan hit a basket to put the Lions up 55-39. Instead of throwing the knockout punch, however, Dawson Street got back into the game with a 15-5 run.
The Lions finally were able to preserve the victory with under a minute to go with quick baskets by Mark Collier and Glen Whisby.
• GIRLS – Heritage School 53, Griffin Christian 38
The Heritage School Lady Hawks took control of their game against the Lady Crusaders with a stellar offensive performance second quarter. In the end, it translated into a 53-38 victory.
Trailing at one point 19-12, Heritage School closed out the first half on a 19-2 run to lead 31-19 at the break.
“That run was really huge for us,” said first-year coach Derrick Clay. “It just showed what can happen when we play together.”
Chase Parker finished with 17 points to lead the Lady Hawks to the win.
The second-quarter fireworks came after a slow start in the first quarter as Heritage trailed 12-9. Leyah Brown gave the Lady Crusaders a 17-12 lead midway through the second quarter, but from there Heritage School found its offense.
Ruthie Powell got hot from the free throw line, hitting 5 of 6 in the second quarter. Parker converted three baskets in the second quarter, her final shot of the period lifting the Hawks to their first 10-point lead of the game at 29-19.
The Lady Hawks held the Lady Crusaders to just three shots from the field in the second half to push the lead to 43-26 heading at the end of three quarters.
Action continues today at Heritage School with Trinity Christian's girls facing Griffin Christian at 1. The boys play Griffin Christian at 2:30.
The Heritage School girls and boys round out the event with games against Dawson Street. A doubleheader will start at 4 p.m.