Chapel Hill wins Gold Bracket

Published on Saturday, 29 December 2012 23:55 - Written by Shane Stark


Chapel Hill’s Michael Harris got the offensive rebound, elevated and then scored on the putback.

With the game on the line, Harris and the Bulldogs dominated in the paint.

Harris finished with a game-high 21 points to help Chapel Hill get past All Saints, 75-66, in the Gold Bracket final of the Wagstaff Holiday Classic on Saturday night at Tyler Junior College’s Wagstaff Gymnasium.

Harris, a 6-6 senior, helped the Bulldogs take control under the basket during the fourth quarter to regain the lead and then pull away. Chapel Hill had had three consecutive three-point plays with about five minutes to go, turning a two-point deficit into a four-point advantage.

The Bulldogs never trailed again, also getting big-time performances from 6-4 forward Keith Minor and DJ Sammons.

“I think the big thing is our guards distributed a little better and passed the ball a little better,” Chapel Hill coach Robert Sampson said. “The guards picked it up and handled it better and got the ball to the big men.”

With the victory, Chapel Hill (11-7) swept through Tyler area private schools with victories against T.K. Gorman, Brook Hill and All Saints. The Bulldogs displayed superior post play and athleticism throughout the week, evidenced by the fourth-quarter surge.

Sammons finished second in scoring for the Bulldogs, contributing 18 points and going 6 for 6 from the foul line during the final minute. Keith Minor used his frame to batter the Trojans in the paint and finish the night with 10 points.

Sophomore Jaired Maddox scored 19 points to lead All Saints, which fell to 17-8 on the season after scoring victories against Carthage and King’s Academy during the first two rounds of the tournament. The Trojans were also represented in double figures by sophomore Aston Francis (13 points) and freshman Luke Lee (11 points).

The Trojans outscored the Bulldogs 20-8 in the third quarter to take a 53-48 lead into the fourth, thanks to six different players contributing to the offensive effort. The lead increased to 54-48 on a Francis free throw early in the fourth, but Chapel Hill took over from there — thanks in large part to scoring six consecutive points on three baskets and three trips to the foul line.

Sammons drained a 3-pointer to make the score 67-60 with less than two minutes remaining, before the Bulldogs finished the game 8 for 8 from the line.

Chapel Hill entered the halftime break leading 40-33, thanks to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Jerod Mitchem — the senior’s first points of the game. The Bulldogs led for most of the half, but All Saints kept the game close throughout the entertaining first 16 minutes.

The top scorer for the half was Maddox, who had 13 points. Sammons paced Chapel Hill with nine points.


Brook Hill 71,

King’s Academy 45

Grant Hanks, Chase McDermott and Alex Hale all hit in double figures as Bullard Brook Hill secured third place in the Wagstaff Holiday Classic with a 71-45 victory over King’s Academy.

Hanks led the way with 21 points, while McDermott was next with 19. Hale added 18 points and seven rebounds.

McDermott added eight rebounds and Bryant Robinson contributed six boards.

Caleb Sherrod paced the Royal Knights with a game-high 29 points.

Sherrod scored his team’s first 14 points and Hanks scored his team’s first nine points.

Ben Flanders added nine points for the Royal Knights. He also led his team with eight rebounds.

Cole Rainwater and Sherrod contributed six rebounds apiece.

— Phil Hicks


Grace 57,

Henderson 48

The Grace Community Cougars became energized after halftime to outscore Henderson 22-3 in the third period to overcome a six-point halftime deficit and score a 57-48 win over the Lions in the opening game of the final day in the Wagstaff Holiday Classic.

The Cougars received eight points from Andrew Melhart to lead the third period surge.

Grace would have a run of 13-4 and finish the quarter on a 9-0 run to push its lead to 49-36. The final point came on Trevor Gunter’s charity toss.

Henderson had its halftime advantage with Darryle Washington scoring 13 second period points.

The Cougars were led in scoring by Verlo Levels, who had 20 points and six rebounds.

Also in double figures for the Cougars were Gunter and Andrew Melhart with 14 points each. Gunter contributed seven rebounds.

Washington led the Lions in scoring with 15 points and nine rebounds.

Henderson’s Michael White added 12 points and Zane Boles netted 10 points.

— Jimmy Hicks


Bishop Gorman 61,

Henderson 48

Bishop Gorman raced out to a 15-point first quarter lead and cruised to a 61-48 victory over Henderson.

Ben Ashworth scored 23 points and Sean Goforth added 14 points for the Crusaders.

Washington scored 11 points and Tre’ Hollins added 10 points for the Lions, who played back-to-back games as Carthage elected not to play due to transportation problems.

— Jimmy Hicks