Here’s a look at how some of the top teams in the classification finished up in holiday tournaments:
St. Francis picked up two big wins in the annual Tournament of Champions at Wheeler, beating Blanche Ely of Florida 82-77 and Class AAAAAAA Newton 70-68 before falling to Class AAAAAAA Wheeler in the title game. Junior G Dwon Odum had 34 against Blanche Ely. The Knights squandered a 41-33 halftime lead against Newton, but held off the Rams behind a 17-point effort by Odum and a double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds) by junior G Chase Ellis.
Mt. Bethel picked up two wins over larger out-of-state schools at the Arby’s Classic in Bristol, Tennessee – 55-47 over Sullivan East of Bluff City, Tennessee, and 59-54 over Orem of Utah.
Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy earned wins against two teams from the state’s largest classification, Etowah (61-44) and Mill Creek (76-59), at the Lake City Classic at Allatoona.
Greenforest beat United Faith Christian Academy of Charlotte (68-60) in the Chick-fil-A Classic in Columbia, South Carolina, and then knocked off Class AAAAA Cedar Shoals (54-47) and Class AAAAAA Heritage-Conyers (85-59), before losing in five overtimes to Class AAAAAA Chattahoochee, 93-90 in the Tournament of Champions at Wheeler.
Pelham beat Class AA Early County 56-40, as senior F Ke’Monterius Byrd earned his third double-double of the season (12 points, 15 rebounds). The Hornets nearly knocked off Class AAAAAAA Lowndes before falling late, 54-50.
Wesleyan looks unstoppable early. The Wolves remained unbeaten (12-0) by rolling to wins over Fort Dorchester of Columbia, South Carolina (53-38), North Marion of Farmington, West Virginia (68-35) and Bullitt East of Mount Washington, Kentucky (51-35), to win the championship of the Carolina Invitational in Charleston.
No. 2 St. Francis earned a big win over Beach, one of the best teams in Class AAA, at the Big South Shootout 57-45.
Marion County stayed perfect on the season (10-0) and went 3-0 in the Muscogee County Christmas Tournament, beating Class AAAA Columbus (63-53), Class AA Jordan (67-36) and Class AAAA Hardaway (58-40).
Turner County, the 2016 state champs, have now won nine straight, including a big win over one of the top teams in Class AA, Putnam County, 65-63. Junior G Mya Byrd had a monster game with 15 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists and 8 steals.
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