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Holiday basketball updates from Thursday

ajc.com

Credit: Todd Forrest, @hotrodtodd25

Credit: Todd Forrest, @hotrodtodd25

Basketball took center stage over the holidays as teams competed in various tournaments in and out of state. Here is a look at what went down on Thursday.

Chuck Miller Classic at McDonough: The 35th edition of Henry County's annual Chuck Miller Classic tipped off on Thursday at the newly opened McDonough High School. The storied tournament, which originated as the Warhawks Classic in 1984 and became the 'Chuck Miller Classic' in 2009, features eight teams on both the girls and boys side this year and will crown its champions this upcoming Saturday. The Mundy's Mill girls scored a 38-23 victory over KIPP Atlanta to advance to the championship bracket, but the Mundy's Mill boys lost to 43-41 to Whitefield Academy. Senior guard Mason Pierre scored a game-high 17 points in the defeat.

The Arabia Mountain girls led 46-25 halftime lead over Jackson and then won 80-44. The Lady Rams improved to 12-1 with the victory and have now won 10-straight games as they prep for the championship bracket. The Stockbridge boys have struggled early on this season—opening with a 3-8 overall record and a 2-4 start in Region 4-AAAAA play. On Thursday, however, the Tigers were able to kick start this year’s Chuck Miller Classic with a 66-57 win over Hampton.

Holiday Round Ball Classic at Josey (Augusta): This season marks the 20th year of this annual tournament, with eight boys and girls teams taking to the court today to kick off the three-day event. First to take the court were the Laney and Lincoln County boys teams, who kept the game close at halftime with Lincoln County up 27-26 on the back of a stellar outing by freshman Franquon Sherman who either scored or made an assist on 16 of the Red Devils' first 20 points. However, the Wildcats continued to play physical basketball and won 55-48. Leading Laney in scoring were Jonathan Taylor with 15 points and Donovan Jackson with 14. Next up for the boys were Josey and Johnson, were the Atomsmashers soundly advanced following a 53-34 victory. Leading Johnson in scoring were Emondre Bowles with 12 points and Derek Edwards with 14. Dylan Boone had 13 rebounds. Johnson now Laney in the second round.

The Hephzibah Rebels were next to advance into the second stage of the tournament with an 83-38 win over Bethlehem. The Rebels outscored Bethlehem 21-8 in the first quarter and led 39-16 at halftime as Hephzibah quickly secured a second-round spot. There, the Rebels will meet Glenn Hills following its 71-60 win over Cross Creek.

For the girls, the Butler Bulldogs advanced to the next round of play with a win over Glenn Hills, a team they soundly defeated earlier in the season. There, Butler will face off against Cross Creek, who served the Bulldogs a 57-47 loss to open the 2019 season. Cross Creek’s win over Bethlehem will give the Razorbacks a chance to claim another win over Butler and put them one step closer to Saturday’s 7 p.m. championship game. The Hephzibah girls failed to join the school’s boys team in the second round following a hard-fought 50-30 loss to out-of-state opponent Aiken. The Fighting Green Hornets will be met by Josey tomorrow at 4 p.m. following the Eagles’ win over ARC.

Monterrey Christmas Tournament at Evans:  A four-game schedule on the boys and girls side of the tournament began on Thursday and on the boys side, after leading just 33-30 at halftime, Rockdale pulled away in the second half to a 68-46 victory over Fox Creek, SC. Rockdale's 28-7 run in the third quarter helped put the game away. Kevin Sesberry led with 22 points, 14 in the third quarter. Chase Hill and Jheim McDonald each scored 13 points. In the second boys game of the day, Windsor Forest defeated Locust Grove 76-67 behind Shamar Norman's 29 points. Ray Williams and Mike Caballero each scored 10 points. In the third game, South Carolina program East Clarendon defeated Greene County 56-54 after a 20-14 run in the third quarter. In the final boys game, Evans defeated Silver Bluff, SC 82-50 after leading 44-24 at the half.

In the first girls game, Rockdale beat Greenbrier to move to 6-4 on the season. Grovetown beat Strom Thurmond, SC 43-24 in the second girls game of the day and will face Rockdale County at 4 p.m. on Friday. In the third girls game, Warner Robins beat Locust Grove 54-36.

Battle of the States Christmas Tournament at Towns: The 26th Annual Battle of the States Christmas Tournament has a schedule of four boys and four girls games on Thursday beginning at 10 a.m. and will finish play with the championship games on Saturday evening.

On the girls side, Union County defeated South Carolina program Walhalla 75-38 and Ava Hunter’s 17 points led the way. Ellie Cook and Kait McCarter each scored 11 points. In another girls game, Murphy (NC) defeated Lumpkin County 70-65.

For the boys, Union County handed Walhalla its first loss after the 54-53 victory. At the half, Union trailed 35-30 and the game was tied at 44 entering the fourth quarter. Pierson Allison led with 15 points and Kyle Morlock scored 13 points. Sawyer Drake finished with six points.

On Friday, Union County’s girls will face Murphy NC at 4 p.m. and the Union County boys will face Lumpkin County at 5:30 p.m.

Notable results from other events around the state and the country: In the Big Orange Classic in Alabama, Alexander defeated Wenonah 52-42. … In the Paul Thigpen Motor Group Christmas Classic, Vidalia's boys defeated Alexander 71-45. … In the Holiday Hoopla event in Vero Beach, Florida, Clarke Central's boys beat Treasure Coast 69-52. … In the Kingdom of the Sun Tournament at Vanguard High School in Ocala, Florida, Columbia's boys beat North Marion, FL 64-40. … In the Vereen Rehabilitation Christmas Shoot-out in Moultrie, Brunswick's girls defeated Lowndes 60-48 and Colquitt County beat Florida program Choctawhatchee 63-47. … In the Campbell Holiday Classic, Alexander's girls defeated Marietta 57-54 and host Campbell beat Decatur 60-19. Creekview got a 60-48 victory over Florida school Ridge Community. In the Les Schwab Invitational in Hillsboro, Oregon, Norcross defeated Oregon program West Linn 62-58. Josh Taylor led with 24 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and a steal. Quincy Ademokoya scored 20 points with four rebounds and two assists. J.T. Thor finished with 15 points and four rebounds for Norcross. … In the Vidalia Christmas Tournament, Tattnall County's girls defeated Jefferson County 75-41. The Warriors led 24-10 after the first quarter and put the game away with a 26-11 run in the third quarter. Also in the Vidalia Christmas Tournament, host Vidalia defeated the Savannah girls 33-27. … In the Tattnall Christmas Classic, Central-Macon defeated Tennesee's Chattanooga Christian 39-35. Telecia Taylor led with 15 points and four steals. Courtnie Stephens scored nine points and two steals and Trazur Cooper scored seven points with 12 rebounds and two assists.

See the rest of the scores below.

Boys

Alexander 52, Wenonah AL 42

Americus-Sumter 51, Eagle's Landing 48

Bainbridge 52, Lowndes 40

Clarke Central 69, Treasure Coast FL 52

Columbia 64, North Marion FL 40

Cristo Rey Atlanta 67, Chamblee 52

East Clarendon SC 56, Greene County 54

Hamilton AL 65, Osborne 34

Hephzibah 83, Bethlehem Christian 38

Lakeside-Evans 51, Hammond SC 45

Laney 55, Lincoln County 48

Lumpkin County 71, Murphy NC 54

M. L. King 65, Butler 63

Miller County 68, Cook 41

Norcross 62, West Linn OR 58

Rockdale County 68, Fox Creek SC 46

Statesboro 45, Hiram 43

Stockbridge 66, Hampton 57

Swainsboro 57, Greenbrier 53

Tattnall County 58, Jefferson County 46

Union County 54, Walhalla SC 53

Valdosta 73, Gainesville FL 62

Vidalia 71, Glynn Academy 45

Whitefield Academy 43, Mundy's Mill 41

Girls

Aiken, SC 50, Hephzibah 30

Alexander 57, Marietta 54

Arabia Mountain 80, Jackson 44

Brunswick 60, Lowndes 48

Campbell 60, Decatur 19

Colquitt County 63, Choctawhatchee FL 47

Creekview 60, Ridge Community FL 48

Drew 43, Carver-Atlanta 42

Murphy NC 70, Lumpkin County 65

Peachtree Ridge 75, Cristo Rey Atlanta 41

Plano TX 54, McEachern 49

Sprayberry 45, South Cobb 42

Tattnall County 75, Jefferson County 41

Union County 75, Walhalla SC 38

Valdosta 83, Gadsden County AL 19

Vidalia 33, Savannah 27

Warner Robins 54, Locust Grove 36

Washington County 53, Camden County 43

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