Roundball Classic-Round Three
The final day of the Chesnee Roundball Classic got started with the 7th place game between Blacksburg and Broome. I missed this one due to having other obligations, but from what I have gathered, Blacksburg pulled away in the 4th quarter to win 65-52.
The 4th place game featured the host Chesnee Eagles taking on the Union County Yellow Jackets. Union jumped out to the early advantage, starting on a 6-4 run. After a quarter, it was 16-12 in favor of the Jackets. Things started to turn south quickly for the hosts in the 2nd quarter.
Two of the most prevalent struggles Chesnee has had this season so far have been rebounding and turnovers. When they struggle to pull down the boards and cannot possess the ball, they also struggle to score. It hurt them when Boiling Springs routed them on opening night of the tournament. It reared its head again in this game. Chesnee didn’t score in the double digits in any of the 3 remaining quarters, tallying 9 in the 2nd and 3rd and 6 in the 4th. On the flipside, Union won the battle in the paint behind a double double from senior Ty Jeter. He had 12 points with 10 assists, helping propel the Jackets to a 62-39 win.
Union’s Keishawn Gibson followed up his big performance against Broome in night 2 with a 10 point effort.
Chesnee was led by Kaylob Blanton, who tallied 11 points. Sophomore Center Hayden Barnett, who got the start in place of Elijah Brown (out to recover from wisdom tooth surgery) logged 9.
Boiling Springs was looking to bounce back after a rough night where they not only played their worst game of the season, but they got dominated in every aspect of the game by a very good Catawba Ridge team that was without their leading scorer. They would get a chance in the 3rd place game against a familiar opponent – the Hillcrest Rams, who the Bulldogs beat 53-46 a week ago.
Much like last night, Boiling Springs played well in the first quarter. Tre Locklear tallied 6 and Dom Johnson added 5 points. Hillcrest took an early lead and held it up until the last 10 seconds of the period when Senior Forward/Guard London Hogan hit a huge three from the top of the key to give the Bulldogs a 14-11 lead heading to the 2nd.
The 2nd quarter, just like last night, did not go half as well. Tre Locklear pulled his team’s weight to help keep them in it, but the Bulldogs had 5 points – all from Locklear up until around 3:00 to play in the half. Hillcrest went on a tear while the Bulldogs were skidding, and took a 32-26 lead to the intermission.
Boiling Springs continued to not help their own case in the 3rd quarter. The Bulldogs made fundamental errors in every aspect, which a team as good as Hillcrest will make you pay for. Between BSHS’ fouls, turnovers, and inability to get shots to fall or rebound, the Rams exploded to a 19 point frame, while the Bulldogs managed just 9. Another 9 point period by Boiling Springs in the 4th and a 24 point outburst for the Rams salted this one away with ease.
Senior Shooting Guard Israel Hall led the way for Hillcrest with 28 points while his fellow senior Guard Brayden King logged 18.
Tre Locklear finished with 23 points, 6 rebounds, an assist, and 5 steals. Dom Johnson tallied 12 points with 9 rebounds.
The championship game between Catawba Ridge and Fort Mill started off exactly how this matchup was billed. Catawba Ridge is a relatively new school located in Fort Mill, and branched off mostly from Nation Ford with administration (and a basketball coach) that came from Fort Mill. So, naturally, there is a rivalry there. In fact, Catawba Ridge has just 2 losses this season. They were to Nation Ford – and both were 1 point heartbreakers. Against FMHS, “The Ridge” was 1-0, having won their only meeting prior to tonight 49-46 on a buzzer beater.
In short, when schools from Fort Mill play one another, expect a barn burner. That is exactly what we got.
Fort Mill trailed the entire first period until Freshman Guard Aj Washington drained a 3 from the right wing at the buzzer to give the Jackets a 14-13 lead.
Fort Mill doubled up the Copperheads in the 2nd stanza 16-8 to take a 29-20 lead to the half. But, it was the third quarter that flipped things on their head. The Yellow Jackets scored just 6 points. While the Copperheads mustered just 8 in the 3rd, it set the stage for a wild 4th quarter.
There were several clutch moments in the seesaw of a 4th quarter. With 3:15 to play in regulation, Copperhead Junior Guard/Forward Landon Foley drained a 3 to tie the game, breaking a long scoreless streak by both teams. About a minute later, Fort Mill’s Zach Jennings hit a trey ball from the left wing to snap a 6-0 run by CR and tie things back up at 41. Catawba Ridge re-claimed the lead 44-41 on a big 3 from Senior Forward Owen Elliott with :33 ticks left.
The game went to overtime after a 3 point play when Fort Mill’s AJ Washington split a pair of free throws, intentionally missing the 2nd so that they could get the rebound and get a quick layup, which Senior Power Forward Will Stumpf delivered on.
But for all these big moments, nothing is more clutch than a cold blooded three at the buzzer to win the game. Catawba Ridge senior Guard Tillman Chrisley put up a jumper from the far edge of the left wing that got nothing but net, propelling the Copperheads to the 53-50 overtime win and the championship in the 2022 Chesnee Roundball Classic.
Here are the final placements and records for each team in the tournament.
- Catawba Ridge 3-0
- Fort Mill 2-1
- Hillcrest 2-1
- Union 2-1
- Boiling Springs 1-2
- Chesnee 1-2
- Blacksburg 1-2
- Broome 0-2
There will be plenty more exciting tournament action after the Holiday, but for now, Merry Christmas! Be on the lookout for coverage of the annual Battle at the Border at Landrum next week.