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Five Big Things: Broome Outlasts Chapman

As the holiday tournament season starts to wrap up across South Carolina, Chapman High tipped off the 2024 New Year’s Classic with the first two of six games over the course of this week. Overcoming a slow start, the Broome Centurions were able to take down the host Panthers by a final score of 47-44. Here are my biggest takeaways from the game. 

 

1-The first half of this game was your typical half-full gym, winter break, low energy start for both teams. Turnovers, forcing shots, and a slow pace defined the opening minutes especially for Broome as it took over three minutes to score its first points. The Centurions missed starting shooting guard Kamajay Brackett-Brannon during last week’s Battle at the Border tournament, and being back to full strength really helped take some of the attention off of other scoring threats like Xavier Hill and Ja’Coreyun Broaddus. The pace picked up in the second quarter for Broome against Chapman’s 2-1-2 zone as it moved the ball around the perimeter and created space for easy buckets under the rim.

2-Broaddus had a game-high 20 PTS, including 11 in the second half as he dominated the glass and showed touch in the post to clean up misses. Additionally, Xavier Hill scored the winning points when the score was tight late in the fourth quarter. In a tie game with a minute to go, Hill slashed to the rim for a lay-up to put the Centurions ahead, then along with Brackett-Brannon hit the winning free throws. Hill is such an effective point guard, showing off flashy passing skills, high game IQ, and ability to score from all three levels. 

3-Chapman struggled with multiple scoring droughts and frankly were the team that lacked the energy required to play with a quick Broome team early on. The Panthers figured it out in key moments late in halves, but you can’t just flip the switch on when you need it once region play begins. Turnovers and missed shots plagued the Panthers in the first half, until Colt McAllister came off the bench and went on a personal 7-0 run to close the first half. The Panthers missed an opportunity to keep the pressure on by leaving McAllister on the bench to start the third quarter, but picked it back up with buckets from Hawken Smith and McAllister to draw close in the fourth quarter. Down three points with five seconds to go, Colby Moon got a good look at a three to force overtime but couldn’t hit. 

4-McAllister was the spark plug for the Panthers offense finishing with 12 PTS, finding athletic ways to get to the rim and hitting from mid-range as well. Rashawn Cunningham and Nazar Ackbar each scored 7 PTS in the post for Chapman, and Hawken Smith overcame a slow start for 6 second half points. At the end of the day, Chapman lacked the shooting in this one to maintain a lead and it cost them in the end.

5-As a part of a round robin in the New Year’s Classic, this matchup does not count towards Region 3-3A standings. Entering this week’s action, none of the five teams in the region (including Travelers Rest, Blue Ridge, and Carolina Academy) have winning records. This region is up for grabs, and if either of the two teams I saw tonight can put it together over the course of the month will be worthy region champions in the end. They just have to go and take it.

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