For the second straight year, the West Montgomery boys’ basketball team took on a grueling challenge playing in the seventh annual Holiday in the Pines Boys Basketball Christmas Tournament hosted by Pinecrest High School. The three-day event featured six 4A teams, one 3A team, Trinity Christian School, a private school in Fayetteville and the 1A Warriors.
The size disparity showed as the Warriors finished the tournament with three losses in three days. The Warriors opened the tournament against undefeated host Pinecrest, the eventual tournament runner-up to Trinity Christian, a team that featured some Division I prospects. The Warriors were coming off a six-day vacation and their rustiness showed as the Patriots raced to a 17-9 first period lead en route to a 71-46 victory Dec. 28.
On the following day, West played 3A Overhills close for the first half before cold shooting doomed the Warriors in the second half as they fell 76-41. In the seventh place game played Dec. 30, the Warriors took on 4A Southern Lee and once again played the Cavaliers tight for the three periods. Then the bigger school’s depth proved to be too much for West in the final frame as Southern Lee outscored West 20-9 in the fourth quarter for a 73-53 win.
“It’s tough competition playing in this tournament against teams at that level,” said West coach Chris Burgess, whose team falls to 3-6 overall. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do to get ready for our conference schedule next week. I was pleased with our overall effort in the tournament and it helps to play against these teams. It should help in the future.”
In their first tournament game against Pinecrest, the Warriors fell behind quickly as the bigger Patriot team took advantage of Warrior miscues for a 17-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. The home team opened a bigger lead in the second period, posting 21 points on the board while holding West to only 10 points, giving the Patriots a 38-19 lead at the break. Marquedis Pratt and Xavier Parter led the Warrior scoring in the first half with six points each while Travante Moore added four points and Michael Robinson a trey.
The Warriors managed to score only 10 points in the third period while Pinecrest upped their lead to 62-29 with 24 third period points. The Warriors were able to trim the Patriots’ lead in the final frame, outscoring them 17-9 for the final margin.
Pratt paced the Warriors with 18 points while Robinson finished with nine points, all from beyond the three-point arc. Parter and Moore finished with eight points each and Taylor Britt had three points. Pratt had a pair of treys in the fourth quarter.
The Overhills’ contest was a close affair in the opening half with the Warriors trailing only 20-15 at the end of the first quarter. The Warriors opened the second period with a 9-3 run, taking a 24-23 lead when Parter made a steal and drove for a lay-up with 5:40 left in the half.
Then the Jags went to full-court defensive pressure, causing West to turn the ball over, leading to easy buckets by Overhills. The Jags finished the half on a 15-6 run for a 38-30 lead going into the locker room.
Pratt paced the Warriors in the first half with 11 points while Robinson had eight points.
The Warrior shooting went into a deep freeze with only three points during the third quarter while the Jags added 18 points for a 56-33 lead going into the fourth period.
With the Warriors trailing by more than 20 points, Coach Burgess emptied his bench while the Overhills’ coach Gary Bell continued the full-court pressure with his starters in the contest until less than five minutes left in the game. The Jags outscored the Warriors 20-8 in the fourth period for the 35-point victory.
Robinson paced the Warriors with 12 points followed by Pratt with 11, Anthony Baldwin six, Britt four, Danquan Sturdivant three, Jyquion Atkins two, Parter two and Shaquille Hinson one.
In the final day of action against Southern Lee, the two teams played to a 16-16 tie in the first period with Parter scoring six of the Warrior points. In the second period, the two teams continued to swap buckets with the Warriors trailing 26-25 with 1:22 left in the half. Southern Lee finished the half with five points, giving them a 31-25 lead at the half.
The Cavaliers continued their scoring run in the third period scoring the first four points before Pratt broke the run with a bucket from the wing. Southern Lee went on to outscore the Warriors 22-19 during the third quarter, putting them on top 53-44 going into the fourth period.
The Cavaliers continued their hot shooting in the fourth period posting 20 points while West managed only nine points.
Pratt led the West scoring with 14 points with six coming from behind the arc. Parter added 11 points followed by Baldwin with eight, Terry Pegues six, Moore five, Atkins three, Robinson two, Britt two, Sturdivant one and A.J. Bowden one.
The Warriors jumped back into Yadkin Valley Conference action last night when they hosted Chatham Central. West is currently 3-1 in league action. West travels to Albemarle Friday and hosts South Davidson next Wednesday. The junior varsity boys’ games are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. followed by the varsity girls’ and boys’ games.