Panther Creek’s Jackson Reid and Word of God’s Todd Burt Jr. battle for a rebound on Dec. 29, 2017 in the John Wall Holiday Invitational. Photo Courtesy of the John Wall Holiday Invitational
Panther Creek’s Jackson Reid and Word of God’s Todd Burt Jr. battle for a rebound on Dec. 29, 2017 in the John Wall Holiday Invitational. Photo Courtesy of the John Wall Holiday Invitational

High School Sports

Day 3 recaps: Teams battle for their John Wall Holiday Invitational finish

By J. Mike Blake

mblake@newsobserver.com

December 29, 2017 06:34 PM

The John Wall Holiday Invitational will have a big finale on Saturday, with championship games in all three brackets. On Friday, six teams from the David West bracket and six girls teams wrapped up their stay in the tournament.

There is one time change for Saturday: the David West bracket title between Garner and Greenfield School will now be the finale at 8:30 p.m.

That means Broughton’s Holiday Gymnasium might be sold out hours in advance.

David West bracket

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7th-place game – Greene Central 80, Downey Christian (Fla.) 68: One day after Greene Central coach Charles Harris got emotional talking about how proud he was of his small-town kids, the Rams took down YouTube phenom Julian Newman and the Patriots from Orlando. Newman’s struggles in the tournament continued: he shot 5-of-17 from the field (5- of-12 from 3-point range) and got 26 points. Greene Central’s Torrence Clark nearly became the third player in the 46-year history of the tournament to get a triple-double, finishing with 9 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. DonQuez Davis had 17 points in the win.

5th-place game – Trinity Christian 69, Kinston 45: The Crusaders from Fayetteville were in charge from start to finish, holding Kinston to 29.5 percent shooting. Dontrez Styles had 10 points in the loss. Greg Gantt and Duke recruit Joey Baker had 12 points each in the win.

3rd-place game – Broughton 71, Christ School 66: Broughton takes third in its own tournament, a strong effort after suffering its first loss of the year – by two points no less – in the semifinals. Jalen Finch had 23, D.J. Thomas had 17 and Jessup Lowe had 16 to lead the Caps. Christ School star Jalen Lecque had 15, and post player Brandon Stone had 19 in the loss.

Saturday’s championship:

Garner vs. Greenfield School, 8:30 p.m.

T.J. Warren bracket

Consolation – Cannon School 64, Heritage 55: The Huskies got 20 points from Virginia Tech recruit Jarren McAllister and 15 from East Carolina recruit Jayden Gardner (11 rebounds), but it wasn’t enough against Cannon. Qon Murphy had 32 in the win, and Jarius Hamilton added 23.

Consolation – Word of God 67, Panther Creek 61 (OT): It doesn’t get more pressure-packed than going to the line to shoot three free throws while down three with two seconds left. Justin McKoy of Panther Creek sank all three to push it into overtime, but Word of God was too strong in the extra period. McKoy was 17-of-22 from the free-throw line to finish with 32 points in the loss. The Holy Rams got a balanced scoring effort, led by Trevon Spencer’s 17 points.

Semifinal – University School (Fla.) 65, Wesleyan Christian 64: Arguably the best team in the state of North Carolina fell in a nailbiter against Vernon Carey Jr. and company. University School was led by Carey’s 24 points (8-of-10 shooting) and seven rebounds.

Semifinal – Hillcrest Prep (Az.) 76, IMG Academy (Fla.) 60: The Bruins from Phoenix are heading to the title game, led by Muhammad Jafari’s 19 points. IMG Academy, led by Jahmius Ramsey’s 22 points, was denied from making it an all-Florida final.

Saturday’s schedule:

7th-place game: Heritage vs. Panther Creek, noon

5th-place game: Word of God vs. Cannon School, 3:30 p.m.

3rd-place game: Wesleyan Christian vs. IMG Academy (Fla.), 5:15 p.m.

Championship: University School (Fla.) vs. Hillcrest Prep (Az.), 7 p.m.

Girls bracket

7th-place game – Northwood Temple 74, Neuse Christian 55: In what could be a preview of the NCISAA 1A girls basketball championship, Neuse Christian fell to Fayetteville’s Northwood Temple.

5th-place game – Wesleyan Christian 55, Cary 49: Cary ended the tournament with a 1-2 record after falling to the Trojans from High Point.

3rd-place game – Mallard Creek 67, Hillside 17: The Mavericks from Charlotte took their semifinal loss to Southeast Raleigh out on Hillside.

Saturday’s championship:

Heritage vs. Southeast Raleigh, 1:50 p.m.