The Northwestern and Nation Ford boys claimed first-round wins in the 14th annual Lindberg Moody Holiday Classic on Thursday at Northwestern.
Northwestern used good outside shooting, a strong transition game, and a pressure defense to rout the Lewisville Lions 66-28.
The Trojans started slowly, but picked up the pace in the final three minutes of the first quarter. Will Chitwood’s first 3-pointer gave Northwestern a 9-4 lead with 2:53 left in the first quarter. Less than 40 seconds later his second three upped the margin to 12-4. His final one from beyond the arc made it 15-4 with 1:49 remaining in the opening period, and the Trojans were off and running.
By intermission Northwestern was in front 37-16. The Trojans substituted freely in the second half. The reserves played well for the Trojans, holding Lewisville scoreless in the final period.
Clenzo Ross led Northwestern with 19 points. He had 15 in the first half. Chitwood finished with 12, with all of his points coming on baskets from behind the arc.
“We had far too many turnovers tonight,” said Northwestern coach Larry Davis. “We did some good things, and I think that we are getting better as we have time to get in some quality practices.”
Davis worked with quite a few different combinations in the one-sided win, which improved the Trojans to 7-2 on the year.
“This tournament will allow us to find the chemistry that we want,” said Davis. “I also want to get some quality playing time for as many players as possible. The players are responding to what we want them to do, and we are starting to jell as a team.”
Obbie Sarduy led the Lions in scoring with nine points. He got help from Jarris Elder and Tyrone McCullough, who added seven and six, respectively.
• Nation Ford toppled the Bethesda Academy Blazers 76-49.
The Falcons broke a 4-4 tie midway through the first quarter to claim a 13-6 lead when it was over. Hank Tuipulotu’s four-foot jumper in the lane at the buzzer gave the Falcons the early lead.
They stretched it to 31-20 at intermission as the pressing defense began to pay some dividends. Riley Hilton converted a layup and a free throw in the first 30 seconds of the third quarter to set the tone for the second half.
When the third quarter was over the Falcons led 54-31, and they coasted from there to move into the winner’s bracket on Friday.
“We were a little bit sluggish to start the game,” said Nation Ford coach Michael Tew. “We turned it up on the defensive end and that really got us going.”
Tew, who is in his first season at Nation Ford, feels good about where his team is right now.
“We are learning about what we can and cannot do,” added Tew. “We are continuing to get better, and we must continue to get better because this region is tough.”
Hilton led the Falcons with a game-high 23 points. He got plenty of help from a balanced scoring attack. Mike Campbell added nine to the winning cause, while Dai’Sean McCain and Tuipulotu added eight and seven points, respectively.
“I like the way we are sharing the ball,” said Tew. “We are looking for each other, and that will help us. I talk every day about our players working together.”
Kearston Berksteiner led the Blazers with 16 points. Avery Joyner joined him in double figures with 14, and Shawn Deloach added six.
Action continues on Friday with the first game beginning at 10 a.m. The tournament will play its third round on Saturday and the championship on Monday.
This is the first year the tournament has used a 16-team field. In past years, the field had only eight teams. Irmo, last year’s champion, is not in this year’s field. The only prior tournament winner in this year’s field is Northwestern. The Trojans won the tournament back in 2007.
Thursday’s Moody scores
Lakewood 61, Allendale-Fairfax 42
Charlotte United Christian 68, Riverside 50
Oakbrook Prep 59, Blythewood 53
Westwood 66, Hickory Grove Christian 25
Nation Ford 76, Bethesda 49
Cardinal Newman 44, Archbishop Carroll 34
Northwestern 66, Lewisville 28
• In other tournament action, the Clover boys defeated the Boiling Springs Bulldogs in the opening round of the Battle of the Border Tournament at Landrum High School.
The Blue Eagles trailed 16-15 after one quarter but outscored the Bulldogs 20-10 in the second quarter for a 35-26 lead at halftime. They outscored Boiling Springs 21-12 in the third quarter for a 56-38 lead and coasted on from there.
Alex Thompson led the Clover scoring attack with 23 points. Bryce Allen added 18. Each had three goals from beyond the arc. Aaron Milner tossed in 12 points as 10 players scored for Coach Bailey Jackson’s Blue Eagles.
The win upped Clover’s record to 5-5 on the year. It will take on Woodruff in the second round on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
• The Westminster Catawba boys defeated the Greenville Tech Warriors 55-52 to claim a first round win in the Wells Fargo Holiday Classic in Asheville, N.C.
Luke Hamrock scored his 1,000th career point to lead Westminster Catawba to the victory. He finished with 31 points.
The Warriors started fast and took a 14-9 lead after one quarter. Greenville Tech added to the count in the second quarter and led 25-17 at halftime.
Westminster Catawba turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter. That pressure created some turnovers, which the Indians converted into points.
When the third period was over the Warriors lead had been trimmed to 37-35. Westminster Catawba continued the rally by outscoring Greenville Tech 20-15 in the fourth period to claim the win.
Hamrick had 24 of his points in the second half. Included in that total were four goals from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Indians will play in the semifinals at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
• The Fort Mill boys lost to Eastside 48-44 in the opening round of the Poinsettia Classic in Greenville. The Yellow Jackets play in the second round on Friday at noon.