The Northwestern Trojans will play the Charlotte United Christian Warriors for the championship in the 14th annual Lindberg Moody Holiday Classic Monday night at 8:30 at Northwestern High School.
The Trojans earned the right to play in the championship game with a 59-48 win over the Cardinal Newman Cardinals in Saturday night’s late game.
Northwestern and Cardinal Newman battled each other on even terms for most of the contest. Northwestern led 13-12 after one period and 27-25 at intermission.
It was 38-37 in favor of the Trojans after three quarters, and neither team was giving anything. Northwestern inched ahead with just less than two minutes to play and held a 50-44 lead. The teams traded baskets, and Northwestern was in front 52-46 with 1:27 remaining.
A second trade of baskets made it 54-48. When Dwayne Hemphill scored on a layup with 32 seconds to go Northwestern was in front 56-48, and the Trojans were on the way to the title game with a hard-earned victory.
“We needed a game like this,” said Northwestern head coach Larry Davis. “After two blow outs, we needed a close game. I like the way we responded.”
Northwestern outscored Cardinal Newman 21-11 in the fourth period. The Trojans were led in the final period by Manzi Hill, who got seven of his 19 points during that time.
“We saw a mismatch, and we took advantage of it late in the game,” added Davis. “We played strong in the fourth period, because we are good shape.”
In addition to Hill’s 19 points, Clenzo Ross added 13, and Will Chitwood tossed in 12. All of Chitwood’s points came on four 3-pointers. The Trojans had eight baskets from behind the arc for the game.
“This team has responded well all season,” said Davis. “We have a lot of potential, but we have got to keep working and stay focused.”
Charles Smith led Cardinal Newman with a game-high 28 points.
In other late action on Saturday night, the Clover Blue Eagles won the Battle of the Border Tournament at Landrum High School.
Coach Bailey Jackson’s team topped Spartanburg Christian 60-58 in the championship game. The Blue Eagles beat Boiling Springs in the opening round, and defeated Woodruff in the semi-finals.
Senior Alex Thompson and junior Bryce Allen were named to the all-tournament team. Thompson averaged 19 points in the three games and Allen added 17 per game.
The Great Falls Red Devils claimed the title in the Andrew Jackson Tournament with a 41-40 win over Parkwood from Monroe, N.C.
The Red Devils led 28-24 after three periods, but Parkwood rallied to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Nigel Simpson, who led Great Falls with 17 points, made four free throws down the stretch to key the win, which improved Coach John Smith’s team to 6-3 on the year.
Jamarcus Culp added 10 points to the Red Devils’ attack, while Mardre Dean had six and O. B. Holmes and Chris Culp got four each. Mac Robertson led Parkwood with 11 points.
Jamarcus Culp was named MVP for the tournament, while Simpson and Dean were tabbed for the all-tournament team.
The Bank of York/Wing Bonz Christmas Tournament begins Monday at York High School with games in the varsity and JV girls’ divisions.
The two-day tournament will conclude on Tuesday with the championship game set for 2:45 p.m.
Irmo and Lower Richland are the top two teams in the eight-team field. Irmo is 8-0 on the year, while Lower Richland is 5-1. The JV action begins at 9 a.m. with the varsity games starting one hour later.