Fort Mill senior Jajuan Dupree scored a career-high 27 points to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 76-58 win over Butler (N.C.) in the championship game of the Moody Holiday tournament at Northwestern High School.
Dupree had 16 at the half and finished the game a perfect 14-for-14 from the free throw line. He was named Tournament MVP. Teammates Jonathan Brown and Andrew McCartney scored 14 and 12, respectively. They were named to the All-Tournament team.
The Jackets improved to 11-1 with the win.
Katrina Moody, daughter of the late Lindberg Moody for whom the tournament is named, handed out the awards after the game.
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Butler (7-3) was ranked 12th in the Charlotte Observer's first Sweet 16 poll of the 2010-11 season. Fort Mill coach Bailey Jackson didn't hesitate before praising the Bulldogs.
"They have Division I athletes and are the best team we've played all year," Jackson said. "We did exactly what we needed to do. We knew we would turn it over some, but we didn't let them go on any kind of run."
Fort Mill took a 17-point lead, 57-40, going into the final period. Butler scored 12 of the first 14 points to cut the gap down to 7. The Bulldogs full-court pressure was creating turnovers. Senior guard Anthony Stitt, who plans to play at Charleston Southern, had two steals that he converted into layups.
Jackson called a timeout with 4:03 left in the game.
"Coach said, 'Just don't panic'," Dupree said. "We've had this team together for a long time. We did what the coaches told us."
With Jackson's advice fresh in their heads, the Jackets put the game out of reach with a 15-2 run. The team hit 9-of-10 foul shots in the final four minutes and finished the game 27-of-30 from the stripe.
"Anytime you make almost every one of them, that's pretty good," Jackson said approvingly. "Now if we can win the next tournament, we'll have a good season."
The next tournament will be for the Class AAA state championship. Fort Mill won the AAAA title in 2007.
Butler is just rounding into form as a basketball team. They have five football players that are transitioning to basketball after winning the North Carolina state championship.
"This tournament has helped us tremendously," Butler coach Kurt Wessler said. "Now we have five or six practices in with the football players, and we've played three straight games. This has been a great tournament."
Butler led 15-12 after the first quarter. The Bulldogs took their largest lead of the game on a baseline jumper from Stitt midway through the second period to make it 22-17.
Fort Mill then closed the half on a 20-4 spree. Dupree had 8 points during the pivotal run including a three-point play off a putback 40 seconds before the intermission.
Butler sophomore Channing Stribling finished with 17 points, while senior guard Marcus Burton, who was courted by Winthrop but has signed with Wagner, scored 9 points.
FORT MILL 76
BUTLER (N.C.) 58
Fort Mill -- Jonathan Brown 14, Rion Heriot 2, Jaquan Dupree 27, Stephen Auslander 2, Riley McGillan 2, Trent Butler 7, Kevin Woods 4, Andrew McCartney 12, Aaron Chapin 6
Butler -- Channing Stribling 17, Marcus Burton 9, Jalen White 6, Anthony Stitt 19, Zach Ferguson 7
3-pointers -- Fort Mill 3 (Chapin, Brown, Dupree), Butler 2 (Burton, Stitt). Team fouls -- Fort Mill 19, Butler 23. Fouled out -- None
Records: Fort Mill 10-1; Butler 7-3
Moody Holiday Tournament box scores
7th place game
JAY M. ROBINSON 35
Robinson -- Ross Gadd 6, Sean Webber 2, Sean Smith 2, Matt Arlin 2, Rayshawn Bostick 8, Leonard Woody 5, Pernell Boyce 2, Brody Koerner 8
Providence -- Ben England 11, Chauncey Concepcion 6, Tyler Edwards 6, Giavonni Mack 6, Chris Rieger 2, Robbie Van Lanen 12, Howie Davenport 7
3-pointers -- Robinson none, Providence 1 (Mack). Team fouls -- Robinson 13, Providence 10. Fouled out -- None
5th place game
SOUTH POINTE 65
AUSSIE SLAMMERS 55
Aussie -- Anton Fimmano 5, Tom Fossati 4, James Goodlad 6, Sam Fossati 5, Mitchell Bradbury 14, Luke Wrensted 6, Jeremy Paull 15
South Pointe -- Manzey Miller 17, Cody Blake 9, ZaZa Williams 8, Tyreece Brice 10, Montae Crockett 2, PJ Heath 12, Ta Hicklin 7
3-pointers -- Aussie 5 (Wrensted 2, Thompson, Goodlad, Paull),South Pointe 2 (Miller, Hicklin). Team fouls -- Aussie 14, South Pointe 15. Fouled out -- None