It was a game of scoring spurts. But in the end, the Dreher Blue Devils made the decisive scoring surge to pull out the 82-73 victory to claim the championship of the Y.C. Winborn Holiday Classic at the Rock Hill High School gymnasium Tuesday night.
Dreher threatened to blow open the contest with an 8-0 third-quarter spurt to seize a 17-point lead and then, closed out the quarter with 10 unanswered points for a 62-49 advantage.
Rock Hill answered, however, with a 12-2 surge to eventually close the deficit to three, 68-65, midway through the fourth.
"We went on a run, and then, they would go on a run," Rock Hill coach Bobby Stevens said. "But we shot only 50 percent from the foul line and lost the game by nine.
"They got 16 points in transition and we got only eight. We have to do a better job of transition defense. We could have gotten blown out at one point, but battled back to cut the lead to two. We are proud of our kids because they never quit."
Dreher, a class AAA program from Columbia, led 15-9 after one quarter, but got its transition game on track in the second period. Forward Dominic Nathaniel had the touch from long range with two 3-pointers in the quarter and ignited the Blue Devils to a 38-28 lead at the half.
The Blue Devil lead grew to 17 at 53-36 when tournament MVP Chris Brown connected on one-of-two foul shots midway through the third.
Rock Hill responded with the long ball, as Xavier McFadden and Jatavius Stewart swished back-to-back 3-pointers to spark a 13-1 run to trim the deficit to six, 54-49.
Dreher closed the third with the final eight points as Brown's 3-point jumper boosted the lead to 13, 62-49.
Blue Devil forward Quayshon Hawkins scored on the interior for a 66-53 lead, but Rock Hill went on a 12-2 surge as McFadden's jumper trimmed the deficit to three, 68-65, with 3:20 remaining.
Dreher, however, regained its poise down the stretch by converting four layups against the Bearcats pressing defense to put the contest away for the nine-point win.
Dreher 15 23 24 20 -- 82
Rock Hil 9 19 21 24 -- 73