Sunland, Tabby pick up wins in international competition
A pair of local high school basketball teams emerged victorious in different Christmas tournaments abroad yesterday.
The Sunland Baptist Stingers took down East Lee County High School to win Oasis High School’s 4th Annual Santa Slam Basketball Tournament, which took place in Cape Coral, Florida, and the Tabernacle Baptist Falcons cruised to a win over David Crockett High School to win the consolation final of the 2016 Arby’s Classic. The Arby’s Classic is held annually in Bristol, Tennessee.
Sunland Baptist 72, East Lee County 65
The Stingers put it together when it counted the most down the stretch, as they held on to edge the previously unbeaten East Lee County High School Jaguars, 72-65.
The Stingers were led by All-Tournament Team selections Brandon Meadows and William Brown. Meadows pumped in a game-high 26 points, and Brown added 18. Ethan Munroe chipped in with nine points and Joshua Cornish had seven.
The title win marked the first time in the program’s history that it won an international tournament.
Freddie Word scored 22 points and Kyle Robinson had 17 points in the loss for the Jaguars.
The Stingers knocked off host Oasis High School, 82-52, on Tuesday to advance to yesterday’s championship game. Brown led Sunland with 25 points in that game, and Meadows and Munroe added 10 points apiece.
To prepare for the Santa Slam Tournament, the Stingers played two exhibition games against Bartow High School and Southland Christian Academy.
They finished with two victories in those games, routing Bartow 49-23 and knocking off Southland Christian, 45-34.
Meadows led the team in scoring in both games. He had 11 against Bartow and nine against Southland.
Tabernacle Falcons 74, David Crockett 31
The Falcons showed that their defense is definitely a force to be reckoned with this season, holding the David Crockett High School Pioneers to just 24 percent shooting from the field, cruising to a 74-31 win yesterday in the consolation round of this year’s Arby’s Classic.
The Falcons bounced back, overcoming Tuesday’s 18-point loss to McCallie High School.
While they shot as much three-pointers as most would expect from a Tabernacle team, this year’s team plans to hang their hats on defense.
“This is my first year at the helm, and I wanted the team to know how to play,” said Tabernacle Head Coach Kevin Clarke. “That was very important for me. We always have athletes, and now I think the kids are buying in. They now know how to play. It’s making us a lot better.”
According to Clarke, ball movement is a priority for the Falcons this season.
“We weren’t really happy after Tuesday’s showing against McCallie,” he said. “That game really helped us. We wanted to come out and play our style of basketball, which is pressuring the ball, getting out in transition and running our stuff.”
Shyrone Kemp led the Falcons with 18 points, and Desmond Butler added 17 in the win.
In Tabernacle’s 71-53 loss to the McCallie Blue Tornado out of Tennessee, Franco Miller led the team with 20 points. He also had five assists.