Patriots get jump on holiday tournaments
by Staff Writer
With school closed for the winter break, Lake Norman-area boys and girls basketball teams spent their time competing in local and, in some cases, out-of-state holiday tournaments.
The North Mecklenburg girls traveled to nearby Denver for the East Lincoln Winter Jam and faced Myers Park in the first round on Dec. 28. The Viking boys opted to play three games in the Greenville (South Carolina) Country Christmas Tournament, facing Greenville Tech first, on Dec. 28.
After winning last year’s Bojangles’ Shootout, Hopewell’s girls team returned to defend its title with a first round game on Dec. 28, while Hough’s boys and girls took part in the Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast Holiday Classic at Concord’s Cox Mill High Dec. 27-29. Lake Norman Charter’s boys and girls traveled to Cherryville for the David Wright Holiday Classic Dec. 28-30.
But a week before those teams played a single tournament game, the Davidson Day boys had already finished three games in the Prep All-Stars Holiday Classic at Queens University of Charlotte Dec. 20-22.
Davidson Day (11-3) won two of its three games to take third place. Sophomore Ronnie Jenkins hit the game-winning 3-pointer with three seconds remaining to sink Mint Hill Queen’s Grant, 54-53, in the consolation game on Dec. 22. It was the second time this season that the Patriots handed Queen’s Grant a loss. Davidson Day also defeated Raleigh’s Upper Room Christian Academy, 74-60, on Dec. 20, but had its 10-game winning streak snapped the following day in a loss to Fairfax, Virginia’s Paul VI, 61-55.
“We talk so much to our players about the need for consistency of effort for the entire 32 minutes,” said Ron Johnson about his team’s performance at Queens University. “Our loss to Paul VI was a perfect example of inconsistent effort on the defensive end. We gave up 21 points in both the first and fourth quarters. Hopefully, we will learn from the experience. The competitive nature of our schedule demands a high level of focus and effort.”
The tournament against elite talent from across the East Coast was a good test for the Patriots, but it also came with a stiff price. Top rebounder and second-leading scorer Phillip Anglade tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee against Queen’s Grant. The senior was averaging 10.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest.
The Patriots spent Dec. 28-30 in Binghamton, New York, for the Stop DWI Holiday Tournament. In addition to the loss of Anglade, Davidson Day headed north without Richard Brown and Luke Morrison, who were suffering from the flu. Starting forward Keith Belfield is again practicing with the team after dealing with tendonitis in his knee, but he was questionable for the Stop DWI Holiday Tournament.