Grayson, Pebblebrook Among "Tournament of Champions" Winners
On Saturday, the annual Tournament of Champion basketball tournament was held at Wheeler High School featuring 30 teams from around the metro Atlanta area as well as Kimball out of Texas, who played host, the Wheeler Wildcats, in the night cap which the Wildcats won 77-61. The annual high school basketball showcase was highlighted by a special moment in which, Wheeler head coach, Larry Thompson, and his wife were presented with a six thousand dollar check for a scholarship fund in honor of their late son, Khalil Hardison, who passed away following a tragic drowning back in August.
Other winners on the day included the Grayson Rams, who battled back and forth throughout the game with the Alexander Cougars. While the Rams headed into the fourth quarter with a 46-45 lead, the Cougars would open the period on a quick 4-2 run to take a 49-48 lead. The Rams would eventually tie the game at 55 all and from there would go on to close out on a 9-5 run to pick up the 64-60 win for their fifth straight win, improving to 6-1 on the season and handing the Cougars their first loss of the season. Gicarri Harris led the Rams with 19 points.
The Pebblebrook Falcons were also winners after they defeated the Tri Cities Bulldogs 63-41 for their second straight win and the second night in a row in which they defeated their opponent by 21 points or more after their 84-63 win over Hillgrove on Friday night. While Pebblebrook took command early in the first quarter, going up by as many as seven points, the Bulldogs would battle back in the second quarter. The Period opened with Tri Cities trailing 15-8, however they would get off to a 11-4 run to tie the game at 19 all. Yet the Falcons would respond by closing out the quarter on a 13-5 run, taking a 32-25 lead into the locker room at the break and would not relinquish it as they would pick up the win.
“We just wanted the guys to share the ball and make the right basketball play. We’ve been working on that in practice, give them a little bit of freedom and understand what comes with that freedom,” Pebblebrook head coach, George Washington said after the game. Washington would also praised senior Jase McCullough, who finished with 27 points, for his persistence in battling through his shooting struggles. “Jase has been working so hard,” Washington said of McCullough adding “he shot the ball very well and that’s the fruits of his rewards”. Washington went on to say that he encouraged McCullough to “keep playing” and “stay confident” assuring the point guard that things would turnaround for him, which they did in a big way on Saturday night.