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Warrior Acad. Takes Southern Tournament title

The Warrior Acad. Braves claimed the boys’ Southern Acad. Christmas Tournament title in dominating fashion, defeating Marengo and Pickens Academies by a combined 47 points to move to 8-0 on the season.

The Braves’ JaMichael Rivers led was named tournament MVP after scoring 28 in the 65-40 championship game win over Pickens. He was joined by teammate Robbie Gray on the All-Tournament team after Gray had led the Braves with 23 in their 58-36 semifinal win over Marengo.

The Pirates hung with the Braves for a quarter of Saturday night’s championship game, trailing 10-9 after one. But behind five straight points from Jamey Donaldson, Warrior scored 14 of the first 15 points of the second quarter. The Braves never looked back, closing the half on a thunderous dunk and three-point-play by Rivers that put them up 29-13 at the break.

In addition to Rivers’s huge game, the Braves got 13 points from Gray, 10 from Trenedy Bolden, 10 from Jamey Donaldson, 5 from Tyrik Carter, 3 from Darius Quinney, and 1 from Ferris Williams.

The flow of the Pickens win was similar to that of the Braves’ 22-point victory Friday night over the Marengo Longhorns. Behind senior Trey Rowell’s team-leading 16 points, Marengo was able to stay within four of the Braves, 15-11, at the end of the first quarter. But as Gray’s long-range shooting kept the Braves’ offense humming the Warrior defense held Marengo to only 25 points through the final three quarters, securing the comfortable win.

Gray’s game-high 23 led the Braves, followed by Rivers’s 14, Donaldson’s 11, Bolden’s 8, and Ahkeem Carter’s 2.

Following Rowell for the Longhorns were Thomas Fultz with 9, Jacob Harris and Josh Dunn with 3, Randy Martin and Beau Digmon with 2, and Dustin Edwards with 1.

Marengo 53, Southern 41

In the Southern Acad. Christmas Tournament consolation game, Marengo ended the third quarter on a 14-2 run to break open a tight game and earn their third victory over the Cougars on the season.

After a Jason Segura basket with 4:35 remaining in the third quarter brought Southern within four at 29-25, Trey Rowell scored 11 points over the next seven minutes to help the Longhorns extend their lead to 47-31 with 5:40 remaining in the game.

Southern’s Wallace Drury did his best to bring the Cougars back, scoring eight straight points to cut the Marengo lead in half with just under four minutes to play. But Southern could get no closer.

Rowell finished with a game-high 22 to lead the Longhorns, followed by Fultz with 14, Harris with 7, Dunn with 4, Edwards with 2, and John Carlton and Digmon with a point apiece.

Drury’s 14 points led Southern while Andrew Whitis and Segura chipped in 7. Brandon Montz scored 6, Wes Henry and Matt Collins 3, and William Woodall 1.

Rowell and Henry were each named to the All-Tournament team.

Varsity Girls: Pickens 38, Warrior 34

After falling behind 8-2 in the first quarter of the girls’ Southern Acad. Christmas Tournament championship game, the Warrior Lady Braves pulled even three times, never fell behind by more than six, and trailed by only one point, 32-31, with 6:45 to play.

But the Lady Braves never took the lead away from the Pickens Pirates and fell by four for their second loss of the season.

Keshara Moore scored 10 of the Lady Braves’ 17 first-half points as Warrior trailed by two at the break and scored the first basket of the second half to tie the game at 19. But the stout Pickens defense limited to Moore to four points the rest of the game. Ava Quinney’s basket with 2:24 left in the third quarter tied the game at 27, but Pickens would score the last five points of the period and Warrior would not pull even again.

Moore’s 16 led the Lady Braves, followed by Porsha Knox’s 6, Quinney’s 5, Tricia Langham’s 5, and Kenya Andrews’s 2.

Moore and Langham were each named to the All-Tournament team.

Marengo 50, Southern 31

The Lady ‘Horns got big nights from Tina Allen and Sydney Broadaway to earn their third win of the season over the Lady Cougars in the Southern Christmas Tournament consolation game.

Allen and Broadaway scored 16 points each, followed by Abbey Huckabee with 8, Amber Walker with 4, Anna Edmonds with 4, and Elizabeth Carlton with 2 as Marengo bounced back from an opening-round loss to Warrior.

Southern was led by Heather Acker, who scored 10. She was joined on the scoresheet by Libba McClendon, who finished with 8, Leah Doss (5), Mary Cris Segura (4), Amber Miller (2), and Alise Hughey and Caitlin Osmer (1 each).

Allen and McClendon were each named to the All-Tournament team.