Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hardwood Classic Update From Wednesday's Semifinals

Up, Crowds and environment: The boys' semifinals were played in a loud gym in front of a good crowd. Felt like old times.
Up, Tonight's girls' final: Berry and Ardrey Kell could reach the N.C. 3A and N.C. 4A Western Regionals this season. This will be a high-level championship game.

Wednesday's Top Performers
Christelle Shembo, Ardrey Kell girls: 18 points, nine rebounds, three assists in 52-45 win over Forestview
Essence Baucom, Berry girls: 18 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and two steals for 5-foot-6 Alabama-Birmingham recruit in 47-43 overtime win over Hickory Ridge that put Berry in the final for the second straight year.
Shawn Lester, Mooresville: 26 points, eight rebounds, three steals, three blocks, two assists in 59-57 overtime win over Davidson Day in the semifinals.
Justin Gordon, Northside Christian: 6-6 forward had 24 points on 11-for-15 shooting and eight rebounds in 83-79 overtime win over Kennedy Charter.
B.J. Gladden, Kennedy Charter: 20 points, on 3-for-4 3-point shooting, plus six rebounds and four steals in Northside Christian game. Teammate Jalen White had 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
-- For the first time since 2008, this felt like the old Bojangles' Shootout. A big, loud crowd for the boys' semifinals and two wonderful games. And tonight's two boys' games (5:10, 8:30) should be just as good.
-- Keep an eye on Davidson Day, Kennedy Charter, Mooresville and Northside the rest of the season. These teams could be special and this tournament should only give them confidence.
-- Kennedy Charter is going to have to work on boxing out and playing better defense. The Eagles got key players into foul trouble because they were reaching too much. They're athletic enough they don't need to do that, and next season, they'll have to improve the schedule so they can have a few tough games to get ready for a game like Wednesday's.
-- Really impressed with Mooresville guard Shawn Lester. He has a very mature game. He's a great ball-handler and has a great step-back jump shot move that reminds me a little of Bobcat Kemba Walker.
Wednesday's Roundup
Forestview 55, Queens Grant 40: At halftime, Forestview trailed 24-21, but the Jaguars turned it around in the second half, forcing Queens Grant into 19 percent shooting and outscoring Queens Grant 34-16. Calvin Johnson had 15 points, six rebounds and four steals for Forestview, which has won four of its past five games.
Ardrey Kell 60, First Assembly 57: The Knights rallied to win with a 23-11 push in the fourth quarter after trailing 36-24 at halftime. Ardrey Kell limited First Assembly to 28.6 percent shooting in the second half after First Assembly shot 52 percent in the first half. Ardrey Kell was led by Tate Small (16 points, seven rebounds) and Elvis Kisonas (14 points). Nate Cantadore had 19 for First Assembly. Anson County girls 48, Queens Grant 21: Anson jumped to a 22-2 lead in the consolation gamey and led 29-10 at halftime. Anson outrebounded Queens Grant 41-27, forced 34 turnovers and held Queens Grant to 30 percent shooting. Keyara McKnight (13 points, eight rebounds), Jillian Murray (10 points, four steals) and Jaida Robinson (eight points, 13 rebounds) led the Bearcats, who will play in Thursday's fifth-place game.
Hough girls 56, Covenant Day 18: Hough held Covenant Day scoreless in the first quarter and to two points in the third. Covenant Day shot 11 percent for the game. Hough, which will play Anson Senior in Thursday's fifth-place game, was led by Kelsey Dean (11 points, seven rebounds, two steals), Anna Diggs (11 points, four rebounds, three assists) and Brandi Arey (10 points, eight rebounds, three steals).
Wednesday's Results/Schedule
Boys' Semifinals: Northside 83, Kennedy Charter 79 OT; Mooresville 59, Davidson Day 57.
Boys' Consolations: Forestview 55, Queens Grant 40; Ardrey Kell 60, First Assembly 57. Today's Today's Boys' Championship: Northside vs. Mooresville, 8:30 p.m.
Today's Boys' Third-Place Game: Kennedy Charter vs. Davidson Day, 5:10 p.m.
Today's Boys' Fifth-Place Game: Forestview vs. Ardrey Kell, 1:50 p.m.
Today's Boys' Seventh-Place Game: Queens Grant vs. First Assembly, 10:40 a.m.
Girls' Semifinals: Berry 47, Hickory Ridge 43; Ardrey Kell 52, Forestview 45.
Girls' Consolations: Anson County 48, Queens Grant 21; Hough 56, Covenant Day 18.
Today's Girls' Championship: Berry vs. Ardrey Kell, 6:50 p.m.
Today's Girls' Third Place: Hickory Ridge vs. Forestview, 3:30 p.m.
Today's Girls' Fifth Place: Anson County vs. Hough, 12:10 p.m.
Today's Girls' Seventh Place: Queens Grant vs. Covenant Day, 9 a.m