Stone boys win Gov­er­nor’s Challenge tour­na­ment

TS boys claim Gov­er­nor’s Challenge in hoops

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

Like many other teams around the SMAC, the win­ter break has been a grind for the Thomas Stone boys bas- ket­ball team, but the Cougars have a lot to be thank­ful for this hol­i­day sea­son.

With only two se­niors on the ros­ter, the Cougars re­ceived a spe­cial gift when they won the 36th an­nual Gov­er­nor’s Challenge tour­na­ment cham­pi­onship on Wednesday af­ter­noon with a 50-38 vic­tory over Arch­bishop Curley of Bal- tim­ore at the Wi­comico Youth and Civic Cen­ter in Sal­is­bur y.

It was the sec­ond straight year that Stone had won the ti­tle.

“We wanted to play for some­thing, com­pete and rep­re­sent,” said Stone head coach Dale Lam­berth. “It felt good to win the tro­phy. We’ve been tested the last nine games and we are still try­ing to find our iden­tity.”

In what was the largest hol­i­day bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment on the East Coast, the Gov­er­nor’s Challenge, a four-day event, in­cluded four-team brack­ets in which each par­tic­i­pat­ing team played two games, with the win­ners of the first game in each bracket ad­vanc­ing to the cham­pi­onship.

The tour­na­ment also had a com­bined to­tal of 101 boys and girls teams fea­tur­ing teams from nine dif­fer­ent states.

Stone (7-2 over­all), which won the bracket 3 fi­nal, picked up a 56-53 over St. Joe’s By The Sea (N.Y.) on Tues­day on a game-win­ning three-pointer by ju­nior guard Ka­mau Mitchell. Mitchell led the way with 18 points in the con­test.

In Wednesday’s af­fair, Stone se­nior for­ward Gary Grant fin­ished with a game-high 18 points to go along with six re­bounds, shoot­ing 5 for 8 from the field. Jalen Pay­ton-Best con­trib­uted with

11 points in the win.

Grant and his se­nior team­mate Dono­van McCrae (six points) were named the co-Most Valu­able Play­ers for the tour­na­ment.

Af­ter scor­ing 16 points to lead Arch­bishop Curley to a 57-49 win over Snow Hill on Tues­day, Deion Booker was held to just nine points as Keon Adams was the only player in dou­ble fig­ures on the team.

Stone had a 40-28 ad­van­tage in re­bounds, in sec­ond chance points 17-5, 15-5 in bench points and an 18-16 edge in points in the paint.

“Arch­bishop Curley had some ath­letes and we knew Booker was go­ing to be a hand­ful, but our guys stepped up and got the job done,” said Lam­berth.

The Stone girls also com­peted in the Gover- nor’s Challenge, ad­vanc- ing-to the cham­pi­onship of the bracket 1 fi­nal, fall­ing to Linganore of Fred­er­ick County 64-37 on Fri­day. It won 68-27 over Po­comoke on Thurs­day.

On Thurs­day, the Cougars were led by Sasha Fran­cis with 29 points and in Fri­day’s af­fair Rya Nel- son fin­ished with 14 points.

The Grace Chris­tian Academy Knights and La Plata War­riors boys trav- eled to play in a four-team, two-day hol­i­day tour­na­ment at North­east High School in Anne Arun­del County.

Af­ter fall­ing 63-48 to North­east in Day 1 ac­tion, Grace re­sponded with a 76-65 win over La Plata in Thurs­day’s con­so­la­tion game.

The Knights (6-6) were led by se­niors Rashid El- lis and Josh Jones, who scored 29 and 18 points respectively. Se­nior Quin- ton But­ler con­trib­uted with 13 points and made the all-tour­na­ment team.

La Plata’s Mer­lon Devine fin­ished with 28 points in the los­ing ef­fort and also made the all-tour- na­ment team.

The War­riors dropped to 3-5 on the sea­son.

“That was a big bounce back win for us,” said Grace head coach Brian Deschaine. “We were well pre­pared and broke La Plata’s full court pres­sure and fin­ish at the rim for easy lay-ups.”

The St. Charles girls (4-4) com­peted in the Spring­brook hol­i­day tour- na­ment in Mont­gomery County on Tues­day and Wednesday.

It dropped its first game 63-39 to Tus­carora of Fred­er­ick County on Tues­day, but on Wednesday de­liv­ered with a 46-43 win over Spring­brook.

The Spar­tans were led by ju­nior guard De­sirae Shep­ard with 24 points and sopho­more Aysia Jones with 16 points. Ju­nio Shaniquwa Jack­son added 19 re­bounds in the game.

The McDonough Rams boys com­peted in a two­day, four-team tour­na­ment at the South­ern Gar­rett Snow­ball Clas­sic.

On Thurs­day the Rams dropped the tour­na­ment opener 73-62 to Thomas Jef­fer­son (Pa.). Fri­day, in the con­so­la­tion matchup, they picked up a 65-57 win over East Hardy of West Vir­ginia.

McDonough was led by Dwane Bur­rows with 15 points. Jared Ban­kett fin­ished with 13 points and Kenny James added 12 points in the win.

On the wrestling mat, La Plata fin­ished fourth out of 18 teams at the West­min­ster duals on Tues­day and Wednesday, tal­ly­ing a record of 6-4 in the tour­na­ment.

La Plata de­feated Ham­mond (40-30), Owings Mills (51-28), Patux­ent (72-6), Oc­torora (Pa.), Linganore (39-37), and Franklin (42-34).

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Thomas Stone bpys bas­ket­ball team cap­tured the Gov­er­nor’s Challenge tour­na­ment crown with a 50-38 vic­tory in the bracket 3 fi­nal over Arch­bishop Curley of Bal­ti­more at the Wi­comico Youth and Civic Cen­ter in Sal­is­bury on Wednesday.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Se­niors Dono­van McCrae, left, and Gary Grant won the co-Most Valu­able Player award af­ter spear­head­ing the Thomas Stone Cougars boys bas­ket­ball team to a Gov­er­nor’s Challenge tour­na­ment cham­pi­onship fol­low­ing a 50-38 win over Arch­bishop Curley of Bal­ti­more at the Wi­comico Youth & Civic Cen­ter in Sal­is­bury.

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