Stone boys win Governor’s Challenge tournament
TS boys claim Governor’s Challenge in hoops
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).
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.
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.