2015 Girls HAECO Invitational Championship Recap
Greensboro — The undefeated Northwest Guilford Lady Vikings earned the No. 1 seed in the 40th Annual HAECO Invitational, and on Tuesday night they showed Greensboro why they were given the top ranking in the girls’ bracket.
The Vikings took on the second ranked Page Pirates in the championship game for the second time in three years. In their last meeting for the HAECO Invitational title, Page left the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center victorious. The result in 2015 was the opposite.
The two teams had already met once this season, with the Vikings winning by a score of 47-34. Tuesday night the Vikings won 47-32.
Northwest coach Darlene Joyner’s Vikings were leading by only two points at the end of the first quarter and appeared to be off to a slow start. They picked up the momentum in the second quarter, mainly by getting the ball inside to Morgan Pointer and Bria Gibbs. Another key to the Vikings’ run leading up to halftime was the fact that they outshot Page by over 11 percent from the field. Going into the half, Northwest led by 8 points, 25-17.
Coach Joyner’s halftime message must’ve fueled a fire in her team because the Vikings came out and dominated the third quarter. At one point in the third, the Vikings led 37-21.
“We reviewed our game plan (at halftime). We needed to not take the outside shot as quickly as we were taking it in the first half,” Joyner said.
The Vikings were leading by double digits at the end of the third quarter and didn’t let off the gas. The determination and continuity in their effort showed throughout the second half, and the Lady Vikings won the game, and the 2015 HAECO Invitational Championship—their second in a row—by a score of 47-32.
The Lady Vikings had three representatives on the All-Tournament Team: freshman guard Cayla King, senior forward Morgan Pointer, and Northwest star point guard Hayley Barber, who finished with 11 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds to earn the tournament MVP.
“It feels good but it didn’t come easy,” King said of making the All-Tournament team. “I had to practice hard and show that I could (play at a high level).”
Northwest senior Hayley Barber won her second consecutive HAECO Invitational MVP.
“It’s always a team effort and we always have to play together,” a humble Barber said. “We have strong freshmen that came up this year, and we always have to play harder knowing that we have a target on our back.’’
Coach Joyner took over sole possession of second place in all-time HAECO Invitational Championships by a coach with the Vikings’ win Tuesday night. She is now only two wins away from tying Luke McKeel of Page High School for first on Coaches’ Wins List. All of Northwest’s titles have come with Joyner at the helm.
Girls All-Tournament Team:
Cayla King-Northwest Guilford
Morgan Pointer-Northwest Guilford
(MVP) Hayley Barber-Northwest Guilford
2015 HAECO Invitational Boys Championship Recap
The top two seeds in the boys bracket squared off for the 2015 HAECO Invitational Championship on Tuesday night: top-seeded Greensboro Day School Bengals and No. 2 Northwest Guilford.
The Bengals had won the previous four tournament titles and were looking to make history becoming the first team in the 40 years of the tournament to win five consecutive championships. To do so, they had to beat a very talented and tough Northwest team.
The Bengals came out hitting on all cylinders, a well-oiled machine. Their tempo was fast, and they scored seven points before the Vikings got on the board. Greensboro Day played hard and kept the Vikings on their toes the entire first quarter.
Greensboro Day shot 51 percent from field-goal range and 50 percent from behind the arc in the first half.
Junior forward Jaquar Moorman had a double-double in the first half with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Perkins also added 10 first-half points for Greensboro Day. At halftime, the score was 39-28 in favor of the Bengals.
The Vikings came out with momentum after halftime, as Tre Turner hit back-to-back 3 pointers and Jalen Spicer made a layup to cut the Bengal lead to seven—43-36—with 5 minutes remaining in the third quarter. That’s as close as the Vikings would get, though, and Greensboro Day put on a show for the remaining 13 minutes of the game.
The Bengals shot over 70 percent from the field in the second half and 59 percent for the game. Four of Greensboro Day’s starters finished with double digit points. Jaquar Moorman lead the Bengals scoring with 19 points and had 14 rebounds. Travon Mayo scored 16, Jordan Perkins, Will Dillard, and Solomon Smith all finished with 12 points.
The Vikings also had four players with double-digit scoring, and the game’s leading scorer, Tre Turner, finished with 20 points. Jaylen Gore and Thomas Hennigan scored 10 points apiece, and Jalen Spicer added 11.
With the win, the Bengals made HAECO Invitational history, winning 5 consecutive championships.
Coach Freddy Johnson has now won 14 titles as the coach for the Greensboro Day in the HAECO Invitational.
That’s impressive, but Johnson doesn’t take credit.
“First of all, I didn’t set the records. My players set the records,” Johnson said. “The way I look at it, it’s one title, one year, and they did a great job. Every team is different, so I don’t look at this as five consecutive wins.”
Jaquar Moorman was named the men’s MVP for his efforts in the tournament.
Moorman was determined, he said, to gain that title.
“I had to make sure I came out focused,” the Greensboro Day junior said. “The past four games I haven’t scored in double figures. Tonight I knew my team needed me to step up. I think I earned (the MVP). I worked for it. I really wanted it coming in, that was my personal goal, and I wasn’t going to let anyone take it from me.”
The 40th annual HAECO Invitational has come to a close, and all who attended saw a lot of very good basketball, especially on Tuesday night in both championship games.
Boy’s All-Tournament Team:
Josh Hopkins-Dudley High School
Tre Turner-Northwest Guilford
Thomas Hennigan-Northwest Guilford
Jordan Perkins-Greensboro Day
John Newman-Greensboro Day
(MVP) Jaquar Moorman-Greensboro Day