The Sheetz Holiday Classic Championship game featured the hosting Cowboys of Southwest Guilford and the Spartans of The Burlington School. The Spartans earned their berth by knocking off Lexington, and then High Point Central. The Cowboys are in tonight’s title tilt via victories over Andrews and then Southern Guilford.
Both teams were eager to try and bring home this tournament title.
The Cowboys opened up the game with a strong 7-0 run by the 4:50 mark. From there, the Spartans turned the tables and went on a 7-0 run of their own to ties the game at 7-7 at the 2:35 mark. It took a minute, but a made free-throw was all the Cowboys could muster for the rest of the sluggish frame, and the Spartans nailed a 3 pointer just before the buzzer to go up 10-8.
The second frame opened up with another made free-throw by the Cowboys to cut the deficit to 10-9. The pace stayed slow, and a pair of made free-throws by the Cowboys made it 11-10 at the 6:10 mark. The slow pace didn’t faze the intensity of the matchup, and the Spartans reclaimed the lead at 12-11 at the 5:20 point. Still the Cowboys couldn’t muster a made field goal, but 3 made free-throws on offensive trips gave them the lead back at 14-12. Burlington responded well once again to tie the game at 14-14 at the 4:11 mark. The Cowboys finally seemed to click on offense and a made 3 pointer was the first made field goal by the hosts since the midway point in the first quarter. The scoreboard now was at 17-14 in favor of the Cowboys at the 3:22 mark. That spark continued and Southwest managed to score 3 more baskets and only allowed a made free throw to the Spartans which took the score to 23-15 heading into halftime.
The sloppy tone of the third quarter was dictated on the opening defensive possession of the Cowboys. Poor rotation and an offensive rebound led to an old fashion 3 point play by the Spartans made it 23-18 just 28 seconds into the frame. The Cowboys fought to deny the tone by using a 6-2 spurt to make it 29-20 at the 6:19 mark. The tone however had already been predetermined and the turnovers and more turnovers started mounting and the solid Spartans squad took advantage. A made three pointer gave the Spartans the lead, feeding off “Uncle Mo” at 35-33 with just 38 seconds to go in the frame. The Cowboys were able to fight the tidal wave and tie the game up to close out the third frame with the game at 35 apiece.
The Cowboys gave up another bucket to be down 37-35. The Cowboys tied it up but then quickly relented another basket to be down 39-37 at the 6:36 mark. The Spartans utilized another turnover into points to get their largest lead on the night at 41-37 right at the 5:00 mark. The Cowboys started to put it all together from that point. On the ensuing possession, the Cowboys executed a set and drew a foul. The Cowboys made the first free throw, and got the offensive rebound on the missed second attempt and put the ball in to quickly make the score 41-40 at the 4:53 point. The Southwest pressure forced a steal and a made bucket gave the Cowboys the lead 42-41. Another steal and another basket and it was 44-41. Rinse, repeat, rinse and repeat, this time a monstrous dunk and it was 48-41 with 1:25 to play, all in part to a tenacious pressure defensive effort by the Cowboys. The Spartans managed another 3 pointer to cut it to 48-44 right at the 1:00 mark. From there, the Cowboys made all of their free-throws to be up 52-44. A deep three pointer at the buzzer cut the final margin to 52-47.
The Cowboys once again are the Sheetz Holiday Classic Tournament Champions. The Spartans were led by Makiah Fox with 14 points. The Cowboys were led by Tournament MVP Christian Martin with (13, 4 Rebs, 2 Stls), and Jay’Den Turner with (12, 8 Rebs, 2 Stls). Joining those two on the All Tournament team was Cooper Cunningham with (9, 4 Rebs, Ast). The Cowboys improve to 10-3 and will play a conference game next Wednesday at home against Western Guilford. Happy New Year!
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final Burlington 10 05 20 12 47 Southwest 08 15 12 17 52
Burlington School (11-3, 3-0)
Jo Jeffers 12
JiLil Michael 2
JaDun Michael 8
Jahmal Walden 5
Dominique Watkins 6
Makiah Fox 14
Southwest (10-3, 1-1)
Cam Thompson 2 Rebs
Milli Huggins 3, 2 Stls, 2 Asts
JT Butler 8, 4 Asts, 2 Rebs, 2 Stls
Jamell Carter 2, 2 Rebs
Christian Martin 13
Jayden Turner 12
Ty Radford Ast, Blk, Reb
Jalen Snipes 2 Rebs, Ast
Cooper Cunningham 9
Joel Pettiford 3, 2 Rebs
Courtesy of Southwest Guilford assistant coach Greg Vlazny