Day 2 of the Sheetz Holiday Christmas Classic ended with the second semifinal which featured the hosting Southwest Cowboys and the High Point Christian Cougars. The Cougars fought off the Knights of North Davidson for a 74-66 win. The Cowboys fought off a talented Patriots of Davidson Day 80-56. The Cowboys came into tonight looking to keep the winning rolling against another quality opponent.
The Cougars took advantage of some sloppy play by the Cowboys to jump out to a 6-0 lead at the 6:58 point. A 3 pointer by Southwest cut the deficit in half, and the Cougars responded with a made free throw and it was 7-3 at the 6:07 mark. Another 3 pointer by the Cowboys and it was 7-6. Once again a made free throw got the Cougars up 8-6, and then it was the Southwest’s turn to only make a single free throw and we were at 8-7 with 2:37 to play. The ugly frame continued for another minute, but ultimately the Cowboys took the lead for the first time with a transition bucket at 9-8 with 1:10 to go in the frame. But the Cougars scored right back to reclaim the lead at 10-9. That slim margin disappeared in a blink with a quick transition trip that resulted in a pair of made free throws that gave the Cowboys the lead for the night at 11-10. Another steal and another open look for a three pointer and it was 14-10 to close the frenetic and sloppy first frame.
Southwest hit the replay button and another deep ball made it 17-10 right off the in-bounds. Unlike the first frame, the second quarter was up and down with a lot of points. Slowly the Cowboys started building the margin out. By the 4:17 mark it was 32-21. The Cougars would chip away, but Southwest managed a response. A blurry 9-0 blitz and it was 41-26 with 1:43 to go in the half. High Point Christian out executed the Cowboys in this last segment and got the halftime score to 45-33.
After a discussion about defensive discipline and a team first mentality, the second half really was when all the cogs started running smoothly. Emphasis on the word running. The Cowboys played solid team defense that managed to frustrate and thwart most of the Cougars offensive possessions. The frame started with a dominant 12-2 run that made the score 57-35. The Cowboys continued to clamp down defensively while keeping the margin in double figures. High Point Christian kept battling and closed the frame out only down 68-42.
The final frame was a continuation of the third quarter; solid team defense and easy baskets for the Cowboys. Southwest started the frame with another 6-0 spurt and it was 74-42. There was 5:30 to play in the ball game when the Cougars got on the board to cut it to 74-44. The Cowboys bench traded baskets with the Cougars for several possessions and it was 78-48. Southwest showed it’s depth with a solid 9-0 spurt in a blink that pushed the margin out to 87-48 with 2:20 to go. The Cougars managed a basket to stop the bleeding but a 3 point play on the ensuing possession got the clock rolling and the Cowboys cruised to a 92-53 victory.
The Cougars were led by Landon Sutton with 20 points. Once again the Cowboys entire roster contributed for an overall great team win. Some numbers to know are: Keyshaun Langley with (23, 2 Asts, 2 Rebs, Stl), Jay’Den Turner with (14, 7 Stls, 5 Rebs, 2 Asts), Cam Thompson with (12, 5 Rebs, 2 Asts), and Kobe Langley with (10, 7 Asts, 3 Rebs, 2 Blks, Stl). Southwest advances to play for another Sheetz Holiday Classic title tomorrow night against Southern Guilford.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final High Point Christian 11 23 09 11 53 Southwest Guilford 14 31 23 24 92
High Point Christian (10-4)
David Butler 4
KJ Garrett 11
Landon Sutton 20
Carter Bass 6
Drake Carrick 5
PJ Underhill 5
Zach Shumate 2
Southwest (9-0, 1-0)
Keyshaun Langley 23, 2 Asts, 2 Rebs, Stl
Kobe Langley 10, 7 Asts, 3 Rebs, 2 Blks, Stl
Milli Huggins 2 Asts, Reb
Cameron Thompson 12, 5 Rebs, 2 Asts
Jayden Turner 14, 7 Stls, 5 Rebs, 2 Asts
Christian Martin 8, 9 Rebs, 2 Stls, 2 Blks, Ast
Nysiek Walcott 4, 2 Rebs, Stl, Ast
Bryce Causey 5, 2 Rebs
Joel Pettiford 4, 4 Rebs, 2 Asts
Miles Taylor 3 Rebs, 2 Asts, Blk
Aamaj Platt 5, Reb
Caleb Theriault 2
Submitted by Greg Vlazny