Tonight’s Sheetz Holiday Christmas Tournament Championship game pitted the Southwest Guilford Cowboys and the Southern Guilford Storm.
The Storm earned their title bid by outlasting The Burlington School, and then High Point Central. The Cowboys earned tonight’s appearance via routs of Davidson Day and High Point Christian Academy.
Tonight’s title tilt was a rematch of last season’s Sheetz Semifinals, which was a 66-60 victory for the Cowboys. Southwest was playing in their 8th straight Sheetz Holiday Tournament title game, and looking for their 6th title. Their lone losses in the championship games were to High Point Christian Academy in 2011, and to Wesleyan in 2016.
The Storm scored right away to gain an early 2-0 lead. The Cowboys responded in a blink with a 3 pointer, which started the 14-0 run that got the score out to 14-2 by the 4:05 mark. Similar to the winter storm that brought all that snow a few weeks ago, the Southern Storm battled the rest of the frame (as well as the game) as it closed at 19-8.
The Cowboys scored another 3 quick points and it was 22-8, and yet the Storm wouldn’t melt away. A 5-0 spurt got them some traction. The Cowboys had a spurt of their own, but the Storm refused to back down. The lead peaked at 36-19 with 1:52 to play in the half. Southern outscored the Cowboys 9-3 to close the half at 39-26.
The second half was more back and forth, as the Storm continued to respond to the Cowboys offensive and defensive pressure. Some sloppy basketball on both sides of the ball in segments allowed the Storm to hang around and even cut the margin to 60-50 going into the final stanza.
In the fourth quarter the teams traded baskets for the first 4 minutes with the Cowboys maintaining the double digit margin. The final 2:00 minutes of the game had the Cowboys lock in more effectively on the defensive end and allowed them to get some good stops which led to easy baskets in transition. Southwest managed to pull the game out for an 84-68 victory to claim another Sheetz Holiday Christmas Tournament Championship over a very dangerous Southern Guilford.
The Storm was led by Tyler Dearman with 26 points. Southwest once again put several players in double figures as well as getting solid contributions from bench. Tonight it was Tournament MVP Jay’Den Turner with 22 points; Keyshaun Langley with 16 points, Joel Pettiford with 13 points, Christian Martin with 12 points, and Kobe Langley with 10 points.
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final Southern 08 18 24 18 68 Southwest 19 20 21 24 84
Jimmy Cooper 12
Roman Johnson 1
Brandon Ruffin 3
TJ McMaster 4
Tyler Dearman 26
Julius Burch 20
Adnan Aurangzeb 2
Southwest (10-0, 1-0)
Keyshaun Langley 16
Kobe Langley 10
Milli Huggins 2
Cameron Thompson 9
Jayden Turner 22
Christian Martin 12
Joel Pettiford 13
*****Courtesy of Southwest Guilford assistant basketball coach, Greg Vlazny*****
Game Photos by Hillary Walser