#OTRHoopsReport: Steel City Championship Day Blog – December 22, 2014
Birmingham, Ala., – On the campus of Samford University, the Steel City Invitational is established as the premier Holiday tournament in the state of Alabama. With many of the state’s ranked teams in this year’s field it provides our OTRHoopsReport.com staff a chance to see some of the state’s top individuals in one day. Here is a LIVE recap of the games and top performances on the tournament’s final day.
Championship Day Blog:
10:00 am A.H. Parker (AL) 60 Wenonah (AL) 49
Coach Reginald McGary took control of this game in the second quarter as they outscored Wenonah 20-6 to take a 30-25 half-time lead. They never looked back as sophomore Eugene Minter led the Thundering Herd with 16 points and 8 rebounds in the morning contest. The 6-foot-4 wing will be a name that we should see more of in the future. Senior Quinton Gates led the Dragons of Wenonah with 16 points.
11:30 am Hoover (AL) 61 Ramsay (AL) 56
Senior back court teammates for the Hoover Bucs, Dylan Smith and Austin Cherry both scored 14 in the win over Ramsay. Though Smith, standing at 6-5, struggled through much of the game he did manage to score the game’s biggest bucket in the fourth quarter. With 1:10 on the clock his floater would put his team up 4 points and then his free throws would seal the win. 6-7 power forward Albert Luke scored 16 points and grabbed 6 rebounds for Ramsay.
1:00 am Mountain Brook (AL) 54 Tuscaloosa County (AL) 41
Senior forward Jared Anderson led Mountain Brook with 21 points and 4 rebounds. However, it was coach Bucky McMillan’s frenetic style of play that kept Tuscaloosa County out of rhythm and off balance for most of the game. His platoon system of substitution kept fresh legs in the game for the defending 6A state champions full court pressure that would force 27 turnovers in this game. Senior forward Cletrell Pope led Tuscaloosa County with 16 points on 7-10 shooting.
2:30 Midfield (AL) 52 Clay-Chalkville (AL) 51
This game went to the buzzer as both teams had opportunities to win in the final minute of the game. In the end it would be Midfield who would come out on top. Senior forward Jeremy Shields led the Patriots with 14 points and 4 rebounds while senior point guard Jermaine Turner added 12 points and 6 assists. Senior forward Sean Burrell led Clay-Chalkville with 13 points and 6 rebounds and Navy signee Hasan Abdullah added 7 points for Clay Chalkville.
4:00 Grissom (AL) 48 Bibb County (AL) 34
A grind it out game favored Grissom where they owned the glass by a 41 to 17 margin. 6-foot-6 center Luke Luna led the way with 13 rebounds while adding 12 points in the paint. Grissom was led in scoring by Jaquez Johnson who pumped in 15, which included 13 in the second half. Bibb County was led in scoring and rebounding by Brandon Rutledge who notched 8 points and 3 rebounds.
5:30 3rd PLACE GAME Theodore (AL) 90 Cullman (AL) 72
The third place game was closer than the final score might indicate. Cullman actually took the lead late in the third quater on a 3-point jumper by Seth Swalve. However, Theodore’s transition game would prove to be too much in the final period. Coach Phillip Roebling of Theodore received a monster performance from Alabama signee Dazon Ingram in the process. The 6-5 guard put up 29 points and snagged 20 rebounds to go along with 7 assists. Future Crimson Tide assistant coach Antoine Pettway sat court side to take in Ingram’s dominating performance. Senior wing Kyante Pines aided in the effort notching 22 points in the third place game. Cullman played well as a team and received a great effort from senior guard Lawson Schaffer as he scored 17 points and dished out 10 assists. The 6′ guard wowed the crowd with numerous crossover moves and hanging in the air lay-ups. Brontae Harris led Cullman with 18 points including four 3-pointers on the night.
8:00 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME Faith Academy 53 (AL) J.O. Johnson 52 (AL)
What appeared to be a game where J.O. Johnson would walk away with the win, Faith Academy flipped the script midway through the second half. They turned up their defensive pressure forcing the Johnson guards into turnovers and not allowing standout John Petty to see the ball in scoring positions are critical moments. Faith Academy guard Roderick Williams would seal the game for his team by making six straight free throws in the final minute of the game. He finished the game with a team high 17 points including 11-12 from the free throw line. Point guard Shawn Benard finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists en route to being name the Most Valuable Player of the game. Forward Justin Hopkins of Johnson finished with a game 20 points and rebounds. 4-star wing John Petty of Johnson finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds in the game with Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl on hand to take in the action.
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Jonathan Hemingway is a National Evaluator for the OTRHoopsReport. He is also the publisher of CoachHemi.com. He has been involved in the community since 1996 as a coach, camp director and evaluator. You can reach him via email at JonathanHemingway@PeachStateBasketball.com and follow him on twitter @JLHemingwayPSB
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