NEWBERRY — The Newberry Academy basketball teams took time out from holiday festivities to participate in the inaugural Richard Winn Christmas Tournament held Friday and Saturday in Winnsboro.
The Lady Eagles suffered two losses, while the boys’ team reached the championship game, losing to Ben Lippen 51–41.
The Lady Eagles struggled on offense in their opener against Ben Lippen, falling 46–12. In their consolation game Saturday morning, the girls’ team pushed Westminster Catawba Christian School, but faltered down the stretch, losing 28–23.
The Newberry boys’ team faced a familiar foe on Friday, as they matched up against host Richard Winn. The Eagles won in dramatic fashion, 45–44.
In the championship game, the Eagles gave away too many turnovers and the rebounding advantage to Ben Lippen as they came up short. In the Friday night game against Richard Winn, the Eagles faced an opponent that knows their tendencies.
This was their third meeting this season. Newberry struggled to a slim five point lead after the first period, but Richard Winn closed the gap to a single point at the half.
The Eagles got a boost from senior Alex Cole in the third period, as he connected on three, three-point shots, giving the Eagles some breathing room.
Newberry held a 35–28 lead going into the last period. Buoyed by the home crowd, Richard Winn clawed their way back into the game, taking a one point lead as time wound down.
With less than 10 seconds remaining, Newberry’s Justin Suber drove the ball across mid-court and sank a jump shot with under five seconds left, giving the Eagles the lead. Richard Winn’s last second attempt bounced harmlessly off of the rim. Cole led the Eagles with 13 points, followed by Dylan Skipper with nine.
Suber finished with seven points, Luke Carraway with six points, and CJ Connely had five points.
Rounding out scoring for Newberry, Ryan Smith had 4 points and Jacob Epting had two points.
There were no last second heroics for Newberry on Saturday against Ben Lippen. The Eagles turned the ball over too much and were out-rebounded by Ben Lippen.
Despite a solid defensive effort, Newberry was unable to close the gap.
Skipper led the Eagles with 15 points.
Cole earned All-Tournament team honors.
Newberry Academy is in action again this Friday as they host a two-day holiday tournament.