NEWBERRY — The Newberry Wolves came back from a 23-point deficit to force overtime, but the North Georgia Saints outscored the hosts in the extra period to take the 2012 Mom Reeves Memorial Tournament championship with a 106-99 win in Eleazer Arena on Saturday afternoon.
North Georgia moves to 2-0 on the year, with Newberry falling to 1-1. The two teams next see action on Wednesday night, when they face off against each other in North Georgia’s Memorial Hall in Dahlonega, Ga.
All-Tournament selection Brunes Charles (Naples, Fla.) had his second career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Quayshun Hawkins (Columbia), Mitch Riggs (Langwarrin, Victoria, Australia) and Dondray Walker (Fountain Inn) each netted 17 points. Riggs was also named to the All-Tournament team after connecting on 80 percent of his three-point attempts in the tournament.
Demarkus Smith (Johnston) scored 16 points and Xavier Holmes (Great Falls) added 11 points to round out six Wolves in double figures.
After quickly taking a 9-3 lead in the first four minutes of the game, the Wolves fell behind due to a spectacular run of three-point shooting from the Saints. The game was tied at 15-all on a Walker fastbreak triple with 11:10 left in the half, but North Georgia managed to shoot out to a 23-point lead at 48-25 with 3:52 to go. The Wolves were down 52-30 with a minute left, but a pair of Hawkins free throws, a Smith free throw and a Walker three cut the Saints’ halftime lead down to 52-36.
Newberry shot 39.3 percent (11-of-28) in the first half, but the Saints knocked down 12 three-pointers, with Lamar Richardson connecting on five triples in the half, while Newberry’s Walker made all four of his three-point attempts in the half.
From the 16-point halftime deficit, the Wolves showed they would not go away without a fight, as Walker assisted on a Riggs three-pointer, then stole the ball and assisted on another Riggs three to cut the lead down to 10 points just 38 seconds into the second half.
The Saints showed their mettle though, and got back out to the big lead, with a three-pointer from Tournament MVP Ishmael Hollis at the 8:10 mark giving North Georgia a 23-point lead at 78-55.
The Wolves surged in response, scoring the next 12 points, with back-to-back three-pointers from the corner from Smith cutting the lead to 11 at 81-70 with 5:55 to go and forcing a Saints timeout. A Charles layup at 4:08 cut the lead down to single digits for good, and his free throws at the 3:10 mark got the Wolves within three at 83-80. All-Tournament selection JC Ward made a layin with 2:13 left to stretch North Georgia’s lead to five, but a Holmes layup, a Smith jumper and a Charles free throw completed the comeback to tie the game at 86-all with 1:22 to play.
The teams traded layups before Ward made a three-point play with just under 10 seconds to go to put the Saints up 91-88. However, in familiar fashion Hawkins nailed a pressured three-pointer to tie the game up with six seconds to go and send the game to overtime.
Newberry made 56.4 percent (22-of-39) of its second half shots and forced 17 North Georgia turnovers, which were converted into 23 points.
The Saints used the overtime to get back to their hot shooting, scoring the first six points of the period. A Riggs triple cut the lead to three, but North Georgia scored seven straight to put the game out of reach. The Saints shot 5-of-9 in the overtime, while Newberry’s only field goals came on threes from Hawkins and Riggs.
NGCSU’s Hollis was named the Tournament MVP with 26 points, 18 rebounds and three steals in the game, while Scott Windom (17 points, eight rebounds) and Ward (11 points, nine rebounds) also were named All-Tournament. Salem International’s Ka’Mar LaBrew was also named to the All-Tournament team with seven points, five rebounds, nine assists and five steals in the Tigers’ 74-62 win over Warren Wilson in the consolation game.
Wolves open 2012-13 season with 99-72 win over Warren Wilson in first round of Mom Reeves
NEWBERRY — The Newberry College Wolves opened the 2012-13 men’s basketball season with a runaway 99-72 victory over the visiting Warren Wilson College Owls in the first round of the Mom Reeves Memorial Tournament in Eleazer Arena on Friday night.
Five Wolves scored in double digits in the rout, led by a career-high 19 points from Smith, who was also one of three Wolves with four steals. Hawkins had 18 points and four assists, four rebounds and four steals.
Holmes had 15 points in his collegiate debut, while Walker netted 13 points and Riggs opened his collegiate career with 12 points on four three-pointers and eight rebounds. Charles filled up the box score with seven points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Despite the runaway scoreline and a 50 percent shooting night from the field and from behind the arc, the Wolves were challenged by the Owls for the first 20 minutes of the contest. It took nearly two minutes for the scoreboard to change from zeroes on a Charles three-point play. A Hawkins personal five-point run put Newberry up by seven at 12-5 with 14:27 to go in the half, but a bad foul situation kept sending the Owls to the charity stripe and would not allow the Wolves to pull away.
The Wolves led by nine at different points in the half on a three-pointer from James Ashby (Auckland, New Zealand) and a jumper in the paint from Brandon Taylor (Coshocton, Ohio), but Warren Wilson’s Dan Jackson was hitting from the outside and knocking down free throws, with a pair at the 3:21 mark giving the Owls a 35-30 lead.
After battling back, Hawkins nailed a long distance three-pointer just before the buzzer to give Newberry a 44-40 halftime lead. Both teams shot 50 percent from the field in the half, with Newberry knocking down four triples in the period.
A Smith jumper and Riggs three-pointer right out of the gate pushed Newberry to a more comfortable lead, and Smith’s breakaway layup after a Charles steal at the 15:40 mark put Newberry ahead by double digits for good. Walker was on fire from long distance, going 3-for-4, while Smith scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the half.
The Wolves were a spectacular 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) from the land of three with Walker hitting three and Hawkins, Riggs and Smith each hit a pair. Late in the game, Davon Hill (Duluth, Ga.) hit a corner three to round out the scoring.