Southeast teams end in runner-up spots
By Bob Sutton
Special to The Alamance News
There were few questions about the possibilities for the Burlington Christian Academy boys’ basketball team by the end of the three-day Holiday Hoopla.
For this tournament, the Royals had the answers at both ends of the court.
Those resulted in Saturday night’s 82-58 victory against host Southeast Alamance in the championship game.
“For me, I felt we just came together as a team in this game,” BCA coach Eric Dudley said.
The Royals (10-1) won three games by double-figure margins.
“They’ve got players who can make some plays,” Southeast coach Bo Williamson said. “I thought they had a great game plan.”
For BCA, these were rare chances to play in-county competition.
“That was the goal,” Dudley said. “Alamance County, that’s where our school is. These were teams we probably never play.”
BCA’s Isaiah Smith was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, scoring 22 in the final after racking up 25 and 18 points on the first two days of the tournament.
Karon Watlington poured in 14 points in the title game and Charles Chienggen Pur had 14 points. Watlington and Ian Bush were all-tournament selections from BCA.
The Stallions (4-6) had guard Jerry Sims as a major threat and he made the Royals uncomfortable at times.
Chienggen Pur, who missed the tournament opener with a sore ankle, was a game-changer with his presence in the post, either rejecting shots or causing the Stallions to alter their approaches.
Southeast went up 10-3 and led 16-12 through the first quarter. By halftime, the Royals had shaken free for a 43-26 edge. It was clear that Southeast was going to have to be creative to find consistent scoring.
Even a plan to contain Sims had snags early on, but the Royals had other options.
“We had to adjust,” Dudley said. “And having a rim protector (in Chienggen Pur) helps.”
Sims and Davian Edwards were Southeast’s all-tournament selections. The strain of three games in three nights caught up to the Stallions.
“My guys are just empty,” Williamson said. “We emptied it out. We put ourselves in position to have this (championship game). It was a great experience for our guys.”
The tournament’s most thrilling game came with the second overtime encounter of the season between Southeast and Eastern Alamance. This time, the Stallions pulled out an 83-80 victory behind 41 points from Sims in Friday night’s last semifinal.
BCA, which hadn’t played in three weeks prior to the tournament, won 67-57 against Southern Alamance in the semifinals after defeating Western Alamance 65-48 on Day 1.
Southeast’s first tournament game was a 53-37 triumph against Cedar Ridge.
Southern Alamance took third place by defeating Eastern Alamance 78-68 in what was the first of at least three meetings between the Central 3-A Conference teams.
Eastern Alamance started by blowing out Chatham Charter 83-42. Southern Alamance topped High Point Andrews 62-37 in the first round.
In consolation rounds, Western Alamance lost 43-42 to High Point Andrews before edging fellow Central 3-A Conference member Cedar Ridge 37-34.
Other members of the all-tournament team were Tyler Moore of Southern Alamance, Jayden Adams of Eastern Alamance, James Newton of Western Alamance, Devin Hackstall of High Point Andrews, Jonah Ridgill of Chatham Charter and Harrison Perel of Cedar Ridge.
Southeast also made it to the final on the girls’ side, and the Stallions were in better shape at halftime of the title game vs. Green Level.
That didn’t work out as Green Level ended with a 49-32 victory.
Southeast’s 21-10 advantage at the break quickly vanished. Green Level (6-4) tripled its scoring output in a hurry, leading 31-25 with 2:40 left in the third quarter.
Deena Prasad of Green Level was the tournament’s MVP. Included among the other 10 all-tournament selections were the Southeast duo of Shaniya Paylor and Clara LaChapelle and Eastern Alamance’s Ayanna Garner.
Southeast (7-3) reached the final by defeating Athens Drive 59-47 in the first round behind Paylor’s 20 points and LaChapelle’s 10 points and edging Northwest Guilford 47-44 in the semifinal with Paylor providing 19 points and LaChapelle adding 10 points.
Eastern Alamance lost all three tournament games, falling 52-42 to High Point Andrews, losing 53-41 to Cardinal Gibbons and dropping a 58-39 decision to Orange.