The 25th annual Courier Tribune Christmas Classic got underway on Monday afternoon at Asheboro High School. The match-ups for Day 1 of the tournament were Asheboro vs Providence Grove, Eastern Randolph vs Trinity, Randleman vs Jordan-Matthews, and Southwestern Randolph vs Wheatmore.
The Cougars of Southwestern Randolph are coming off back to back Courier Tribune Christmas Classic Championships and have one the title a total of four times in the 25 year history. Randleman and Eastern Randolph hold the record for most tournament championships with 5 each. The host school Asheboro, Jordan-Matthews, and Trinity have won the tournament 3 times each. Providence Grove and Wheatmore have yet to win a title at the Courier Tribune Christmas Classic.
Game 1: Asheboro vs Providence Grove
The Asheboro Blue Comets and the Providence Grove Patriots kicked off the 25th annual Courier-Tribune Christmas Classic on Monday. Coming out strong the Blue Comets were determined to defend their home court. The Patriots pushed as they were the first to score coming out of the tip off. The Blue Comets took the first quarter leading 15-8.
The Patriots trailed by 7 in the second quarter as the Blue Comets kept scoring. Asheboro held Providence Grove to just 6 points in the second quarter. Although Providence Grove failed to take the lead back they scored 6 points in the second quarter. Asheboro led at the half 36-14.
Coming into the third quarter the game just kept getting away from the Patriots. Asheboro hit their stride shooting the ball and used it to their advantage. The Blue Comets ended up outscoring the Patriots 15 to 9 during the third quarter. Providence Grove tried their best to get themselves back into the game, but it was too little too late.
By the fourth quarter, the Blue Comets had a 53 to 23 lead and they showed no signs of stopping. Even though they scored 17 in the fourth, it was not enough for the Patriots to take the game. Asheboro pulled out a 71 to 40 win and will faced the winner of Eastern Randolph and Trinity tomorrow.
Leading scorers for Providence Grove were Madison Ferguson with 15 and Gabby Griffin with 10. Madison Dark and Devin Martin both finished with 4 for the Patriots. For the Blue Comets, Breanna Foster led the way with 21 points. Meredith Priest and Madison Priest chipped in 11 and 10 respectively.Click Here to View or Buy Photos from the Game
Game 2: Eastern Randolph vs Trinity
In the second game of the evening the Trinity Bulldogs took on the Eastern Randolph Wildcats. The Wildcats came ready to play and took an early lead. The Bulldogs would not let the game get away from them that easy as they battled the Wildcats on each and every possession. The Wildcats led the first quarter 18-8.
Even though they were down, the Bulldogs were not out of this one. They closed the scoring gap during the second quarter. Not closing the gap enough the Wildcats still held the lead by scoring 15. The Bulldogs only scored 10 the second quarter
Coming into the third quarter the Wildcats kept their momentum as they had a 15 point lead. The Bulldogs picked themselves up and scored 14 in the third quarter closing the gap. The 14 points weren’t enough as the Wildcats held on to their lead. The Wildcats outscored the Bulldogs 19 to 7 in the fourth quarter and went on to win 63 to 39.
Top scorers for the Bulldogs where Jade Earnhardt with 20, Allison Watkins with 8 and to chip in Kaitlyn Cox with 2. The Wildcat’s top scorers were Alexis Andrews with 15. Kaylee Carter had 12 and Samantha Burgess scored 11.Click Here to View or Buy Photos from the Game
Game 3: Randleman vs Jordan-Matthews
Randleman and Jordan-Matthews met in the third game of the evening and it was a good one from the start. With the game at 4 the Tigers went on a run to secure the lead. The biggest lead in the quarter for the Tigers was 7 and they led 11 to 8 at the end of the first quarter.
The insertion of freshman Taylor Deaton in the starting lineup gave the Tigers a spark that they needed. Randleman carried their lead all through the second quarter and never let the Jets get closer than two. By halftime the Tigers had a 21 to 17 lead.
Jordan-Matthews came of the half and quickly tied the game at 21. Moments later the Jets took the lead from the Tigers for good. Randleman would not go away easy as they never let the Jets’ lead get bigger than 7. By the end of the third quarter, the Jets had taken a 32 to 25 lead over the Tigers.
The Jets extended their lead during the fourth quarter of play to try and put this one away for good. Randleman would not back down as they cut into the lead several times. Late in the quarter, the Tigers cut the Jets to 9. Each time Randleman would cut into the lead, the Jets would answer to hold on to their lead. Jordan-Matthews kept the Tigers at bay and went on to win 45 to 35.
Leading the way for the Jets was Asia Hackney with 11, while Hannah Stackhouse and Sarah Morse both chipped in 7. For the Tigers it was senior Sabrina Powell with 11. Trisha Rich chipped in 6, while Jessie Bueno added 5.Click Here to View or Buy Photos from the Game
Game 4: Southwestern Randolph vs Wheatmore
Reigning champions Southwestern Randolph battled it out with the Warriors of Wheatmore in the final game of round one of the Courier Tribune Christmas Classic. The Warriors opened the game with a quick 8-0 spurt. The Cougars of Southwestern Randolph were not going to get knocked out early as they finally got on the board. Southwestern Randolph used a 13 to 6 run to get themselves back in the game. At the end of the first quarter the led 14 to 13.
Wheatmore once again opened a quarter with a scoring run to extend the lead. The Cougars answered with a 7-0 run of their own and took the lead. Wheatmore’s Kaitlin Stevenson stopped the run and retook the lead for her team on a 3 the top of the key. Southwestern Randolph tied the ball game and from there it was back and forth. At the half the Cougars trailed the Warriors 28 to 26.
Wheatmore’s Hayley Williams opened the third quarter with a three to extend the Warrior lead to 5. Southwestern Randolph senior Lauren LaPlant answered with back to back 3’s to give the Cougars the lead. Wheatmore would retake the lead and kept hold of it for the rest of the quarter. The third quarter ended with the Warriors taking a 31 to 34 lead over the Cougars.
Southwestern Randolph was not going to go away quietly as they made sure to keep themselves as close as possible. The Warriors had a 9 point lead midway through the fourth quarter of play. Southwestern Randolph came back and cut the game to one with just a few seconds left. A turnover on the last play of the game cost the Cougars the victory. Wheatmore upset the reigning champions 51 to 46.
Leading the way for the Warriors was Hayley Williams, while Kaitlin Stevenson chipped in 17. Macy Eidenberger added 8 for the Warriors. Lauren LaPlant paced the Cougars with 22 points, while Allee Reid, Samantha Lagrama, and Holly Spangler all chipped in 5.Click Here to View or Buy Photos from the Game