Mount Zion Tops Pinecrest for Holiday Title
The Pinecrest Patriot boys' basketball team put up a good fight Saturday afternoon in the Holiday in the Pines Tournament championship game at James Moore Gymnasium. Still the effort fell just short for the host team as the Mount Zion Christian Academy Warriors took the title with a 58-50 victory over the Pats in Southern Pines.
Senior small forward Jonathan Milligan scored a game-high 20 points to pace the Warriors, a freelance member of the National Federation of High Schools based in Durham.
At halftime Pinecrest led 26-23, paced by seven points from Adam Cummings and six from Justin Ray.
As the action resumed in the third quarter the Pats lost their rhythm on offense by committing three early turnovers . The result was an eight-point Mount Zion run that gave the Warriors a 31-26 lead.
Pinecrest answered with five straight points on a deep trey by Cummings and a putback by Ray to tie the tilt at 31-all.
Through three quarters of action the Warriors led 39-35, but soon stretched that advantage to 43-35 less than a minute into the fourth period.
By the 3:11 mark of last quarter Mount Zion was in front 52-39 and in complete control of the contest.
Down the stretch Cumming sank two deep threes, including one from 24 feet at the buzzer to bring the game to its final 58-50 margin.
Cummings, who was one of six players selected to the all-tournament team, finished the game with a team-high 16 points for Pinecrest. The 6-foot-3 senior connected from downtown four times in the tilt. Joining him in double-figure scoring was Ray with 11 points.
The Warriors' 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Juwan Bland, also an all-tournament selection, scored 15 in the championship game. Joing Bland and Milligan in double figures for Mount Zion was tournament MVP Britton Reed — a 6-5 junior forward — with 13 points.
Noah Mellette (Southern Lee), Brandon Kamga (South Lakes, Va.) and Devon Oakley (Nansemond River, Va.) rounded out the all-tournament team.
In Saturday's other three contests, Nansemond River defeated Southern Lee by a 71-53 tally in the third-place game, South Lakes nipped Middle Creek 62-60 in the fifth-place game and Richmond County topped Heritage High 68-60 in the seventh-place game.
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