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Hudson Catholic routs Socastee in final game of Beach Ball Classic’s first day

ablondin@thesunnews.comDecember 26, 2012 

— A good night’s sleep the Hudson Catholic (N.J.) Hawks didn’t get.

But a win in their Beach Ball Classic opener Wednesday night they did.

The weary Hawks had difficulties traveling to Myrtle Beach for their opening-round game against host Socastee, but they managed to get into the second round with a 75-48 win in the nightcap.

“A win is a win in the tournament, so I’ll take it,” Hudson Catholic coach Nick Mariniello said. “But we have to defend a little bit better to advance in this tournament. It’s not going to get easier.”

Hudson Catholic (5-0) players slept at the school Tuesday night, left at 4:45 a.m., had a connecting flight that was delayed by a storm and rested as much as they could Wednesday in Myrtle Beach before their game.

The Hawks still managed to shoot 61 percent against the Braves (4-4).

“I thought we shot the ball well but I thought we were sloppy defensively, and I attribute that to our legs from our travel,” Mariniello said.

The Hawks shot 60 percent from the 3-point line on 9-of-15 shooting to record the third best percentage in Beach Ball history with a minimum of 10 attempts, behind only Monsignor Pace of Florida’s 64.7 percent in 2007 and Milton High of Georgia’s 64.3 percent in 2011.

Georgetown commitment Reggie Cameron had 22 of his game-high 24 points in the first half, hitting 8 of 11 shots including 4 of 6 3-pointers in the opening half.

“They shot the ball as well in the first half as anyone we’ve played in a long time,” Braves coach Tommy Johnson said. “I didn’t think we played a bad first half. I told them at halftime I didn’t know what else we can do. We played some zone [defense], played some man. They happened to be on.”

Socastee received 16 points from Dante Moore and six points and four assists from Dylan Thompson, but was overmatched.

“There are no cupcakes [in the Beach Ball], and I’m pleased that we got outscored 17 in the second half but 10 in the second half,” Johnson said. “There were a number of times we could have thrown the towel in and just said, ‘We’re going to lose this one.’ But I thought we kept battling. On the positive side we put up 48 points against a pretty good team, so this was not all negative. … I thought we played close to as good as we can play.”

Hudson Catholic also got 13 points from Kyle McLeggan and eight points and four steals from Nassir Barrino, and will face Wheeler (Ga.) in the second round.

•  HUDSON CATHOLIC (75) – Kavon Stewart 9, Reggie Cameron 24, Adam Traore 3, Kyle McLeggan 13, Safee Sabur 4, Med Fofana 2, Nassir Barrino 8, J.R. Lynch 6, Marshall James 4, Sammy Friday 2.

•  SOCASTEE (48) – Dante Moore 16, Adarius McCray 9, Will Caswell 5, Dylan Thompson 6, Erick Mortel 4, Devin Melko 4, Dakota Morgan 4.

•  Halftime: Hudson Catholic 42-25. 3-point goals: Hudson Catholic 9 (Stewart, Cameron 4, McLeggan 2, Lynch 2); Socastee 5 (Moore 4, Caswell). Team fouls: Hudson Catholic 12, Socastee 12. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None.

•  Records: Hudson Catholic 5-0, Socastee 4-4.

Contact ALAN BLONDIN at 626-0284.

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