The Dreher Blue Devils headed home for the holidays on a high note, defeating Lower Richland 70-59 to earn third place in the Chick-fil-A Classic Holiday Basketball Tournament on Tuesday at Richland Northeast.
“I’m proud of my guys, I think we’ve got a lot we can build on,” Dreher (8-2) coach Jeff DiBattisto said. “Overall, this was really good for us.”
Coach Mark Burnitz is looking to build experience in his young team, and was encouraged by the Diamond Hornets’ performance in the tournament, despite their 1-2 finish.
“We saw in this tournament that they’re going to fight and they’re going to play hard. We just, unfortunately, weren’t ready to play the first half of this game,” Burnitz said.
Senior Jared Richardson led the Diamond Hornets (4-7), and the game, with 33 points and seven rebounds.
Dreher’s Tevin Mack posted 32 points, making him the tournament’s high scorer with 99 points in the Blue Devils’ 2-1 outing. Mack is the second player in the tournament’s 13-year history to have both a 30-point and a 40-point game in the four-day event.
“He’s a special, special talent. Honestly, he just does what he does. You kind of expect him to do it, and he continues to deliver,” DiBattisto said. “He does that, and we’ve got a bunch of other guys that are playing hard and contributing.”
Dreher got 12 points from Deandre Nathaniel.
Dreher trailed by five early, but got rolling when Mack checked in after five minutes of play. They took the lead for the first time on a lane-driving Nathaniel layup seven minutes in.
From there, Dreher kept pulling ahead, even as Lower Richland won the battle for rebounds. The Diamond Hornets posted 35 rebounds, turning 16 offensive boards into 17 second-chance points.
With Nathaniel and Mack pushing the offense, the Blue Devils’ lead was up to 11 points with six minutes left in the half. Richardson and Kelvin Washington kept the Diamond Hornets’ offense alive, but they could not keep up. Their man-to-man defense could not hold Dreher, and at halftime, the Blue Devil lead stood at 33-16.
Burnitz said the Diamond Hornets are looking to the future – Lower Richland and Dreher meet again in the season’s first region game on Jan. 7.
“We tried to keep it real vanilla,” Burnitz said.
WESTTOWN 77, SPRING VALLEY 70
W: Edvinas Rupkus 23; Jair Bolden 17; Mohamed Bamba 15; Jonathan Kasibabu 13; Hunter 5; Yiljep 4; Bream. SV: Noah Harper 17; Perry Dozier 15; Kendall Wall 14; Malik Dunbar 11; Roberson 5; Williams 4; Wall.
KEENAN 62, HAMMOND 59
K: Tariq Simmons 28; Antwan Holmes 15; Majerle Poole 11; Gathers 3; Marshall 3; Johnson 2. H: Seventh Woods 15; Jonathan Yuchmow 13; Xavier McDaniel 11; Chevez Goodwin 10; Bruner 8; Lee-Smith 2.
DREHER 70, LOWER RICHLAND 59
LR: Jared Richardson 33; Caldwell 8; Washington 8; Nuttry 4; Nelson 4; Trapp 1; Robinson 1. D: Tevin Mack 32; Deandre Nathaniel 12; Stiglbauer 6; Hampton 5; Parr 5; Brown 5; Collins 2; Hutcherson 2; Drayton 1.
CAPE HENRY 66, WANDO 60
CH: Chris Clarke 18; Marcus Evans 18; Malik Marrow 14; Grinde 8; Langston 3; James 3; Weathers 2. W: Amp Moore 18; Jamez Rogers 16; Majewski 9; Stewart 5; Morrow 4; Dunaway 4; Wade 3; Smith 1.
GREENFOREST CHRISTIAN 54, MORGAN COUNTY 50
GC: John Ogwuche 10; Justin Ravenel 10; Forrest 9; Enoh 8; Ayah 7; Abdulmalik 4; Iyiola 4; Abdulsalem 2. MC: Tookie Brown 20; Jailyn Ingram 12; Al Reid 11; Little 4; D. Brown 3.
AMERICAN DIVISION ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Dennis Smith, Jr. (Trinity Christian); Xavier McDaniel, Jr. (Hammond); Tookie Brown (Morgan County); Jailyn Ingram (Morgan County); MVP: John Ogwuche (Greenforest Christian). Most Outstanding Player: Tevin Mack (Dreher)
OUR SAVIOR NEW AMERICAN 57, ARLINGTON COUNTRY DAY 55
OSNA: Cheick Diallo 23; Djibril Diallo 16; Wilson 9; Dillard 5; Yakew 4. ACD: Mario Kegler 19; Jahshire Hardnett 17; Lamonte Turner 13; Da Silva 6.
NATIONAL DIVISION ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Marcus Evans (Cape Henry); Mario Kegler (Arlington Country Day); Lamone Turner (Arlington Country Day); Jahshire Hardnett (Arlington Country Day); Damon Wilson (Our Savior New American); MVP: Cheick Diallo (Our Savior New American); Most Outstanding Player: Chris Clarke (Cape Henry)