Corky Kell + Dave Hunter Basketball Classic updates from Norcross

NORCROSS – The inaugural Corky Kell + Dave Hunter Basketball Classic’s four-game schedule took place at Norcross Saturday. The recaps for each game are below.

Douglass 58, Norcross 56 (Boys)

Class 3A Douglass opened a 26-11 lead in the first quarter and led by as many as 23 points before holding on for a two-point victory over host Norcross in the final game of the Corky Kell + Dave Hunter Basketball Classic.

“First, I have to give credit to Norcross,” said Douglass head coach Darron Rogers, “That is a hall of fame coach over there and they made it a great test.”

Douglass expanded its 15-point lead in the first quarter to a 40-22 halftime lead and held Norcross to just three points and one made field goal in the first four minutes of that period. The Blue Devils, led by senior point guard Toby Ojukwu cut into the deficit in the third quarter by shrinking the deficit to 55-41 with a 19-15 scoring edge in the third quarter.

The Astros opened the fourth quarter with a basket by RJ Winegarner before Norcross orchestrated a 17-0 run to cut the deficit to 57-56 with 15 seconds left. Douglass’ Noah Treadwill made one of two free-throws to give the Astros a 58-56 lead and Norcross passed up an open three-pointer and the play went out of bounds with .3 seconds left—leaving the Blue Devils with an unsuccessful desperation tip-in attempt at the buzzer.

Douglass was paced by junior Josh Mikell (15 points), Senior RJ Winegarner (14), Treadwell (10), who all finished in double-figures, despite the Astros scoring just three points in the final quarter. Norcross’ Ojukwu netted a game-high 17 points and was joined in double-figures with 6-foot-7 senior Casey Williams (14) and sophomore Jaron Saulsberry (11).

West Forsyth 63, Lanier 57 (Boys)

West Forsyth held off the Longhorns in a back-and-forth game and led at the end of every frame. Junior Gray Smith finished with a game-high 20 points and teammate Sam Maynard added a 19-point performance to contribute 39 of the Wolverines 63 points. Smith nailed a three-pointer late in the first quarter to give West Forsyth an 11-8 lead and the Wolverines clung to an 11-10 lead heading into the second. After several lead changes and a 10-point first half by Smith, West Forsyth headed into the break with a 32-26 lead. The Longhorns came out with six-straight points in the second half, but West Forsyth responded and built a 63-57 lead.

“Our defensive effort was outstanding,” said West Forsyth assistant coach Tim Kemp following the game, “That is what we are all about, we aren’t the biggest team and we aren’t the most talented, but we are going to give a great defensive effort.”

West Forsyth also got eight points apiece from Braden Holloran and Lachan Povenz and Smith iced his 20-point effort late to push the lead to 61-57 before Maynard added a pair of free throws. The Wolverines improve to 5-1 on the season and Lanier drops to 1-4. The Longhorns were led by DeAndre Cowan’s 19 points and a 16-point effort by 6-foot-7 senior Brandon Lanier. (By: Craig Sager II)

River Ridge 70, Brookwood 39 (Girls)

Defending Class 6A champion River Ridge defeated defending Class 7A champion Brookwood for the second consecutive season after picking up a 70-39 victory in the opening game of the inaugural Corky Kell Dave Hunter Basketball Classic.

River Ridge led by double-digits early thanks to a 11-4 run to open the game. Guard Sophia Pearl and forward Findlay Parker led the fast start for the Knights. Makayla Roberson led River Ridge in scoring with 18 points, earning MVP honors.

Brookwood answered in the second quarter making the game close thanks to a 14-2 run led by Justice McCoy and Zayjah Knight. The Broncos cut the deficit to 23-18 in the 2nd quarter, but the Lady Knights took full control of the game after that point, outscoring Brookwood 47-21 the rest of the way.

McCoy was the leading scorer for the Lady Broncos adding 17 points and Knight contributed 10 points.

The Lady Knights had four scorers in double figures with Pearl (10 points) Makayla Roberson (18 points) Allie Sweet (10 points) and Kayla Cleveland (17 points) leading the way. Sweet also had several blocks in the game and her defensive contributions was valuable to the team.

River Ridge notched the team’s season-high in the matchup against Brookwood scoring 70 points. Their ball movement and ability to create open shots contributed to an efficient shooting performance. River Ridge improves to 3-1 on the season and will face Sequoyah in their next matchup.

Brookwood drops to 2-7 and has now lost four of their last five games. Brookwood will host Parkview in their next matchup. (By: Najeh Wilkins)

Norcross 51, Baldwin 40 (Girls)

Mercer-signee Jania Akins showed why she’s one of the best players in the state to lead hosting Norcross past Baldwin.

The senior guard finished with a game-leading 32 points to help move the Class 7A No. 3-ranked Blue Devils to 6-1 on the season while Class 4A No. 1 Baldwin fell to 4-2.

Baldwin led 10-8 after the first quarter but Norcross battled back to secure the 24-21 lead at the half. The Blue Devils extended the advantage through a 12-7 run in the third quarter to lead 36-28 entering the final frame.

Senior guard Cate Sidey had eight points and junior forward Justus Fitzgerald scored six points for Norcross. Junior power forwards Kassidy Neal and Janaye Walker each finished with 11 points and senior guard Madison Ruff had nine points for Baldwin. (By: Seth Ellerbee)

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