Hilton Invitational Roundup

Photo by Ty Freeman

North Gwinnett 59, Christ School (NC) 48: Christ School senior John Caldwell hit a late three-pointer that tied the game at 41-41 but North Gwinnett and its lockdown defense responded with an 18-7 run to close the game and gave the Peach State its first victory of the 2015 Hilton Invitational at Norcross High School. North Gwinnett (9-11, 5-6) held Christ School to 34% shooting and is on a current three-game win-streak that includes holding Duluth to 33% shooting Friday night in a 54-43 victory and Mountain View to 28% from the field in Tuesday’s 80-48 victory. North Gwinnett took a 25-18 lead into the locker room as Kam Calhoun led the Bulldogs with his eight first-half points. Calhoun continued to pace North Gwinnett in the second half and added 13 more points to finish with a game-high 23. North Gwinnett’s Jack Stucke got out to a hot start with five of his 12 points coming in the opening quarter as North Gwinnett built an early 16-10 lead.

Lee (AL) 54, Greater Atlanta Christian 50: Greater Atlanta Christian (12-8, 7-3) led 27-25 at the half but could not overcome Aston Ray’s team-high 15 points as the Generals closed out the victory. Cam Boyd netted 14 points for GAC, including a huge three-pointer with 28 seconds left to cut the deficit to 51-50 but the Spartans failed to secure the rebound on Lee’s late free throw attempts and ran out of opportunities. GAC junior Garrett Covington hit double-figures with 14 points and senior teammate Eric Jamison led with a game-high 18 points.

Jenkins 70, Winston-Salem Prep (NC) 57: Class AAA No. 2 Jenkins (17-3, 9-0) took a 36-30 halftime lead and outscored the Phoenix  34-27 in the second half to take Game 3 of the Hilton Invitational. Jenkins was led by a balanced offensive effort with junior Dimetri Chambers’ game-high 16 points and double-digit scoring from Eric Johnson (12), Michael Coffee (11) and Malik Benlevi (11). Benlevi got Jenkins out to a fast start with eight of his 11 points coming in the first half.

Norcross 72, Madison Academy (AL) 64: Class AAAAAA No. 5 Norcross (18-3, 9-1) took a 39-30 lead over the visiting Mustangs at the half and held on for the victory, despite a huge second half from Madison Academy’s five-star junior Josh Langford. The prized 2016 recruit scored 14 of his game-high 27 points in the third quarter as Madison Academy outscored the Blue Devils 21-16 and cut the lead to 55-51. Ricky Madison’s team-high 19 points kept Norcross in control along with double-digit scoring from teammates Amir Butcher (14) and Rayshaun Hammonds (13).

DeMatha (MD) 61, Pebblebrook 54: National powerhouse DeMatha used a 20-13 scoring advantage in the third quarter to build a 44-39 lead and held on to topple Class AAAAAA No. 2 Pebblebrook (16-5, 10-0) in the sixth game of the Hilton Invitational. DeMatha was led by Markelle Fulz’s team-high 16 points, while Pebblebrook saw its usual trio of scores reach double-digits. UGA-signee Derek Ogbeide netted 12 points, while guards Ty Hudson (Clemson-signee) and Jared Harper each added 14 points.

Jonesboro 64, Spain Park (AL) 58: Class AAAA No. 1 Jonesboro outscored Spain Park 24-14 in the fourth quarter to rally past Spain Park in the seventh and final game of the Hilton Invitational. Spain Park was led by its sophomore duo of Austin Wiley and Jamal Johnson, who combined for 50 of the Jaguars’ 58 points. Wiley scored 14 of his 22 points in the first half and Johnson took the reigns in the second half with 14 of his game-high 23 points. Jonesboro struggled shooting for much of the game and did not make a field goal in the second quarter until a Deantre Mack three-pointer with 1:14 left in the period. Jyair Mincy hit a buzzer-beater to close the half and Jonesboro took a 30-28 lead into the locker room. Austin Donaldson gave the Cardinals a big lift during a slow third quarter and scored six of the Cardinals’ 10 points to keep them within striking distance entering the fourth (44-40).  Jonesboro’s M.J. Walker connected on a three-pointer and a lay-up in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and shifted the game back into the Cardinals’ favor. Joneboro took a 60-56 lead with 40 seconds left and 6-6 foul shooting in the fourth quarter iced the game. Walker led Jonesboro with 16 points and four other Cardinals reached double-figures. Mack finished with 13, including five in the final quarter. Mincy and Donaldson netted 11 points apiece and Tracy Hector added 10.

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