On Feb. 2 in the middle school boys championship game, Allendale-Fairfax held off Guinyard-Butler 49-43 in Allendale.
The contest turned into a thriller. The game had with four ties and five lead changes in the second half. With the score tied at 39-39 late in the fourth quarter, the Tigers made the most of their opportunities, outscoring the War Ponies 10-4 to close out the game.
With the win, Allendale-Fairfax wraps up a perfect season at 16-0. The Tigers went 2-0 in the tournament.
Allendale-Fairfax coach David Johnson said the kids believed in themselves all season.
"This was a great way to finish an outstanding season," Johnson said. "The game was very close, but this group just has a knack for making plays."
Guinyard-Butler coach Marcus Rivera said his team got down, but didn't give up.
"I'm very proud of these kids even though we came up little short on the scoreboard today," Rivera said. "We were down early, but we fought back. These kids played with a lot of heart."
At the start of the game it was all Allendale-Fairfax. The Tigers were hitting on all cylinders on offense with Jerome Polite, Justin Polite, Altmonta Holmes, Demore Devoe and Ronqutay Owens scoring on layups for a 15-6 lead.
Down, but not out, the War Ponies responded in the second quarter. Devin Creech and J.D Hallingquest each rattled in jumpers to get the troops going.
The War Ponies next two possessions also yielded points with Marcus McKeathan and Jharius Holston scoring baskets to tie the score at 15-15 with 1:25 left in the first half.
In the third quarter, the action continued to heat up. For the Tigers, Jerome Polite snagged a rebound then went coast to coast for a layup. After baskets by Tyrese Holmes, Richard Garvin and Eric Charlton, Jerome Polite scored again to make the score 27-22.
Hallingquest kept the War Poines in striking distance, scoring seven points in the third quarter to cut the lead to 33-31.
In the fourth quarter, War Ponies fired back on baskets by Creech, Hallingquest and Dunbar for a 40-39 lead with 2:54 left to play.
From that point, Deon Priester of the Tigers dominated the rest of the way. Priester ignited the team with seven points and three rebounds in the final two minutes of play.
For the game, Jerome Polite led the Tigers with 20 points. Deon Priester had eight and Richard Garvin added seven points.
Jharius Holston led the War Ponies with 11 points. Devin Creech tallied 10 points.
In other action, Blackville-Hilda defeated Guinyard-Butler 40-36 Jan. 31 in Barnwell.
The Hawks, who trailed 8-2 early on soared back to take a 11-8 halftime lead. In the second half, the Hawks then built their lead to as much 10 points before holding off a late War Ponies rally.
"Great win for our basketball team," Blackville-Hilda coach Albert Pressley said. "We rebounded well and got scoring inside and from the perimeter."
The Hawks were led in scoring by Evan Staley with 16 points, including 10 in the second half. Kareem Kinard had nine points. Eric Jones scored seven points and Cameron Brown added six points.
In girls action, the Guinyard-Butler Lady Ponies defeated Allendale-Fairfax by a score of 27-24.
Leading 21-20, the Lady War Poines pulled away on baskets by Kyra Shuler, Sandi Gunnells and Dorian Carter for a 27-22 lead with 43 seconds to play.
The top offensive player for Guinyard-Butler was Kyra Shuler with 10 points, including six in the third quarter. Sandi Gunnells shot well from the perimeter, connecting on three jumpers. Dorian Carter had a good, all-around game with five points and 10 rebounds. Jessica Williams and Jessica Kennedy scored three points each.
For A-F, Jasmine White led the way with seven points. Keyara Brown finished with six points and Shatia McMillian added four points.
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