An up and down The Courier-Tribune Christmas Invitational Tournament for the Jordan-Matthews boy’s basketball team ended on a sour note on Saturday afternoon at Asheboro High School as a …
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An up and down The Courier-Tribune Christmas Invitational Tournament for the Jordan-Matthews boy’s basketball team ended on a sour note on Saturday afternoon at Asheboro High School as a short-handed Jets squad was dealt a harsh 64-48 setback by Southwest Randolph to be relegated to a sixth-place finish.
In posting the 1-2 mark in 28th annual event, Jordan-Matthews now boasts a 41-37 record in 26 appearances, including championships in 2010 and 2012 behind MVP performances from James Milliken and Llamar Snipes respectively. The 41 wins ranks third highest of any of the 13 teams that have ever competed in the event, with only Trinity (68) and Asheboro (52) owning more.
After rebounding from a dreadful opening day performance against Asheboro on Thursday, Jordan-Matthews rallied to stun Providence Grove in a thriller on Friday.
Just when it looked as if the Jets had some momentum built entering the final day of action, J-M coach Rodney Wiley was forced to hold out a couple of player due to team rules violations. That, coupled with the absence of Camden Fuquay who had to miss due to a prior obligation, left the Jets noticeably short-handed entering the contest.
But even playing with a depleted lineup, Jordan-Matthews battled fiercely behind the play of Xavier Woods, Huston Causey, Seth Moore, and Chandler Matthews.
Southwest Randolph (4-7) started quickly out of the gates with an 8-0 spurt behind six points from Adam Callahan.
Jordan-Matthews (4-7) responded with an 11-2 run over the next four minutes of play sparked by five points by guard Seth Moore. Moore could close the stanza with seven points to keep the locals within 15-13 after one.
Brighton Long collected six points for the Cougars in the second, including a trey and a conventional three-point play, to offset four points each from Woods and Causey to extend the SWR advantage to 29-25 at the break.
Playing its third game in three days, and with the lack of depth, Jordan-Matthews visibly began wearing down to the bigger Southwest Randolph squad, and it showed at the start of the second half.
“We didn’t have our legs to start out the third quarter,” said J-M coach Rodney Wiley after the game. “With a short bench, and playing our third game in as many days, it took its toll on us.”
And in the third period, Jordan-Matthews managed just six points, with the first basket coming on a Woods drive with less than two minutes remaining in the quarter.
By then Southwest Randolph had blown things wide open when a Parker LaPlant three-point play capped quick 7-0 start in the opening three minutes of the frame to send the Cougars in front 36-25.
That lead would grow to 46-31 at the end of the third and Southwest Randolph would cruise to the 64-48 triumph from there.
Woods paced the Jordan-Matthews scoring with 11 points while Causey chipped in 10, Moore nine, and Matthews eight.
Long led all scorers for SWR with 19 points, while Tanner Ferguson added 15, LaPlant 12, and Callahan 10.
The Courier-Tribune Christmas Invitational
Championship Round Results:
1st place - Asheboro 50 Wheatmore 47
3rd place - Randleman 64 Trinity 52
5th place - Southwest Randolph 64 Jordan-Matthews 48
7th place - Providence Grove 74 Eastern Randolph 71