Chapel Hill Overpowers All Saints Down Stretch to Capture Wagstaff Gold Bracket Title
TYLER — At times this weekend, the Chapel Hill Bulldogs looked invincible, but a poor third quarter in the Wagstaff Holiday Classic’s Gold Bracket championship game threatened to put a damper on things.
Then, the Bulldogs finished the tournament the way they started: strong, fast and victorious.
The inside combination of Michael Harris and Keith Minor and the deadly free-throw shooting of Jeffrey Minor down the stretch helped Chapel Hill rally past Tyler All Saints, 75-66, to capture the tournament hardware.
Harris, a 6-6 senior, finished with a game-high 21 points to go along with eight rebounds and four blocks. Keith Minor, the 6-4 junior, came up big off the bench with 12 points and eight boards. The two combined for 13 points and seven rebounds in the fourth.
“We gave them second and third shots in kind of an ugly third quarter,” Chapel Hill coach Robert Sampson said. “The guards picked it up and handled it a bit better and both big men, (Keith) Minor and Harris, did a great job. Today, Keith Minor played really hard with great drive. He really banged inside, he rebounded the ball well and finish inside for us.”
Chapel Hill trailed 53-48 entering the fourth, but quickly went on a 10-1 run to take a 58-54 lead, highlighted by three consecutive 3-point plays from Harris, DD Mumphrey and Keith Minor.
“At the end of the game, I thought their size just overmatched us with second-chance points and just possessions in the paint,” All Saints coach Eddie Francis said. “Our kids were getting pushed underneath a little bit because of their strength and size and I thought that was the difference in the game.”
Jeffrey Minor helped to put the game away by hitting a clutch 3-pointer off an assist from Keith Minor that gave Chapel Hill a 67-60 lead with 1:49 remaining. After that, All Saints was forced to resort to fouling, but Jeffrey Minor hit 6 of 6 foul shots down the stretch to seal it.
“The pieces are here,” Sampson said. “The first part of the year the chemistry hasn’t been there; all of us hadn’t been on the same page in practice. I think you saw, especially Thursday and Friday, that we really played together and we played hard. We’ve got three kids that touch the top of the backboard, it’s nice.”
Jeffrey Minor finished with 16 points, three assists and two steals, while fellow guard Julius Hill added 10 points and four steals for Chapel Hill.
All Saints was led by Jaired Maddox, who had 19 points and six boards. Aston Francis chipped in with 12 points, while Luke Lee provided 11 points and six rebounds in the losing effort.
Chapel Hill’s Jerod Mitchem buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 40-33 halftime lead, but All Saints came alive in the third quarter.
Brice Borgeson hit a pair of three throws at the 3:47 mark to give the Trojans their first lead, 45-44, since early in the second quarter. All Saints later went on a 6-0 run, pushing its lead to five entering the fourth.
“Our kids did a good job in the first half I thought of executing and we missed some shots we usually make,” Francis said. “In the second half, they started to fall.”
Chapel Hill (11-7, 1-0 in District 16-3A) returns to district action Monday at Gilmer, and Sampson is hoping his team rides the momentum through the rest of the regular season.
“It’s kinda unusual because our district’s already started, but this was a great three games for us,” he said. “Spring Hill does similar things that these last three teams did to us. I think it’s a great thing for us to play the teams we did to help us with the district, especially with Spring Hill, because they’re very fundamental and make you struggle offensively.”
Wagstaff Holiday Classic
Gold Bracket Championship
Chapel Hill 75, Tyler All Saints 66
All Saints 18 15 20 13 — 66
Chapel Hill 22 18 8 27 — 75
ALL SAINTS–Jaired Maddox, 19; Aston Francis, 12; Luke Lee, 11; Spencer Ball, 8; Brice Borgeson, 8; Clayton Smith, 6; Trevor Long, 2.
CHAPEL HILL–Michael Harris, 21; Jeffrey Minor, 16; Keith Minor, 12; Julius Hill, 10; DD Mumphrey, 7; Kavondre Wallace, 6; Jerod Mitchem, 3.
Wagstaff Holiday Classic
At Tyler Junior College
Game 1 – Chapel Hill 76, Tyler T.K. Gorman 59
Game 2 – Bullard Brook Hill 78, Tyler Grace 60
Game 3 – Tyler King’s Academy 50, Henderson 49
Game 4 – Tyler All Saints 88, Carthage 58
Game 8 – Tyler T.K. Gorman 78, Tyler Grace 73
Game 9 – Carthage 73, Henderson 72
Game 10 – Chapel Hill 65, Bullard Brook Hill 45
Game 11 – Tyler All Saints 78, Tyler King’s Academy 34
Game 15 – Tyler Grace 57, Henderson 48
Game 16 – Tyler T.K. Gorman 61, Henderson 48
Game 17 – Bullard Brook Hill 71, Tyler King’s Academy 40
Game 21 (Gold Bracket Championship) – Chapel Hill 75, Tyler All Saints 66