ST. BERNARD CHRISTMAS TOURNAMENT: Saints, Cleveland take title games

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The St. Bernard Saints pose with their St. Bernard Christmas Tournament title trophy on Friday night, Dec. 22, 2017. / Josh McBrayer

CULLMAN – The St. Bernard Christmas Tournament wrapped up today on the campus of St. Bernard Prep. In the end, the home-team Saints and the visiting Lady Panthers walked away with the championship trophies.

St. Bernard 60, J.B. Pennington 46 (Boys’ Championship)

St. Bernard opened the championship game of its namesake tournament with a 7-0 run and put J.B. Pennington at an immediate disadvantage. After the initial Saint push, the Tigers came back with six of their own to prove they were not going to go away. After the dust settled, St. Bernard had a 13-6 lead.

The Saints looked to be in firm control in the second but a late run by Pennington pulled the Tigers to within seven, 24-17, heading to the half.

The third quarter got chippy, with the Pennington fans in an uproar after the Tigers’ head coach got hit with a technical for arguing a foul call. St. Bernard used the two free throws and ensuing possession to take control of the game and take a 48-32 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Saints were content to run the clock in the fourth, taking the game by a score of 60-46.

The Saints were led by Elijah Price with 17 points, followed by Christian Peterson with 15 and Gavin Whaley with 11.

Noah Allison led the Tigers with 13, with Cole Littleton getting 10 and Jackson Bullard 7.


Cleveland 62, Vinemont 18 (Girls’ Championship)

It was all Cleveland in the girls’ championship. The Lady Panthers racked up 17 points in the first while holding Vinemont to just three free throws to take a commanding 14-point lead.

Vinemont shot better from the floor in the second quarter, scoring 12. Unfortunately for the Lady Eagles, Cleveland was able to keep pace and went to the locker room up 28-15.

The third belonged to the Lady Panthers as they played a blanket-like press that forced numerous turnovers and limited Vinemont to just one point in the frame. Cleveland pushed its lead past 30 to guarantee the fourth quarter would be played with a hot clock. Cleveland took the game and the tournament, 62-18.

The Lady Panthers were lead by Savannah Carty with 18, Kiley Adams with 13 and Mariana Sosa with 10.

Bailey Preiss paced the Lady Eagles with six, and Madysen Hacker had 4.


Southeastern 80, Vinemont 51 (Boys’ Consolation Bracket)

Vinemont started its consolation game against Southeastern in rocky fashion, the Eagles quickly finding themselves in a 14-3 hole. However, they fought back and pulled to within five midway through the quarter. Undaunted, the Mustangs closed the quarter on a 5-0 run to end the frame up 19-8.

Southeastern poured in the points in the second quarter, scoring 21 in eight minutes. The Eagles kept pace for most of the quarter but still found themselves down 40-26 at the break.

The Mustangs kept the hammer down in the second half, steadily building their lead and getting a late hot clock in the fourth. Final score: Southeastern 80, Vinemont 51.

Southeastern had five players reach double digits: Cameron Robertson 17, Steven Wadsworth 13, Jordan Graham 13, Jacob Robertson 11 and Dalton Huffstutler 10.

Vinemont’s Katch Johnson led all scorers with 27, while Connor Handley got nine.


Southeastern 50, St. Bernard 41 (Girls’ Consolation Bracket)

The St. Bernard Lady Saints were back in action Friday for the third-place game of the St. Bernard Christmas Tournament against the Southeastern Lady Mustangs. The Lady Saints came up short against Southeastern 50-41 after a physical four quarters despite big performances from St. Bernard’s Claire Sanders and Emma Tafazoli.

Sanders was the primary ball handler and finished with 17 points, four rebounds and three assists. Her teammate, Tafazoli, had the game’s only double-double performance with 13 rebounds to go along with her game-high 18 points. The Lady Saints also got some offense from Ashley Duke who finished with six points and five rebounds.

Southeastern’s quickness on defense gave St. Bernard trouble all day but especially in the second half. After trailing just 23-19 at halftime, the Lady Saints found themselves down 10 points to start the fourth quarter after a run from the Lady Mustangs. Southeastern came up with most of its 11 steals in the second half and limited St. Bernard’s possessions late in the game.

Southeastern got most of its scoring from the combination of Kassandra Soto and Brianna Brasfield. Soto put up 15 points, three rebounds and three steals, while Brasfield finished with 16 points and nine rebounds. The Lady Mustangs’ point guard Peyton Lindley gave the St. Bernard back court some trouble on defense and led the game with four steals.

The Lady Saints generated a couple of steals and quick buckets of their own late in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late and the Lady Mustangs took third place over St. Bernard 50-41.

The Lady Saints will have some time off over the holidays before they get back on the hardwood at home against Cold Springs Jan. 9.

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