Originally created 12/30/00

Spartans win tourney's debut



Glenn Hills made it a complete sweep on Friday night.

Mario Briscoe scored a game-high 33 points as the Spartans defeated Richmond Academy 74-69 in the championship game of the first Augusta Holiday Round Ball Classic at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center.

"This means a lot to us," Glenn Hills coach Richard Wallace said. "Over the years, Glenn Hills has always done well in Christmas tournaments. It just builds our confidence."

In the girls championship game, Glenn Hills defeated Laney 56-34.

"I think this is good for our school and good for our young ladies," Lady Spartans coach Bernard Bowman said. "I think it'll be a good motivational thing for us. But after tonight, it's over."

In the boys contest, Richmond Academy led 38-32 at the half. But the Spartans kept taking it to the hole and tied the game at 52 on William Fuquay's layup.

The Spartans took the lead midway through the fourth quarter, but Kevin Mack's layup with 1:31 left in the game gave the Musketeers a 69-68 lead.

George Brown returned the lead to Glenn Hills with a pair of free throws. Then Briscoe grabbed an offensive rebound of a missed fast-break layup and scored to give the Spartans a three-point lead with 28 seconds remaining.

"That was just him hustling," Wallace said. "He's one of our heavier boys. He tends to get tired a little quicker than the others. But he showed some intestinal fortitude tonight."

After failing to score a point in the fourth quarter of their 33-31 win over Lakeside-Atlanta in the semifinals, the Lady Spartans (11-1) didn't have to worry about any fourth-quarter collapse this time. Glenn Hills outscored Laney 22-9 in the final period to pull away for the win.

"Usually the fourth quarter is our best quarter," said Bowman, whose team blew a 10-point halftime lead against Laney earlier this season. "The first time we played Laney we weren't focused."

Glenn Hills (11-1) led 20-14 at the half. The Lady Spartans extended the lead to 10 on Sheena Carpenter's layup with 3:34 left in the third period.

But Laney came back in the fourth as Sheena Freeman banked in a 3-pointer to trim the lead to 34-30. However, Glenn Hills rolled off a 13-0 run and took a 47-30 lead with 4:25 remaining.

Carpenter and Tyeisha Smith each had a team-high 15 points to lead the Lady Spartans. Freeman led Laney with 17 points.

In other girls action, Josey defeated Westside 57-43, Butler knocked off North Augusta 51-47 and Lakeside-Atlanta handed Richmond Academy a 46-37 loss.

In boys action, Northwest Christian slipped past Laney 46-40 in double overtime. Josey defeated Harlem 73-39, while Butler squeaked by Westside 51-50.

Meanwhile, Richmond County athletics director George Bailey was excited about the tournament and hopes to have it in the civic center sometime around Christmas next year.

"It helps our kids in postseason play," Bailey said. "Once they get into the state playoffs, they'll play in arenas like this."

This year's tournament had six of the eight Richmond County schools. Hephzibah and Cross Creek had previously committed to other tournaments.