Broncos fall narrowly in Holiday Classic final

Published 9:35 pm Saturday, January 7, 2023

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The Peggy H. Wilkins Gymnasium at Franklin High School was packed to capacity on Friday, Dec. 30, for the championship game of the Blue Water Rentals/NAPA Auto Parts Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament. The game pitted the Franklin Broncos against the Brunswick High School Bulldogs. After having a 32-25 lead at the end of the first half, the host team could not hold on in the final quarter and lost in a tough battle by a score of 68-63. 

In comments after the game, Broncos Head Coach Robby Cutchins said, “It was a heck of a basketball game. First, I take my hat off to Brunswick High School; they are a very talented basketball team ranked in the top 10 in the (Class 2) division, which is a division up from us. 

“At the end of the day, it just came down to a few possessions,” he said. “We turned the basketball over at a critical time (with) just under three minutes left that swung the momentum a little bit. We talked about it before the game — you’ve got to protect the basketball against good teams. We weathered some foul problems throughout the game. At the end of the day, it is a loss, and we will come back better.”

The Broncos (8-1) had two players in double figures — junior shooting guard Kaden Bailey, with 22 points, and junior center Chaevon Torrance, who recorded 20 points to go with 11 rebounds.

For the Bulldogs, Jamarkeil Mays was the only player in double figures with a game-high 35 points. 

The consolation game was played between the Amelia County High School Raiders and the Windsor High School Dukes. The Dukes (6-2) won that game with a score of 60-49.

During the awards ceremony held after the championship game, Cutchins, the tournament director, gave general comments to thank the teams, fans and the sponsors of the tournament, NAPA Auto Parts and Bluewater Rentals. 

Then the players were announced for the all-tournament team and the trophies were awarded to the championship and runner-up squads.

Making the all-tournament team were Justin Perry, of Amelia; Preston Davis, of Windsor; Torrance, of Franklin; Jayshaun Jones, of Brunswick; and Mays, of Brunswick, who was named tournament MVP.

The Broncos won their first game in the Holiday Classic on Thursday, Dec. 29, against Windsor by a score of 68-35, and across both tournament games, Torrance accumulated 43 points, 25 rebounds and eight blocks.