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Leon Brogden Holiday Basketball Tournament scores big on opening day

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Getting out of the gate was the theme of Monday's first round games. It was kind of hard for some of the teams. Pender was sluggish against Ashley, but 6’10” Kenyon Pittman picked up the pace a bit for the Patriots in the second quarter. In fact Pender led Ashley by 7 points at halftime. In the second half it was all Ashley though. Micah Allen scored most of his 14 points in the second frame coming off the bench for the Eagles. In the end, Ashley rolls to a 49-37 first round victory at Trask Coliseum. It's just the result Ashley head coach Bryn McSwain was looking for. “We didn't shoot ourselves in the foot with turnovers. We limited them to only one shot opportunity per possession. For the most part we played solid, fundamental basketball against Pender.” The Laney Buccaneers ran into a tough North Mecklenburg squad. The Vikings did a great job out-rebounding Laney and hit enough shots that Laney never got into the game. Bernard Sullivan was tough as nails, but what else is new? Karl Barkley came off the bench, and bombed four 3 pointers. He had 13 points for the night, as did Sullivan. Laney fell 65-37 in a game where the effort seemed to not be with the home team. “We played like we were on Christmas break,” Laney head coach, Fred Lynch said. “The bad thing about the holidays is you get out of sync. You have kids who miss practice and obviously we were out of sync tonight against North Mecklenburg, but you have to give them credit.” Folks at Trask Coliseum finally to got to see a competitive game when New Hanover tangled with the Annapolis Area Christian School. Annapolis came to play with a spunky group of players who clearly wanted to show off what Maryland basketball is all about. As for New Hanover, it was not the Carson Daly show. Instead, it was the Cole Daley show. It seemed like every time the Wildcats got the ball down low in the first half against Annapolis, Daley scored. The Wildcats held a slim lead at halftime and held on in a very competitive ball game to win 87 – 79. New Hanover will face North Mecklenburg in the semi-finals on Tuesday. “We scored points, but we've been scoring points all season long,” New Hanover head coach, Kirk Angel said. “We actually were lucky to come out of here with a win tonight. The kids were flat. We have to bring more energy to the game tomorrow.” In the nightcap, Westover took on Hoggard as the Vikings looked to make it three wins on day one for the local teams. Hoggard was without star guard Stilman White, but Drew Combs got things going, hitting two 3 pointers in the opening quarter. Hoggard stayed hot, opening up an early 11-3 lead. Not to be outdone, Randy McClellan ended the first quarter with a half court buzzer beater as Westover inched there way back into the game. Hoggard took a 25-19 lead into the locker room and in the third quarter, Lawson Ahrens gets in the paint and keeps the Vikings out in front. The visitors would go on a 9-0 scoring run with Westover opening up a 35-29 lead with just over five minutes left to play. Down but not out, Thayer hits a three from the corner as Hoggard battled back to force overtime. Drew Combs takes it to the rack, getting the hoop and the harm in OT, but in the end, Westover pulled out a 49-46 win. They will face Ashley Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. while Hoggard will play Pender at 4:00 p.m. “We told the kids some guys had to step up and make some shots," said Hoggard head coach, Brett Queen. "We had a couple of kids that did that, but our kids are capable of winning a game like that. They played hard, but we've got to be a little bit smarter if we're going to win basketball games." Tournament action resumes Tuesday with the first consolation game at 2:30 p.m. between Laney and Annapolis. At 4pm Hoggard will tangle with Pender. New Hanover squares off with North Mecklenburg at 5:30 in the first semi-final game. Ashley and Westover will get the finale with a tip-off of 7pm or shortly thereafter depending on the length of the first three games. The tournament will conclude on Wednesday at UNCW's Trask Coliseum. For complete Day 1 coverage, please visit: 2009 Leon Brogden Holiday Basketball Tournament

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