(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
BLOOMFIELD -- After coming from behind to win back-to-back games at the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament, the Bloomfield Wildcats' heroics came to a halt Monday in the fifth-place game against Hayti.
The Wildcats cut a double-digit deficit down to four heading into the final frame only to see a big fourth by the Indians secure a 59-44 win Monday during the final day of the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament.
"They competed pretty well against a really good Hayti team," Bloomfield head coach Jason Karnes said. "We just didn't put enough baskets or stops together to make it close at the end.
"Give credit to Hayti, they're a very good team."
A 10-3 run to start the second half pushed the Indians out by as many as 10 points midway through the third quarter, but the Wildcats rallied back in the closing minutes.
In the final two minutes of the third Bloomfield scored eight straight points to pull back to within a score of Hayti.
It was a basket from Austin Watkins with 28 seconds remaining that left the Indians up 37-33 entering the fourth.
An 8-2 run by Hayti in the opening minutes of the fourth pushed their lead back out to nine.
From there the Indians continued to pull away.
With a 1:31 to play the Indians had extended their advantage to 15 points as they went on to outscore the Wildcats 22-11 in the fourth quarter, securing fifth place in the tournament in the process.
"It's a miracle what happens when you start hitting a layup," Hayti head coach Philip Taylor said of his team's fourth quarter surge. "It was like the rim had a lid on it tonight, we juts couldn't get it to go in the hole.
"But we kept playing the pressure defense that we run and kept playing our style and it finally started going in."
Frankie Burden led the Indians effort on the night with a game-high 19 points. Maurion Newbill was the only other Hayti player in double-digits with 11.
For Bloomfield, Thomas Sanders had had 17 points while Brett Ruch adding 13 points to the Wildcats' cause.
Bloomfield hit nine 3-pointers on the contest, but connected on onlt five shots inside the arc. Sanders and Ruch contributing three 3-pointers each.
"We finally got a couple stops and a couple steals on the defensive end to where we could get some transition points," Karnes said of his team's comeback attempt. "We just weren't shooting the ball well tonight and we struggled finding that other way to score."
After having to fight their way through the consolation bracket last year, Karnes added he was proud of his team's sixth-place finish after coming into the tournament seeded ninth.
"They played well and these four games we've played four really good teams," Karnes said. "To come out 2-2 is a really good accomplishment for us. You always want to do better and we'll always hold that bar high to strive to do better, but I'm really proud of them."
Ruch was the lone Wildcat selected to the all-tournament team while both Hayti's Burden and Newbill made the list.
HAYTI (59) -- Kanyatte Brooks 4, Maurion Newbill 11, Devan Riddick 2, Kenard Humes 8, Austin Watkins 4, Demetrius Luster 8, Frankie Burden 19. FG 26, FT 5-16, F 13. (3-pointers: Newbill 2. Fouled out: none.)
BLOOMFIELD (44) -- Caleb Baker 7, Brett Ruch 13, Thomas Sanders 17. Zac Goode 6. FG 14, FT 9-13, F 15. (3-pointers: Baker 2, Ruch 3, Sanders 3, Goose 1. Fouled out: Austin Williamson.)
Forced to sit out Bernie's semifinal loss to Holcomb with an injury, senior David Baker was a welcomed addition to the Mules' lineup for Monday's third-place game against South Pemiscot.
Baker finished the contest with a game-high 24 points in a 59-56 win that secured Bernie third-place in the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament.
The two squad fought neck-and-neck for the majority of the contest with the Mules holding a four-point edge with 4:08 left in the fourth quarter.
South Pemiscot answered with a pair of baskets as part of a 5-0 run that gave them a slight 51-50 edge with 2:52 to play.
Bernie retook the lead when Baker was fouled on back-to-back possession, going 3 of 4 from the free throw line to once again put Bernie out on top, 53-51.
Though he missed on his final free throw attempt, Baker followed it up with a short jumper to extend the Mules lead to four.
After the two teams traded baskets on their next trips down the court, South Pemiscot's Seth Harris completed a 3-point play with just over a minute to play, cutting South Pemiscot's deficit to one.
On their next possession Bernie was able to run off all, but 12 seconds of the clock before being sent to the line for a one-and-one.
The Mules missed their first shot and South Pemiscot grabbed the rebound only to work their way down the court and miss on a 3-pointer.
Bernie grabbed the rebound with four seconds remaining and hit a free throw to push back out by three points.
South Pemiscot inbounded with four seconds on the clock and time for one last desperation shot to tie.
A steal by Bernie's Landon Woods on the throw in, however, sealed the Mules' win.
In finishing with 24 points on the night, Baker scored 11 points in the fourth quarter alone and went 4 of 7 from the free throw line.
B.J. Jennings added 12 points to Bernie's cause, including a pair of 3-pointers.
For South Pemiscot, Anthony Primer and Seth Harris had 16 and 13 points respectively.
Baker from Bernie and Harris from South Pemiscot were both selected to the all-tournament team at the conclusion of the night.
BERNIE (59) -- Landon Woods 4, B.J. Jennings 12, Troy Kirkpatrick 5, Jake Wagner 5, J.R. Pregel 5, David Baker 24, Joey Walker 2, Sam Turner 2. FG 22, FT 11-21, F 14. (3-pointers: Jennings 2, Kirkpatrick 1, Wagner 1. Fouled out: none.)
SOUTH PEMISCOT (56) -- Jarvis Johnson 2, Collin Gilmore 2, Anthony Primer 16, Anton Wilbourn 6, Logan Carter 8, Jaleel Johnson 9, Seth Harris 13. FG 24, FT 8-14, F 19. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: Wilbourn, Carter.)