Chapelgate senior Jordan Praylow talks about the Yellowjackets' 50-49 win over Mt. Hebron to clinch the championship of the Vikings' holiday tournament.
At the end of a back-and-forth game Saturday in the championship of the inaugural Mt. Hebron Holiday Tournament, Chapelgate’s Jordan Praylow simply refused to lose.
The Yellowjackets’ senior guard hit the go-ahead jumper with 25 seconds left and then made the clinching strip on defense as time expired to lift Chapelgate to the tournament championship with a 50-49 win over the host Vikings.
Praylow finished with a game-high 22 points, including nine in the fourth quarter to help his team come back from a six-point deficit in the final period to emerge victorious.
“From last year to this year, he has really emerged as a leader and as someone that the other guys look up to,” Chapelgate coach Frick Frierson said. “Sometimes he just wills a play on offense or defense and tonight he ended up doing it on both ends. It’s been really fun watching him grow and mature.”
Lance Richards (12 points, 9 rebounds) also had a big game for Chapelgate (7-7) in the win, offsetting strong performances from the Mt. Hebron (4-5) duo of Evan Ichrist (20 points) and Chris Lewis (15).
While the lead did change hands several times over the course of the evening, it was the Vikings that were ahead at the end of every quarter but the last. Lewis made a layup right before halftime for a 27-26 Mt. Hebron lead and then Ichrist hit a pair of foul shots late in the third quarter to help stake the Vikings to a 40-35 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
But Chapelgate stayed the course and, in crunch time, made the plays it needed to.
“Resilience would definitely be the word of the day,” Frierson said. “We weren’t perfect, but they rallied around one another and got it done.”
The game started as a track meet, with the two squads racing up and down the floor and trading baskets. Mt. Hebron led 14-10 after the first four minutes.
As things progressed, though, the pace slowed and became more of a defensive affair.
“Those first few minutes, no one missed. And I thought the defense, at least on our end, was actually pretty good,” Mt. Hebron coach Jared Ettinger said. “Then things seemed to settle down and both teams cooled off a bit and it turned into more of a grind it out kind of game. They just shot a little better than we did tonight and that ended up being the difference.”
Ichrist was the star of the third quarter, scoring 11 of Mt. Hebron’s 13 points in the period to maintain the lead.
Then it was Praylow that returned the favor by taking control of the fourth quarter. He hit a pair of threes, a free throw and then the deciding basket courtesy of a spinning bank shot.
“I knew that I wanted the ball in my hands and score at least so that we could get the lead,” Praylow said.
On the other end, Mt. Hebron had one final chance at a game-winning basket. Praylow, however, reached in and knocked the ball from the hands of Lewis before he could get a shot off.
Afterward, Ettinger said he hopes his team uses the game as a building block.
“This month has been filled with adversity, not being healthy and now this being the third game we’ve lost by one point. So hopefully we can learn from these games and it makes us better come the new year,” Ettinger said. “We’re right there, but we are still figuring out what it takes to get over [the top].”
Chapelgate 50, Mt. Hebron 49
CCA (7-7): Praylow 22, Richards 12, Felder 7, Ogunmola 5, Hamilton 3, Blackwell 1.
Truth Norton scored a game-high 24 points, while DJ Hopkins was named tournament MVP after adding 17 points of his own, to help the Scorpions prevail in overtime to capture the title at their own tournament Saturday night.
Barry Evans (14 points) and Ke’Mari Simpson (10) also scored in double figures for Oakland Mills. Richard Montgomery led by six points entering the fourth quarter before the Scorpions rallied to force the extra period.
OM (5-2): Truth Norton 24, DJ Hopkins 17, Barry Evans 14, Ke’mari Simpson 10, Judson Lincoln 8, Stevie Jackson 5, Otis Gray 3.
The Wildecats won their second straight game at the Severna Park Holiday tournament on Saturday, holding off Indian Creek behind a balanced scoring effort that saw Brince Shelton and Marcus Mitchell score 12 points apiece.
IC: Harris 19, Chambers 13, Ablorn 6, Carter 4, Young 3, Leesy 3, Gerety 2.
Half: 27-20 WL.
Glenelg Country 50, Seton Hall Prep (NJ) 49
Noah Batchelor hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Dragons to the one-point victory at the Governor’s Challenge. Jordan Brathwaite (17 points, 13 rebounds)) and Batchelor (12) led the way overall for Glenelg Country (6-3), which will play Monsignor Scanlan on Sunday at 5 p.m. in the team’s final game of the Challenge.