The 39th Kingdom Of The Sun High School basketball post holiday tournament was completed at the end of December 2012. The Ballard Bruins out of Louisville, Kentucky won the 2012 tournament.
The tournament committee released the following information on the value of the tournaments.
“Kingdom of the Sun is born off Illinois tourneys & becomes the 1st 16 team tourney in the Southeast in 1974 Fairdale, Ky. goes to the Kingdom of the Sun & starts the King of the Bluegrass tourney Bristol, Tn. goes to the 1st Bluegrass & goes back & starts the Arby’s tourney Decatur, Ga. Columbia HS goes to the Kingdom & starts the Nike Classic All events are 16 team formats”
Morgan County (Madison, GA) competed in the 2012 tournament which is hosted by Vanguard (Ocala, FL), who also competed in the tournament.
Potential participants for the 2013 tournament are still unknown at this time.
Ballard defeated Deerfield Beach 72-67 to win the 39th Kingdom of the Sun Tournament in Ocala, Florida at Vanguard High School. Lavone Holland led all scorers with 27 points while Quentin Snyder tossed in 19 and Tournament MVP Kelan Martin had 17 points for the Bruins. Ballard also defeated American Heritage (FL), Morgan County (GA), West Gadsden (FL) during the four-day tournament. Their largest margin of victory was 40 points in a 75-35 win over tournament Cinderella West Gadsden in the semifinals.
“We had a lot of guys step up while we were here. Tonight we got a big contribution from Lavone Holland, he’s been sick but he’s getting healthy again and getting back in shape and he was big for us. Obviously Kelan Martin had a huge tournament and can do a lot of things, then we have Quentin Snyder, a Louisville commit, along with some really good role players”, Ballard Head Coach Chris Renner said afterwards.
Ballard averages 74.5 points per game over their four tournament games and scored a tournament high 85 points in their opener against American Heritage.
“This tournament is one of the top tournaments in the country. It has been around along time and it always provides top competition . We come down here for a lot of reasons, the competition and it gives our team an opportunity to bond and get better over the winter break”, Ballard Head Coach Chris Renner said.
Kelan Martin averaged 21.2 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 55% from the field and that performance earned him Tournament MVP honors. Lavone Holland averaged 14.5 points (27 in the championship game) while shooting 54% and Quentin Snyder averaged 13.2 points during the tournament for Ballard.
“We are excited to get back home get a little time of, but were going to Orlando and enjoy some time at Universal Studios but in general were going to take sometime off during the new year and then prepare for our Kentucky and Louisville competition and try and put ourselves in a position to win a regional and state championship”, Renner added.
The Morgan County Bulldogs boys basketball team has taken their act south of the Georgia border to the Kingdom of The Sun basketball tournament hosted by Vanguard High School in Ocala, Florida.
Entering the tournament Morgan County was 6-2 on the young season with their only two losses coming to Berkmar in overtime and Greater Atlanta Christian.
The Bulldogs first opponent was Dr. Phillips (Orlando) in the first round. Morgan County advanced in the winners bracket after a 58-54 win. CJ Turman led Morgan County with 22 points while Tookie Brown scored 20 in the win. The Bulldogs used a 22 point second quarter to lead 32-30 at the half. Then the Bulldogs outscored Dr. Phillips 26-24 in the second half, only allowing eight points in the third quarter, to earn the win. RaShawn Powell led Dr. Phillips with 24 point and was 10-16 from the foul line.
“We’ve had a great visit so far and the competition has been outstanding and we are just really excited and honored to be able to participate in this tournament”, Morgan County Head Coach Charlemagne Gibbons said.
In the quarterfinals Morgan County went up against Ballard (Louisville, KY), who led Morgan County 27-23 at halftime after throwing what seemed like five alley oops in the first half. In the third quarter Ballard increased their lead with scoring in the post and on the perimeter and increased their lead to 12 at one point and led 49-39 at the end of the third quarter. Kalan Martin scored 13 of his team high 21 points in the third quarter for Ballard. Throughout the fourth quarter Ballard kept their lead between five and nine points and advanced to the semifinals with a 64-57 win.
Mike William and Tookie Brown both finished with 12 points to lead Morgan County in scoring while CJ Turman finished with 10 points.
“We played a great opponent tonight. We didn’t make some of the open looks that we had especially in the third quarter. We just didn’t convert enough of the opportunities we had and they did, they made a couple of big time shots down the stretch”, Morgan County Head Coach Charlemagne Gibbons said.
“We come to these tournaments because we feel we have a state championship caliber basketball team so you want to be pushed every night so that is why we come to events like this to try to get better. I feel better about my guys after this game than I did before this game because they showed a lot of fight to get back in the game and make it a war and that is what we want to do every night out and think that was step in the right direction and we just have to be ready to play tomorrow night”, Gibbons added.
Morgan County will play Vanguard in the losers bracket Friday evening. Ballard (KY) will play West Gadsen in the semifinals. In the other semifinal Deerfield Beach will play LaSalle (Cincinnati).
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