SHG Saving The Best For Last: Lessons From The Latest City Tournament Games For Kids (2023)

SHG Saving The Best For Last: Lessons From The Latest City Tournament Games For Kids (1)

Sacred Heart-Griffin Men's Basketball Coach Tim Allen wasn't happy with the Cyclones' first two wins at the 2023 City Tournament, but SHG left no doubt in a 69-33 victory over Lanphier to claim their second overall title. on Saturday in Consequence.

SHG (22-2 overall, 14-0 Central State Eight, 3-0 City) led 18-1 and were never threatened in the final game of the four-day event at the BOS Center.

Four Cyclones finished in double figures, led by Jake Hamilton with 17 points and KeShon Singleton with 16 points.

Lanphier and SHG set the stage for City Tournament overall title game

It marked the first time in school history that the team had won the City Tournament two years in a row. Prior to last year's title, the Cyclones had not won the championship since 1973, when the school was Griffin High School. Cathedral's predecessors Griffin and Sacred Heart-Griffin finished the City Tournament in 1950 and 1952, and Griffin was solo champion in 1964 and 1966.

"It's a small goal. We have bigger things in mind," said SHG's Zack Hawkinson, who finished with 14 points. Will Hamilton added 13.

the defense does

SHG dominated Lanphier defensively early on. The Cyclones forced the Lions (15-10, 8-6 CS8, 2-1 City) to 14 first half turnovers, including nine in the first quarter, with SHG holding Lanphier without a field goal in the first 6 minutes and 53 seconds. .

"We know how difficult it is to shoot these rims," ​​Hawkinson said.

Jake Hamilton said it was nice to put in an effort worthy of Allen's praise.

"We had a long talk afterwards (a win against South East on Friday) and it was mostly about trusting our coaches because they felt we were going to lose a little bit," said Jake Hamilton. “We promised after (that game) that we would trust them because they trust us.

“We went out and made our shots tonight, but I think we mostly trusted them and followed their game plan. We can always count on the comebacks, but tonight we will count on our energy and solid defense."

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Moments after the SHG race clock's victory horn sounded, Jake Hamilton said Allen told the team, "This game makes up for the last two."

Lanphier had his best fourth in the third period when he scored 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers by JaiQuan Holman, but SHG continued to shoot 75% (9-of-12) and beat the Lions 1-0. seven points to increase the lead to 29 points.

The Lions finished 11-32 and doubled SHG's 11 turnovers with 22.

SHG Saving The Best For Last: Lessons From The Latest City Tournament Games For Kids (2)

ball movement

SHG, reigning Class 3A state champions, showed unselfishness in the first half. A stretch of 90 represents the confidence the group has after four seasons together.

Twice in a row, Singleton had the ball near midfield midway through the second quarter and was closely guarded by the Lions' Shaunassey Hatchett Jr. Singleton used the penetration of the dribble to bring down the defense and then kicked in Zack Hawkinson, who calmly connected with a pair of three-pointers. Less than a minute later it was Singleton who found himself in an open corner and as the ball came towards him his high arc shot found the net to give SHG a 29–9 lead.

"One of the things the coach wants from me is to be a leader, a striker and a playmaker and that's something that was clear to me," Singleton said. "I took advantage of the confrontation and said, 'Zack, come on, put a screen', which forces his defender to help me, which leaves everything open."

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SHG had assists on 12 of his 28 shots from the field. He also dominated the stick 42-10, defeating Lanphier 12-0 on fast break points.

Southeast starts fast and takes third place

SHG Saving The Best For Last: Lessons From The Latest City Tournament Games For Kids (3)

Southeast couldn't have started better, going 13-0 midway through the first period of a 67-59 coast-to-coast win over Springfield High in the third place playoff at the BOS Center.

Seniors James Folayan and Márquez Small hit 3-pointers, junior LeBron Kittrell had a field goal and senior forward Seth Doss scored five sprint points. Springfield got on the board when Paul Hartman made a punt with 3 minutes and 20 seconds left in the quarter.

"We emphasized in the locker room that the game for third place is always a tough game and whoever wins the first four minutes usually wins the game," said Springfield High coach Joby Crum. "If I'm not mistaken, it was 13-0 at the start of the game."

The opening streak proved to be significant as the Spartans entered the second half leading 19–6. Springfield went 32-23 at halftime as senior center Brandenn Robinson scored nine of his 13 points in the second stanza. He finished with 11 rebounds.

But the Senators' enthusiasm dimmed as the Southeast opened the second half with an 11-0 run to build a 43-23 lead. Folayan hit another triple and five points down the stretch. He finished with 12 points and three assists. Artez Hanson (11 points) scored Springfield's first basket of the second half at 4:38 of the third quarter.

"It was crucial for us to start the game that way and come out after the break and beat them again and put them on their heels," said Southeast coach Lawrence Thomas. "It helped because they kept coming back."

The senators continued to play

Despite getting off to a bad start at the start of each half, the Senators pulled ahead and were down to seven points late in the fourth quarter. However, it was already a little late.

"We went out in the second half and made some good shots," said Crum. "I thought there were some fouls that weren't called, but we have to finish them. We don't have anything attacking in the first few minutes and suddenly it goes up to 19, 21 points or whatever. We have to put the ball in the basket and not we did it tonight.

Southeast made enough free throws to seal the deal, shooting 18-for-29 in the second half and 22-for-34 (64.7%) overall. Doss ended the night with 21 points, 10 rebounds and was 7-of-10 from the line.

"We made a few free throws but missed 12," Thomas said. "We have to do better, especially when it's over. I think (the free throws) were a factor in the score in the end. A team just doesn't give up because the score isn't in their favor. Our kids have played enough games and made enough stops to secure victory.

even more to play

Southeast improved to 11–14 overall and 6–8 in the Central Eight State Conference. The Spartans (1-2 at City) have addressed roster changes, bringing back starting point guard Dom Hobbs and veteran Chandler Clayton after the two were believed to be no longer in the squad.

Hobbs looks rejuvenated after scoring 13 goals on Saturday and 21 on Friday against Sacred Heart-Griffin.

"You're on the team for a reason," Thomas said of Hobbs and Clayton. “These are our children, no matter what happens, we believe in these children. We continue to think that there are things to play for. I hope things change and we play our best basketball when that moment is needed and we know that moment will come soon.”

Springfieldshuffle lineup for finals

Crum started last night with veterans Matt Browning and 3-point threat Damon Sturm. Browning finished scoreless and grabbed two rebounds, while Sturm went 1-6 from 3-point range and scored three points. Junior reserve Kevin Crews drilled a pair of three-pointers and added 11 for the Senators (8-18, 3-12, 0-3).

"I gave the other two veterans who don't play as much a chance to start tonight," Crum said. "There's more to life than basketball games and sometimes you need to help men grow and have a little fun along the way.

“Everyone engages in winning and losing like they're successful and that's definitely part of it, but part of it is getting good grades in class, practicing and becoming a good young man. Over the last seven years, I think on that part, we've had a lot of success with that."

Contact Ryan Mahan: 788-1546,, Contact Trevor Lawrence: 788-1548,

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