Patriots claim runner-up honors

  • Monday, January 14, 2013

The Patriot boys’ basketball team finished as the runner-up for the 2012 Modie Risher Holiday Classic tournament.
Fort Dorchester went 2-1 in the tournament held last week at Burke High School. The Patriots opened the tournament with a convincing 65-34 win over Timberland and defeated Burke 69-49 to advance to the title game, where they fell 87-61 to undefeated South Pointe.
“Last week marked the first time this year we had our full roster available to play so it was good to get everybody together finally,” Fort Dorchester coach Leon Wheaton said. “Overall, we played well. Of course we wanted to win that last one but we had a couple of turnovers and then things started to snowball and the game got away from us quick. South Pointe is a good team that played well in the second half and there are positives we can take away from the tournament. That was a good test for us and will help us when we enter region play.”
South Pointe improved to 10-0 on the season while the Fort dropped to 8-5.
The Patriots had major contributions from numerous players. Sophomores Will Munoz and Diamonte Gilliard turned in solid performances despite having seen limited varsity action prior to last week.
“Those guys gave us some big minutes,” Wheaton said. “Eric Heyward had a good tournament and Baptiste Staggers played really hard.”
Staggers and Munoz both scored 12 points in the title game to lead the Patriots. Demariez Moorer added 11 points while Ronald Johnson and Charles Johnson both contributed 6. Unfortunately for the Patriots South Pointe’s Tay Blake, Tyreece Brice and Anthony Johnson also posted double-digit scoring.
Heyward led the Fort scorers against Burke in the semi-finals, finishing with 17 points. Jalen Hooks and Gilliard scored 12 points each as the Patriots had 10 players score for the second straight game.
Against Timberland in the first round, sophomore forward Thad Middleton led Fort Dorchester with 15 points. Moorer added 11 points and Heyward scored 10.
Earlier this season the Patriots also went 2-1 in the Erskine tournament. Wheaton says both tournaments have made his team stronger.
“We are starting to click and play the way I expected us to this season,” he said. “We are finding out who we can depend on and this is the time of year you need to do that.”

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