Hillside, Mt. Zion fall in Invitational
Even though it only took the better part of one quarter, Hillside couldn’t adjust to Christian Faith Center Academy’s length and speed until it was too late Friday in the City of Durham Holiday Invitational at Mt. Zion Christian Academy.
The Hornets fell behind 21-5 and could never get back over the hump in a 68-56 loss. Hillside will play Mt. Zion in a consolation game tonight at 7:15 p.m., while CFCA advances to face Garinger in the championship game.
Garinger got effective second-half play from 7-1 freshman Raekwon Long to pull away in a tight, defensive struggle for a 50-45 win. Billy Joyner led Mt. Zion with 12 points.
De’Shon Self had a team-high 18 points for the Hornets, who were soundly beaten on the glass by the Conquerors.
“Their length changed what we wanted to do both offensively and defensively,” Hillside coach Crasten Davis said. “It was a very physical game — nothing we aren’t used to — we just couldn’t get over that first-half mountain.”
Hillside got back into the game with an 11-0 run in the second quarter, and thanks to the Conquerors’ foul trouble — Hillside entered the 1-and-1 bonus with 3:30 remaining in the first — only had one field goal during that stretch.
CFCA again pushed ahead by double digits in the third quarter only to see Hillside climb back again. The Hornets pulled to within 50-47 early in the fourth before the Conquerors inside players again took over the game.
Sharwyn Smith scored all eight points of an 8-3 run, and Markell Lodge closed the game by scoring his team’s final six points. Smith had a game-high 19 points while Lodge had 16.
“They’re a very good team, a much-improved team,” Davis said. “Their rebounding really hurt us.”
Guard Jalen Robertson added 17 for the Conquerors, but more importantly he had Hillside’s guards in so much foul trouble that Davis began making offensive and defensive substitutions early in the fourth.
“I thought we played well overall,” Davis said. “Turnovers hurt us in the beginning, and it took too much time to get over the early shock.”
Malik Evans had 16 points for the Hornets, who will be facing Mt. Zion for the second time this season. The Hornets won the first meeting 67-64 in a Bull City Classic Championship game.
Christian Faith Center 68, Hillside 56
CFCA — Jabriel Rahman 4, Jalen Robertson 17, Elijah Mulciibi 2, Jalen Barnes 2, Markell Lodge 16, Sharwyn McGee 19, Stavian Allen 4, Deshaun Griffin 4.
HILLSIDE — D’Ontray Johnson 3, Robert Robinson, Jr. 9, Malik Evans 16, Isaiah Dickens 2, TyQuon Reid 6, Trevion Thompson 1, Marius McAllister 1, De’Shon Self 18.
Garinger 50, Mount Zion 45
GARINGER — Raekwon Long 12, Kemmi Pettway 4, Paul Coleman 3, Jamarkus Eison 13, Keith Davis 10, Ranardo Jones 2, Kenny Vaughn 4.
MOUNT ZION — Billy Joyner 12, Donovan Harris 4, David Davis 2, David Hartman 4, James Miller 7, Jacquesz Zilli 6, Daniel Etoroma 3, Jovan Leamy 7.