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Calvert boys basketball claims Southern Maryland Holiday Tournament crown

By TAMMY SHOWALTER

Staff writer

The holiday season wasn’t complete without the Southern Maryland holiday basketball tournament that was held at Great Mills High School on Thursday and Friday.

Just seven points separated the boys championship winner and nine points separated the two girls teams.

Calvert (6-2 overall) outlasted Great Mills in the boys final, 65-58, while the Great Mills girls handed Chopticon its first loss of the season, 47-38.

“We won it last year, too, and we hosted our own tournament my sophomore year, so this is three in a row for me,” said Cavaliers senior Jermaine Hunter, who finished with 17 points in the win, while Josh Smith led the team with 20 points. “We had a disappointing loss last week, but we used it to build off of and come out here and get this win.”

Calvert’s opponent in the boys final went down to the final seconds in Thursday’s first round with Great Mills prevailing, 69-68. Calvert won its first round contest, 68-50 over Chopticon.

Great Mills (4-4) came out quick in the championship game and, although they were outsized by Calvert, it was able to handle that with speed and tight defense and lead 17-10 after the first quarter.

The second quarter saw Calvert totally shut down the Hornets in the second quarter and take a 27-19 lead into the locker room.

Great Mills head coach Frank Peck was happy with his team’s shot selection early on, but it was when they deviated from the game plan when things began to go south.

”They have to recognize what’s not working and as a group make the adjustments,” Peck said. “I showed them the shot chart for the second quarter and they weren’t bad shots, but when you’re not knocking them down, you’ve got to change up what you’re doing and we went away from what was successful in the first quarter.”

Melquan Williams was the top scorer for Great Mills with 14 points.

“I was really ready for this game,” Williams said. “We lost by eight points to them last time at their place, so we really didn’t want to lose against them again. They aren’t as good of a team as people say they are. I really just wanted to come out and help my team win.”

Great Mills transfer Tyreek Murray (11 points) said his team could have done just a few things to sharpen things up.

“We could have boxed out more and pressured the boards,” said Murray, who comes from King’s Christian Academy. “Our shots in the first quarter were in the paint. From just looking at their team, I thought we were going to have trouble with them but our speed took over. It was a good battle. We have to get the rebounds and run the floor and keep working on it.”

Friday afternoon’s consolation game between Chopticon (0-7) and Leonardtown (3-4) ended with the Raiders on top 62-42. Leonardtown led 50-31 lead in the third quarter and never looked back.

Calvert will be at Westlake at 6:30 tonight in a nonconference contest, while Leonardtown travels to La Plata and Great Mills hosts Chopticon in nonconference action at 7 tonight.

tshowalter@somdnews.com