Up for two: Fannett-Metal s Walker Bannister, right, puts up a shot around the defense of Shalom Christian s Alex Crilley on Friday night. The Tigers won,
Up for two: Fannett-Metal s Walker Bannister, right, puts up a shot around the defense of Shalom Christian s Alex Crilley on Friday night. The Tigers won, 73-63, in the championship game of the Fannett-Metal Christmas Tournament. (Public Opinion/Ryan Blackwell)
WILLOW HILL - For the first time since 2009, the Tigers gave the home crowd something to cheer about at the Fannett-Metal Christmas Tournament.

The boys basketball team dominated both sides of the court on Friday and beat Shalom Christian, 73-63, in the final.

"This is a goal we set every year to win our own tournament," Tiger coach Greg Best said. "It doesn't come easy every year, so it's definitely a great accomplishment."

The Tigers (5-1) held a solid nine-point lead late in the third quarter before Shalom went on a 9-2 run to pull within two.

Just as the fourth quarter started, Flames senior Matt Wenger, who was firing on all cylinders, hit a jumper to knot the score at 44. But Fannett-Metal answered with a nine-point run of its own, giving the Tigers the lead for good.

"I thought we gained momentum in the third quarter, but they did battle back," Best said. "They tied it up, but I think they took so much energy just to battle back to tie it, then we were ready to make a run. I think it's very important to get the lead and keep it, just from a momentum's standpoint."

The game was very even through the first quarter. But Shalom (4-4) was hindered by the fact that only one player - Wenger - scored more than one field goal in the entire first half. The Tigers were able to shut down Shalom leading scorers Alex Crilley and Jeffrey McCracken.

"We have some great defenders on the team as far as man-to-man goes; that's like our bread and butter," Tiger senior Jordan Hurrell said.


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"Our boys were just able to stick with those two and keep them from scoring."

Although Crilley and McCracken both finished in double digits with 18 and 14, respectively, Wenger was the true bright spot for the Flames' offense. Wenger finished with a career-high 29 points, 18 of which came in the first half.

"Matt's got that capability where he can knock down some shots," Shalom coach Danley Shank said. "He really made some key shots for us, but a lot of that comes off of the stuff that Jeff and Alex are doing, also.

Ball handling: Fannett-Metal s Jordan Hurrell, left, looks to pass as Shalom Christian s Matt Wenger (3) defends on Friday night. The Tigers won, 73-63, in
Ball handling: Fannett-Metal s Jordan Hurrell, left, looks to pass as Shalom Christian s Matt Wenger (3) defends on Friday night. The Tigers won, 73-63, in the championship game of the Fannett-Metal Christmas Tournament. (Public Opinion/Ryan Blackwell)
I really like that they all hustled hard."

Fannett-Metal's poor shooting in the second quarter allowed the game to remain close - the Tigers led by just seven at half. But they greatly improved in the second half, missing just four shots in the final eight minutes.

"I think as they changed, our team started to pull together and figure out what they were doing," Tiger senior Walker Bannister said. "Then when we made changes on our part, we really started scoring as a team."

All of Fannett-Metal's starting five finished with impressive numbers. Hurrell led with 21 points and five assists.

"Jordan seemed to hit the big shot; he had a couple big threes when we needed them," Best said. "He also does a very nice job penetrating and finding the open man. He definitely dished it out tonight, and I know he wanted to go out as a winner in his last Christmas tournament."

Hurrell was followed by Bannister (16), Trevor Reisinger (15) and Bryce Chilcote (13), who got his second double-double of the season with 14 rebounds. Ben Metcalfe also scored a season-high eight points.

In the consolation game, McConnellsburg made up for its lack of offense in its first-round game when it scored a season-high total to defeat Maryland School for the Deaf, 78-62.

The Spartans (2-3) were leading by just two points after the third quarter, but outscored the Orioles 26-12 in the final period.

"We got some easy steals off our press, and I thought we pushed the ball up the court pretty good," McConnellsburg coach Dennis Swope said. "Other than the defense, I was happy with the way we played. I knew going in that our defense isn't the best, but we're definitely shooting well."

Tyler Green had a career-high 29 points, including four 3-pointers. Tony White followed with 19, and Jesse Swope added 11.

The day began with Shalom taking down McConnellsburg, 69-57. For the Flames, Wenger led with 25 points, while Green topped the Spartans with 19 points. During the second semifinal, Fannett-Metal earned the largest win of the day, defeating MSD 57-37. Hurrell had the most points for the Tigers with 16, while Bannister and Reisinger scored 11 and 12, respectively.

The All-Tournament Team included MSD's Mohamed Kamara (26 points), White (32), Wenger (54), McCracken (33) and Bannister (27). The tournament MVP was Hurrell, who finished the day with 37 points, including four 3-pointers, and 11 assists.

"It feels pretty amazing to get it, but I can't take all the credit," Hurrell said. "I have amazing teammates. I was feeling pretty good today, and they got me the ball. At the times when they were hot, I did the same."

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Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or larbogast@publicopinionnews.com.

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CHAMPIONSHIP

Fannett-Metal 73, Shalom 63

SHALOM

Alex Crilley 7 4-4 18, Jeffrey McCracken 5 3-4 14, Matt Wenger 10 4-4 29, Quentin Clapper 0 2-2 2, Hunter Martin 0 0-0 0, Barrett Eshbaugh 0 0-0 0, Jake Holderman 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 13-16 63.

FANNETT-METAL

Ben Metcalfe 3 2-4 8, Bryce Chilcote 4 5-12 13, Walker Bannister 7 1-2 16, Jordan Hurrell 8 2-3 21, Trevor Reisinger 6 3-6 15, Dan Peppernick 0 0-0 0, Ryan Snyder 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 13-27 73.

Shalom Christian 13 11 18 21 - 63

Fannett-Metal 18 13 15 27 - 73

3-point shots - SC 4 (Wenger 3, McCracken); FM 4 (Hurrell 3, Bannister). Shooting - SC 28-50 (56.0%); FM 27-54 (56.0%). Rebounds - FM 39 (Chilcote 14). Assists - FM 12 (Hurrell 5). Steals - SC 5, FM 7. Turnovers - SC 10, FM 15. Blocked shots - SC 5 (Crilley 2), FM 1 (Reisinger). Fouled out - Wenger.

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CONSOLATION

McConnellsburg 78

Maryland School for the Deaf 62

MSD

Bailey Moers 1 1-2 3, Jake Bonheyo 6 2-4 15, Mohamed Kamara 7 6-10 20, Cody Moers 2 0-1 4, Jad Gore 3 0-0 7, Diamani McNeely 1 2-2 4, Yave Sanchez 4 0-3 8, DanJohn Kerchner 0 1-2 1. Totals 24 12-24 62.

McCONNELLSBURG

Jesse Swope 5 1-1 11, Tyler Green 12 1-2 29, Tony White 5 9-13 19, Hunter Miller 1 1-2 4, Nick Daniels 2 1-3 5, Matt Snyder 1 0-0 2, Landon Richards 1 2-2 5, Khristian Franklin 1 0-0 2, Jacob Boehme 0 0-0 0, Cheatle 0 0-0 0, Justin Welsh 0 0-0 0, Shawn Garlock 0 0-0 0, Wyatt Henry 0 0-0 0, Logan Ward 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 15-23 79.

Md. School Deaf 14 15 21 12 - 62

McConnellsburg 17 19 16 26 - 78

3-point shots - MSD 2 (Bonheyo, Gore); McC 6 (Green 4, Miller, Richards).

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FIRST ROUND

Fannett-Metal 57, MSD 37

MSD

Jake Grindstaff 0 1-3 1, Gore 2 0-0 5, Bonheyo 0 2-4 2, B.Moers 1 0-1 2, Kamara 3 0-1 6, C.Moers 1 2-4 4, Maurico Orozco 2 -23 6, McNeely 0 1-2 1, Sanchez 4 1-1 9. Totals 13 9-19 37.

FANNETT-METAL

Bannister 4 3-4 11, Hurrell 6 3-6 16, Chilcote 2 1-3 5, Reisinger 4 4-4 12, Snyder 2 0-0 4, Metcalfe 4 0-2 9, Peppernick 0 0-0 0, Josh Walls 0 0-0 0, Layton Hoffmann 0 0-0 0, Sam Turner 0 0-0 0, Tom Peppernick 0 0-0 0, Craig Falcone 0 0-0 0, Dustyn Mott 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 11-19 57.

Md. School Deaf4 12 9 11 - 37

Fannett-Metal 12 19 21 5 - 57

3-point shots - MSD 1 (Gore); FM 2 (Hurrell, Metcalfe). Shooting - FM 22-54 (40.7%). Rebounds - FM 28 (Reisinger 7). Assists - FM 14 (Hurrell 6). Steals - FM 3. Turnovers - FM 20. Blocked shots - FM 5 (Bannister 3).

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Shalom 69, McConnellsburg 57

McCONNELLSBURG

White 5 2-6 13, Franklin 3 0-1 6, Swope 3 0-0 7, Snyder 2 0-0 5, Boehme 0 0-0 0, Welsh 0 0-0 0, Miller 1 0-0 2, Green 8 1-1 19, Garlock 0 0-0 0, Ward 0 0-0 0, Cheatle 0 0-0 0, Henry 0 0-0 0, Daniels 1 3-4 5, Richards 0 0-2 0. Totals 23 6-12 57.

SHALOM

Martin 0 0-0 0, Wenger 6 10-13 25, Levi Nicklas 0 2-2 2, Eshbaugh 0 0-0 0, JJ Day 0 0-0 0, McCracken 6 6-6 19, Crilley 6 2-5 14, Holderman 0 0-1 0, Clapper 4 1-3 9. Totals 22 21-30 69.

McConnellsburg 18 11 15 13 - 57

Shalom Christian 17 15 13 23 - 69

3-point shots - McC 5 (Green 2, White, Swope, Snyder); SC 4 (Wenger 3, McCracken).

Next game: F-M: Friday, at McConnellsburg, 7:30 ... Shalom: Friday, at Broadfording, 8.