The games were close but, in the end, Harrells Christian Academy’s varsity boys ended the East-West Holiday Challenge tournament with two losses, 66-50 to Gaston Day School on Friday and 64-53 to Grace Christian School on Saturday.
The Crusaders move to 2-4 overall and return to the court Thursday, Jan. 4, in a game against Wake Christian Academy.
In the first round of the holiday tourney, the Harrrells boys went up against Gaston and led throughout the first half — up 19-13 after the first period and heading into the half ahead 34-28.
But a poor shooting third quarter, where the Crusaders only scored 7 to Gaston’s 23 points, turned the game around, and Harrells was never able to regain solid footing. Gaston added another 12 points in the final frame, and even though the Crusaders scored 12 more, it wasn’t enough to overcome the third-period hole they had dug themselves into.
Leading the way for Harrells in the opening round was Zack Carlton and Patrick Walker with 13 points each; Graham DiPinto, 12; John Wesley Hairr, 9; Channing Kelly, 2; Chris Cannady, 2; and Zach Batts, 2.
In the second round of the tourney, the Crusaders took on Grace Christian, leading after one quarter 8-7, but a strong second quarter by Grace and poor shooting by Harrells in the second, left the Sampson team trailing 32-18 at the break.
It was a deficit the Crusaders could not overcome despite a strong effort to get back in the game. Harrells scored 16 points in both the third and fourth periods, but it wasn’t enough to match Grace which added another 32 points in the second half to take the win.
DePinto led the Crusaders Saturday, with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Carlton added 14 points and had 3 steals. Also scoring for Harrells in the second round of the tourney were Hairr with 7; Walker, 4; Cannady, 3; Kelly Nelms, 2; Hayden Parks, 2; and Batts, 2.