ROSWELL, Ga. — Three local teams saw stiff competition in the inaugural Roswell Rotary Honor Air Flight Invitational Nov. 19-21 at Roswell High School.
The tournament benefits the annual flight for veterans to Washington, D.C., each spring. Local veterans take a chartered bus and plane to the nation’s capital to visit the war monuments.
The invitational brought together 16 teams from Georgia and South Carolina, with all gate proceeds benefitting the Roswell Rotary’s honor flight. The event raised more than $7,000.
“That is double what we expected for year one,” Roswell head coach Ty Phillips said. Phillips and the Rotary began planning the event in the spring of 2016.
“We feel like us giving back to a civic cause makes this tournament unique,” he said. “It’s not a fundraiser for our program.”
Phillips said the support of the Rotary made the event possible.
“The feedback has been great from every angle,” he said. “And without the support of the Rotary, we wouldn’t have been able to put on this tournament.
Alpharetta and Blessed Trinity joined hosts Roswell in tournament play. The girls and boys teams from each school competed.
Eight teams competed in the boys tournament with Roswell finishing second behind South Carolina’s Gray Collegiate. Alpharetta lost an exciting fifth-place game and Blessed Trinity placed seventh.
Roswell opened the tournament with a thrilling win over West Ashley, the No. 8 ranked team in South Carolina.
Miles Herron hit two free throws with 2.6 seconds left to secure the win and advance to the championship game.
Facing another top team from South Carolina, Roswell fell to Gray Collegiate, 75-52 in the title game.
Herron had a standout performance for the Hornets with 27 points. He and senior Amin Abdullah were named to the All-Tournament team.
Alpharetta opened their tournament with an 83-65 loss to eventual champs Gray Collegiate and BT fell to KIPP Atlanta, 68-56.
Alpharetta and BT then faced off, with the Raiders securing a 53-41 win. RJ Pass compiled 11 points and six assists for the Raiders, while Ryan Jenei had 10 points with seven rebounds. BT’s Ben Shappard had 17 points and six rebounds.
In a back-and-forth game against Westminster for 5th place, the Raiders fell 62-58.
Alpharetta captured the girls tournament title with three decisive wins, while Roswell placed fourth and BT placed sixth in the eight-team tournament.
The Raiders began their run with a 56-23 rout of Chapel Hill. Alpharetta outscored the Panthers 18-4 in the first quarter and cruised to the win. The Raiders then secured their spot in the tournament championship with another lopsided victory, beating Roswell 59-28.
After a slow start against Pebblebrook, the Lady Raiders got going in the second quarter and took a 6-point lead into the half.
Alpharetta extended its lead in the third with strong play from Jalyn Tillerson, Sydnie Ward and Kendell Phillips. All three would be named to the All-Tournament team. Meanwhile, Pebblebrook gave up multiple turnovers and committed unforced errors, allowing Alpharetta to build an 18-point lead after three quarters. The Raiders went on to win 68-43.
Under their first-year head coach Antonio Wade, Roswell opened the tournament with a 60-49 win over KIPP Atlanta before falling to Alpharetta in the second round. The Hornets placed fifth in the tournament after falling to Locust Grove 67-48.
Blessed Trinity fell in a close contest against Locust Grove, 56-51, in the Titans first game of the tournament.
The Titans earned their second win of the season by downing Westminster 56-36 in their second game, but fell to KIPP in the fifth-place game.