Saints open tournament with win, but fall in final two

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Southern Wayne came out finding victory to open up its play in the 2019 FCA Winter Classic, but the team’s winning ways drifted away from the Saints after they ran into Wayne Country Day, the eventual tournament runner-up, and Coastal Christian.

On Dec. 26, the Saints were locked in a tight battle with Parrott Academy, a game that would eventually be decided by only four points. The Saints took the early lead and controlled the first quarter with a 23-20 lead going into the second quarter. The defensive pressure from the Saints caused problems for the Patriots in the second as they were only able to score 13 points.

Taking a 43-33 lead into the second half, Parrott began to figure out the Saints holding them to only 11 points in the third quarter. Parrott slimmed the lead down thanks to the third quarter, and the fourth quarter was another back-and-forth affair. Despite Parrott outscoring Southern Wayne, the lead it was already holding and the 16 points in the fourth helped the Saints secure the 70-66 win on day one of the Christmas tournament.

In a highly anticipated matchup, the Saints faced off against Wayne Country Day on day two of the tournament. Early on, the game was everything that the crowd could have wanted for the final game of the night. Both teams were going back and forth, neither budging. Wayne Country Day pulled away late in the second quarter to take a 35-25 lead into halftime. When the Chargers came out of the locker room to begin the second half, they put their foot straight on the gas putting up almost 30 points in the third alone. At the end of the third, Wayne Country Day held a 64-38 lead over the Saints. The Saints began chipping back as they went on a run of their own outscoring Wayne Country Day 24-12 in the final quarter. Despite the effort, the huge third quarter for Wayne Country Day allowed them to move past Southern Wayne 76-62.

In the final game of the tournament for the Saints, they struggled to put together a full game against Coastal Christian. Coastal held a 19-10 lead after the first and the offense began to pick up for the Saints but their defense continued to allow Coastal to find ways to score as the Saints trailed 33-36 at the end of the half. Coastal began making shots from downtown and once the team got into a rhythm, there was no looking back as Coastal never led by less than 10 points in the following two quarters to beat Southern Wayne 69-59.

The Saints go on the road for their next two games. On Friday, the Saints will play C.B. Aycock and then will play at rival Eastern Wayne on Monday.

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