HARRISON -- The Harrison Goblins found their groove in the second half, wiping out a six-point halftime deficit to claim the 30th annual Lendel Thomas Classic on Saturday afternoon at Goblin Arena.
The trio of Carson Journagan, Jacob Schrum and Ben Elliott combined for 64 points to help fuel the Goblins' second-half surge en route to a 70-63 victory over Forrest City.
Lendel Thomas Classic
Harrison 70, Forrest City 63
Forrest City 35 28 — 63
Harrison 29 41 — 70
Forrest City (7-5): Dale 20, Wilburn 16, Mathis 13, Brown 6, Henderson 4, Pendleton 2, Whitby 2.
Harrison (11-3): Journagan 30, Elliott 20, Shrum 14, Saylors 4. Martin 2.
Harrison (11-3) took the lead for good with a 7-0 spurt to snap a 48-48 tie with just under 10 minutes left in the second half and never trailed again. Elliott's floater along the baseline gave the Goblins the 50-48 advantage. But Journagan followed with a driving layup and a 3-pointer to push the lead to seven.
The Goblins then made 6 of 8 free throws in the final minutes to seal the deal for their sixth win in seven games.
Harrison coach David Stahler said his team just executed better in the final half to earn the win.
"We had more cuts to the basket, and we screened better," Stahler said. "Early on, we were hesitant with our cuts. We run a motion offense, so we weren't really mixing it up very well. I thought we started mixing it up real well in the second half.
"We felt like our keys to winning were limit those second shots and limit our turnovers because our turnovers turn into quick points for them. We really did a great job on both those in the second half. That's a quality team we played. All they do is win championships. To be able to beat them is a big confidence boost for our team."
Journagan poured in a game-high 30 points, including 15 in each half, to earn tournament Most Valuable Player honors. But he had help as Elliott added 20 and Shrum 14, including four 3-pointers.
Journagan came up big as did Elliott and Shrum, all returning starters, Stahler said.
"He can go in. He can go out," Stahler said of Journagan. "He can guard guards, or he can guard bigs. He's a hybrid type player and a great all-state player for us. All three of them are good players and do a great job for us and play well together."
Junior Ta'Darius Dale led Forrest City (7-5) with 20 points, while guard Barry Wilburn added 16. Chad Mathis added 13, including 11 in the first half to help the Mustangs to a 35-29 halftime lead.
Forrest City coach Dwight Lofton agreed with Stahler's assessment of Harrison's second half overall.
"Harrison shifted gears in their offense," Lofton said. "Journagan's a very good player. He's just solid and does what he does. They ran their stuff, and that's what it came down to. They played well. We couldn't make a shot in the second half. But this game represents the end of the first half of the season. We might see them down the road."
West Memphis 60, Gravette 58
Tournament Most Valuable Player Aryah Hazley poured in a game-high 30 points, including a runner in the middle of the lane to give the Lady Blue Devils the lead for good late to win the girls' title.
Gravette (8-6) wiped out a 13-point second-half deficit and tied it at 53 on Jessica Bookout's three-point play with 1:04 left in the second half. But Hazley responded for the 55-53 lead and the Lady Blue Devils held on.
Bookout led the Lady Lions, the defending tournament champions, with 25 points, while Shylee Morrison added 17 and Abigail Beranek 13.
Preps Sports on 12/30/2018
Print Headline: BOYS BASKETBALL Harrison claims Lendel Thomas Classic title