Penney High Repeats as Hamilton Invitational Champions Behind Harper's Tournament Record
The Hamilton Invitational Championship game came down to the final seconds when Wesley Pratt put back a missed shot with 6 seconds remaining to give the Hornets a five point victory and their third consecutive Hamilton Tournament Title.
Penney High's Latroy Harper, the Tournament MVP, scored his 1000th career point during the Tournament and set a new Tournament boys total points record with 92, eclipsing Richmond's Reid Summers who had 89 in 2013. Every time it looked like the Hornets were in control of the game, the Trenton Bulldogs would come back. Hamilton had a slim 10-9 lead after the first period and 28-24 at the half, thanks in part to Derek Dixon who hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter. The final basket in the opening half came on an assist from Jaran Richman to Logan Potts. Harper sat out the final 1 minute and 45 seconds of the first half after getting whistled for his second foul.
Cale Whitt carried Penney in the third stanza with 11 of the team's 19 points as the Hornets retained a 4 point lead heading into the final 8 minutes. Hamilton held a 47-36 lead with 1:54 to go in the third, but the Bulldogs scored the final 7 points in the quarter.
With 3:07 remaining in the 4th, Trenton took a 54-53 lead. The score remained the same until Harper scored on an assist from Richman with 50 seconds on the clock giving Penney a 55-54 advantage. A defensive stop by the Hornets forced the Bulldogs to foul Richman who made both free throws to extend the lead to 57-54 and 19 seconds to go. Another stop by Hamilton ended with a put back by Wes Pratt off a miss with 6 seconds remaining giving Penney the 59-54 victory.
Latroy Harper led all scorers with 20 points, 8 of which came in the 4th quarter, as he made one 3-pointer and hit all 3 of his free throw attempts in the game, plus leading the team in steals with 6 and blocked shots with 3, as well as grabbing 4 rebounds. Cale Whitt also had a very good shooting night, scoring 18 points, as he made two 3's and both free throw attempts, while rebounding the ball twice, stealing it 2 times, and assisting on 1 basket. Derek Dixon was next with 8 points, including two 3-pointers, and secured 2 rebounds. Richman scored 7 points (one 3-pointer and 2 of 2 free throws), led the team in rebounds and assists with 5 and 6 respectively, blocked 2 shots, and stole the ball once. Logan Potts had 4 points, 3 steals, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. Pratt scored 2 points and recorded 2 rebounds. Trenton's Conner Cotton led his team with 15. Hamilton's Andy Ernat also got into the game.
Rick Ross's Hornets were called for 9 fouls, made all 7 of their free throw attempts, and six 3's. The Bulldogs were whistled for 11 fouls, hit nine 3-pointers, and all 3 of their free shots. Penney High's record improves to 14-3.