Alterique Gilbert scored 32 points to lead the Class AAAAA No. 1 ranked Miller Grove Wolverines to an 80-61 Chick-fil-A Invitational championship game victory over the Tucker Tigers Dec. 30 at Tucker.
The win was Miller Grove’s (12-2) second consecutive CFA title, both of which were wins over host Tucker.
Tucker (10-4) rallied from a 14-point deficit (31-17) with 4:09 to play in the second quarter behind six points by junior Kenton Eskridge and five from Amir Butcher to pull within 33-28 on Eskridge’s two free throws at the 1:45 mark.
The Wolverines responded with a 9-0 run to end the quarter as Gilbert scored four of his 19 points in the half in the run. George Wilson hit a three-pointer and Colin Young added a pair of free throws to put Miller Grove up 42-28 at the half.
Gilbert picked up where he left off in the first half as he scored nine points in the third period, including a drive with seven seconds left to put the Wolverines up 62-45 with a quarter to play.
Miller Grove extended its lead despite Tucker’s Eskridge hitting for 10 points in the third period.
Gilbert sandwiched a drive by Joshua Jackmon with a pair of free throws and a drive of his own as the lead expanded to 68-45 with 6:14 to play and both team began to sub.
Gilbert, who scored a total of 75 points in the four tournament games, also added 22 assists and 16 steals to be named to the All-Tournament team. Miller Grove guard Aaron Augustin, who finished with 12 points and eight assists in the win, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after compiling 47 points and 42 assists in the four games, including 14 assists in the opening win over Glenn Hills and three double-doubles (points/assists).
Miller Grove forward Raylon Richardson was also named to the All-Tournament after putting together back-to-back games with 11 rebounds, including his 19 points, 11 points and three blocks in the semifinal win over Lithonia Dec. 29.
Eskridge was named to the All-Tournament team for Tucker as he followed up his 28 point game against North Clayton Dec. 29 in the double overtime semifinal with a 21 point performance against Miller Grove in the final. Tucker’s Xavier Johnson was also named to the All-Tournament team.
Lithonia 61, North Clayton 46
The No. 3 Class AAAA ranked Lithonia Bulldogs pulled away from North Clayton in the fourth quarter for a 61-46 victory to claim third place in the tournament.
Lithonia (10-4) held a 39-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter and was clinging to a 41-39 lead after North Clayton’s Kindle Vildor hit a three-pointer with 6:21 to play in the game.
All-Tournament selection Tyheem Freeman made a nice pass to Derious Wembley, who completed a three-point play with a layup and free throw and the Bulldogs began to pull away.
Jacara Cross and Freeman both hit a pair of free throws with a basket by Rodney Chatman as the lead ballooned to 51-41 with 2:04 remaining.
Cross and Ziven Alexander each had a dunk in the final 21 seconds to close out the game for the 61-46 win.
Chatman finished with a game-high 18 points to lead Lithonia and Freeman finished with 16. Ahsan Asadullah finished the game with 14 points and seven rebounds to lead North Clayton (7-5) and was named to the All-Tournament team along with Lithonia’s Freeman.
MVP – Aaron Augustin, Miller Grove
Alterique Gilbert, Miller Grove
Raylon Richardson, Miller Grove
Xavier Johnson, Tucker
Kenton Eskridge, Tucker
Tyheem Freeman, Lithonia
Ahsan Asadullah, North Clayton
Jeremy Marte, Osceola (Fla.)
Ledarius Brewer, Meridian (Miss.)
Dajuanta Ross, Brainerd (Tenn.)
Miquel Arnold, South Miami (Fla.)
Round 4 Results
Seventh Place Bracket Finals
Brainerd, Tenn. (11-3) 50,
South Miami Fla. (13-4) 46
Fifth Place Bracket Semifinals
Meridian, Miss. (16-2) 61,
Osceola, Fla. (10-2) 54