Keith’s Harriet Winchester splits the Sumter Central defense during the Lady Bears Thanksgiving Tournament Saturday. -- Robert Hudson

Keith Lady Bears claim tournament title

Published 6:25pm Monday, November 26, 2012

The Keith High School Bears successfully wrapped their Thanksgiving Tournament over the weekend, with the Keith girls winning the tournament and the boys team finishing in third place.

The tournament included Black Belt schools Sumter Central, Francis Marion, and Central-Hayneville.

The Lady Bears (3-1) closed out their tournament run Saturday with a 46-40 win over the Sumter Central Lady Jaguars in the championship game.

Keith entered the third quarter with a 36-29 lead.

Back-to-back baskets by Keith’s Harriet Winchester and Lyteisha Phillips extended Keith’s lead to 40-31 with 5:36 left to play.

Sumter Central cut the lead to 40-34, but Keith’s Stephanie Carson hit a 3-poiner to make it 43-34 with 2:10 left to play.

The Lady Bears kept the Lady Jaguars at bay by hitting three free throws down the stretch.

Winchester led the Lady Bears with 14 points and Carson had 13 points.

Cecil Williams, head girls basketball coach of Keith High School, said the Lady Bears had big play in the paint and bounced back well after a loss to R.C. Hatch before the tournament.

“The girls did pretty good rebounding with our size. Our size really helped us out tonight. Our taller players on the inside really made it easier for us,” Williams said. “Overall, our performance was good. We played well as a team and bounced back after that loss to Hatch. We came in and worked hard and improved a lot, but we’ve still got a lot of improving to do. We missed a lot of free throws this game and that kind of made the game close. We need to improve on free throws, but overall we looked good.”

The Keith boys team also finished up on Saturday with a win over Central-Hayneville in the third-place game.

Tommy Tisdale, head boys basketball coach of Keith High School (2-2), said the Bears have had strong leadership from captains Rodney Ellis and Anthony Simmons and have shown improvement throughout the month.

“Anytime you can get a win, it’s a plus. Against Central-Hayneville, a class program, they’ve been to final four recently and regional tournaments, so to get a win is always good,” Tisdale said. “From the first game till now, I’ve seen improvement overall in the team, so right now I think we’re heading in the right direction. We’ve got to continue to work harder. Defensively, we’ve got to talk a little bit more, but the guys are playing up to expectations.”

Overall, Tisdale said the tournament, which also raised money for cancer awareness and Selma-Dallas County Relay for Life, was a great success and had great support from the community.

“All around, the tournament has been a great success. The community came out, they came in and supported us. That’s what it’s about,” Tisdale said. “I said when I had this, I didn’t want competing tournaments, honestly, but I also wanted to give my community the opportunity to come see some basketball here without having to drive to Selma or elsewhere to see their kids play. Overall, it’s been a tremendous success.”

Leave a comment

You must be a registered user and signed in to comment on this article and view existing comments.

Editor's Picks