Published 5:52 am Friday, January 6, 2006
Without a doubt the recent Bank of Brewton T.R. Miller Christmas Classic saved its best for last.
Six of the tournament's 24 games were decided by five points or less. Four of those six were played on the last day of competition where Jay (Fla.) edged Flomaton 42-41 in the small school seventh place game and Monroe County edged Smiths Station 72-70 for the large school seventh place game.
Both division championship games were also nail-biters where Culleoka (Tenn.) held off Excel 50-48 for the small school title and Booker T. Washington wiped out a six-point deficit in the final minute to beat Niceville (Fla.) 60-57 to win the big school title.
As a whole 13 of the tournament's 24 games were decided by 10 or more points and 10 games were decided by 15 or more points.
Greenville tied its own tournament record for most points scored in a game when it racked up 86 in its large school consolation championship win over Robertsdale.
Greenville also scored 86 points in the opening round of the 2004 tournament against Monroe County.
In fact, Greenville holds the top four spots for points scored in a game. In addition to the two 86-point outbursts, the Tigers scored 83 in the 2004 tournament third place game against West Florida and 82 against Flomaton in the 2003 tournament.
Monroe County's Terrell Armstrong won the tournament's individual scoring title with 80 points. Armstrong had the individual tournament game high of 31 points against Smiths Station. He also had games of 23 against Niceville and 26 against Robertsdale.
Smiths Station' Alex Phillips was runner-up for tournament scoring with 71 points, while Hillcrest' Chris Hines was third with 66.
Without a doubt the hard-luck team of the tournament was Smiths Station. The Panthers had the lead going into the final minute of their large school first-round game against Hillcrest-Evergreen only to lose 54-50. Smiths Station then dropped back-to-back overtime decisions, 76-70 to Greenville in the consolation semifinals and 72-70 to Monroe County in the seventh place game.
Despite his team's 0-3 performance, the tournament was a pleasant trip home for Smiths Station coach and 1987 Southern Normal graduate Dewayne Drakeford.
top to bottom. Coach Atkinson and (T.R. Miller girls) Coach (Ron) Jackson did a great job of putting everything together. Everything ran smoothly,” Drakeford said.
Drakeford also brought his Smiths Station team to Brewton last June for T.R. Miller's team camp.
Drakeford is sad the school (Southern Normal) where he attended is no longer open.
Smiths Station is the third head coaching stop for Drakeford and his fifth school overall.
Drakeford, who is also a Baptist minister, is the uncle of former T.R. Miller and Jefferson
Davis Community College basketball player Ryheen Drakeford.