By Glavine Day for The Connection
HENDERSONVILLE – The stars aligned in the Beech Christmas Classic for Springfield and White House to face each other for the second time this season in the loser’s bracket of the Beech Christmas Classic. Springfield came out with its second win over White House, 78-63.
“When you come into the Christmas tournament, you’d like to see someone you don’t see during the season – especially a team we just played and turn around to play again in January like Springfield,” Blue Devils coach Gary Smith said. “I told the Hillwood coach, we played them a week before the season started. But we’re going to another Christmas tournament in southern Tennessee and nobody knows anything about the teams we’re playing there, so that’ll be good for us, too.”
The Yellow Jackets had a good grip on the game for most of the first half. White House and Springfield alternated leads, but the Jackets pulled it out in the end despite a 27-point effort from White House’s Jared Ward.
“We come to this tournament every year and we’re typically the weakest, or near the weakest team in the tournament,” Smith said. “But it’s 10 minutes away from us and there’s a lot of talent in tournament. You don’t have to travel far to find good competition in this tournament at all.”
By the start of the third quarter, Springfield found its groove, pulling out the victory behind Adarion Hudson’s 18-point game and earned bragging rights over White House. Aaron Gardner also stepped up, going 7-of-9 from the field with 14 points.
“(Aaron) is just a competitor,” Jackets coach Micah Rochester said. “He wants to be successful and do well. He’s so self-motivated and kept apologizing yesterday for not playing very well. That’s the difference in the games, he just wants to do well. He had one of those nights yesterday and I thought he played much better today.
“When I came to meet the team earlier, I wanted to watch them play for a little bit just to get a feel for who they would be and I remember watching Adarion thinking ‘He’s the fastest kid I’ve ever seen play basketball.’ He’s had to step in a little bit of a different role this season and be a scorer and not just a ball handler, but he’s transitioned really well and filled that need for him to score.”
“I think we’ll be much better as a result of this,” Rochester said. “We’re still struggling finding our roles. We just need to play. Whether it’s an athletic team like East Nashville was or Hillwood or McGavock tomorrow, we just need to keep playing and find our roles.”
Springfield (78): Adarion Hudson 18, Travion Woodard 2, Aaron Gardner 14, Tywan Black 14, Travon Heath 3, Kameron Barbee 4, Dayron Johnson 4, Cole Van Fleet 12, Will Smith 3.
White House (63): Drew Nixon 2, Logan Neufeld 9, Jared Ward 27, Jacob McDonald 6, Kevin James 5, Bryant Reynolds 2, Evan Webster 8, Dawson Bragg 4.
Station Camp 73, White House 51
HENDERSONVILLE – The Station Camp Bison jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, which only got worse for the White House Blue Devils throughout the game, eventually dropping a 73-51 loss in the Beech Christmas Classic.
The first quarter ended 20-8 in favor of Station Camp. White House was shut down again in the second quarter, trailing 35-14 at halftime.
The second half was better for the Blue Devils, but a 21-point first-half deficit ruined any chance for a second-half comeback.
Jared Ward and Logan Neufeld, who both scored 12 points apiece in the second half, tried to spark a Blue Devil comeback to no avail. Ward’s scoring output came in the third quarter, while all of Neufeld’s 12 points were in the fourth.
This loss knocks the Blue Devils out of an opportunity to play in the championship game, forcing them to battle against Springfield for a fifth place, at best, finish in the tournament.
White House (51): Jared Ward 18, Logan Neufeld 14, Jacob McDonald 2, Kyle Elliott 10, Durstin Adams 7.