33rd Pepsi Carolina Classic scores with fans and the community
The 33rd annual Pepsi Carolina Classic Basketball Tournament concluded at the Florence Center on January 29th with the West Florence Knights defeating the Darlington Falcons 54-51 in the championship game. Eight teams from the Pee Dee area competed in the tournament in the three day event which benefits the Florence Boys and Girls Club.
On the first day of action, defending tournament champions Hartsville High School dug themselves out of an 11-point deficit to beat South Florence High School 62-50. The Red Foxes outscored the Bruins 42-28 in the second half to secure the victory.
University of South Carolina signee Trae Hannibal scored 23 points while Justice Jackson led the Bruins with 21 points.
In the second game of the day, Darlington High School behind Kenyon Scott’s 25 points downed the Marion Swamp Foxes 66-56 to set up a match-up on day two with county rival Hartsville.
In game three of the evening rivals Carver’s Bay and Hemingway squared off with the Bears taking a 53-39 lead with Josh Drayton leading the way with 16 points.
In the nightcap city rivals West Florence and Wilson squared off and in the end the Knights prevailed with a 56-52 win. The Knights overcame a 38-19 deficit in the third quarter and came back for the big win. Sabien Nero led West Florence with 20 points.
Day two of the winners bracket featured region and county rivals Hartsville and Darlington.
The Falcons built a 24 point lead heading into the fourth quarter and held off a furious Red Fox rally to take a 77-73 win. The Falcons were led by Scott with 22 points and Hannibal scored 36 points for the Red Foxes.
In the nightcap of the winners bracket game, West Florence downed Carver’s Bay 51-33 and the Knights were led in scoring by Daymond Tinsley with 11 points.
MVP of the tournament was Darius Dawson of West Florence High School, and the all-tournament team consisted of Drayton of Carver’s Bay High School, Jackson of South Florence High School, Scott of Darlington High School, Ty Johnson of Darlington High School, TJ Sanders of Marion High School and Hannibal of Hartsville High School. Hemingway High School won the Sportsmanship Award.