East Hamilton’s Lady Hurricanes fell to St. Francis (Georgia), 58-53, in their opening game Tuesday in the CresCom Bank Holiday Invitational at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Junior Madison Hayes scored a game-high 33 points on 12-of-20 shooting and also grabbed 11 rebounds for the Lady Canes (7-5), but even that wasn’t enough to overcome the size and talent advantages St.
Francis (6-1), out of Alpharetta, Georgia, was able to utilize.
Hayes also had three blocks and five steals to go with four turnovers.
“St. Francis is big and long and athletic,” East Hamilton coach Hunter Gremore said in a telephone interview. “We competed very well and had trouble rebounding with them. Elizia Laboo fouled out and played only 14 minutes and then we were really undersized.”
DeZah Lacy finished with 13 points for East Hamilton. She committed six turnovers.
Laboo managed just two points and missed all three shots attempted. She did get seven rebounds.
“I need her on the floor for more than 14 minutes,” Gremore said of Laboo. “We’ve played 12 games and I think she’s fouled out seven or eight times. Lacy had to handle their pressure when we lost Laboo.”
Despite the Height differences, the Lady Canes held their own on the boards. St. Francis out-rebounded East Hamilton 32-31. The Lady Knights had 20 defensive rebounds.
East Hamilton went 18 for 47 (38.3 percent) from the field and St. Francis was 22 of 50 for 44 percent.
Mia Moore paced St. Francis with 24 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Isaacs had 10 points and eight rebounds while Kennedi Philson added 12 points.
Moore and Philson combined to make 14 of 27 shots.
“This tournament is loaded and has several teams ranked nationally by MaxPreps, Gremore said. “Riverdale and Arlington are both here. St. Francis’ only loss was against Hoover (Alabama). It’s a big-time tournament.”
East Hamilton will play Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. against Myrtle Beach High School, which lost to No. 2-ranked Bishop McNamara, from Forestville, Maryland, by 78-25. Bishop McNamara had a 41-7 halftime lead.
Teams are playing two 16-minute halves in the tournament, which falls under the Beach Ball Classic umbrella.
“They want to give it the feel of a college game,” Gremore said.
Arlington, which played in the recent East-West Classic at East Hamilton and Bradley Central, takes on Northwest Guilford (North Carolina) on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Riverdale plays Lincoln (Florida) at 3:15 p.m.
East Hamilton 29 24 – 53
St. Francis (Ga.) 31 27 – 58
East Hamilton (53) – Patton, DeZah Lacy 13, Madison Hayes 33, Mc. Hayes 3, Laboo 2, Evans, Johnson, Petitt 2, Sue.
St. Francis (58) – Harper 2, Jordan Isaacs 10, Davis 6, Mia Moore 24, Kennedi Philson 12, Abdur-Rahim, Tillis 4.
3-Point Goals – East Hamilton 3 (Lacy 1, Ma. Hayes 1, Mc. Hayes 1), St. Francis 3 (Moore 2, Davis 1).
(Contact Larry Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @larryfleming44)