2012 HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational Live Blog

FINAL: Hillside downs Cary Academy, 81-71

Posted December 26, 2012

FINAL: Hillside 81, Cary Academy 71: Hillside made key free throws down the stretch to fend off a furious Cary Academy rally, capturing a 81-71 win in the opening game of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational girls' bracket. 

Justine Lyons scored 12 points in the final quarter to help the Hornets stay just far enough away from the Mickayla Sanders-led Chargers. Cary Academy closed to within five points three times in the final eight minutes, but could never pull to within one possession of the Hornets. 

Sanders led all scorers with 39 points, including 15 in the final quarter, but several key Cary Academy turnovers resulted in easy buckets for the Hornets. 

Hillside will play the winner of Broughton-Holly Springs Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Cary Academy will fave the Caps-Golden Hawks loser at 10:30 a.m. 

END 3Q: Hillside 49, Cary Academy 46: After a half of stop-and-start basketball, both teams found their rhythm in the third quarter. Hillside used a full court press to speed the game up, forcing several Cary Academy turnovers and getting numerous layups. 

Mickayla Sanders continued her impressive game, scoring nine points in the third quarter to bring her game total to 22. A late surge by the Chargers turned a 9-point Hillside lead into a one-possession game by quarter's end. 

Hillside's Mya Webb scored nine points in the quarter. 

HALFTIME: Hillside 29, Cary Academy 27: Continuing the theme of the first game, the Chargers and Hornets made numerous trips to the free throw line in a stop-and-start second quarter. Hillside closed the frame on a 9-4 run to take a 29-27 lead at halftime. 

Mylea McKennith scored 8 points to lead Hillside, and Khara Herring added six. 

Cary Academy's Mickayla Sanders leads all scorers with 15 points, but Sanders was forced to the bench late in the second quarter because of foul trouble.

Victoria Powell took advantage from her points guard position, scoring six points in the final three minutes of the quarter. 

Fouls will be an issue for both teams in the second half, assuming the flow of the game continues. 

END 1Q: Cary Academy 13, Hillside 12: In a first quarter full of fouls, Cary Academy and Hillside are struggling to find consistent offensive rhythm. 

Hillside broke a scoreless tie two minutes into the action with back-to-back layups by point guard Mylea McKennith. The Hornets lead grew to 8-2 before Cary Academy began to battle back behind forward Mickayla Sanders.

Sanders scored 11 of Cary Academy's 13 first-quarter points, connecting on a long 3-pointer and six free throws. 

Late in the frame, Hillside head coach Ovester Grays received an unsportsmanlike technical foul. Both teams will be in the bonus during the second quarter. 

Pre-game: Making their second appearance in the Holiday Invitational, Cary Academy will be defending its home court Wednesday when they open up play in the girls bracket against the Hillside Hornets.

Led by senior Mickayla Sanders, juniors Rebekah Banks and Brittany Powell and head coach Mike Zeilman, the Chargers (2-0) outscored their first two opponents of the season by 103 combined points. 

Hillside (3-1), making its seventh appearance in the Holiday Invitational, is led by junior Tykyrah Williams and senior Mylea McKennith and coached by Ovester Grays.

The Hornets won the inaugural HSOT tournament in 1995 and finished fifth a year ago.

Wednesday's tournament opener will tip at 2 p.m., with the winner facing either Broughton or Holly Springs Thursday at 1:30 p.m. 

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