Myrtle Beach Convention Center – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
The North Crowley Men’s Basketball Team took their show on the road after Christmas to play on a “National Stage”. The Panthers traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to compete in the invitation only and nationally renowned Beach Ball Classic. After a challenging travel day due to inclement weather on the 26th, the Panthers arrived in Myrtle Beach ready to prove that they belonged again on a national stage. NC traveled to the Ozark Mountain Shootout in Springfield, Missouri where they defeated Kankakee, IL 66-51 earlier in the month.
Thursday, 12/27/18 – North Crowley opened the Beach Ball with a 7:00 tip vs St. Edward (OH). St. Edward, just outside of Cleveland, who has a standing invite to the tournament has participated in the Beach Ball 11 times including a 2006 tournament championship. The experience on the big stage showed early as the Eagles from St. Edward jumped on the Panthers early 11-4. The Panthers stayed the course though and continued to compete for the full 32 minutes. They rallied back to tie the game at the half, 24-24 & eventually pulled off the 63-59 upset of the 2 time Ohio State Champions. The Panthers were led by seniors Isaiah Crawford with 23 points, 6 rebounds & 5 assists & senior Isaiah Wyatt with 14 points and a game high 7 rebounds.
Friday, 12/28/18 – After the opening round win, the Panthers advanced in the winners bracket to face a storied program out of Arlington, Virginia, Bishop O’Connell. The Knights from O’Connell HS, located just outside of DC came as one of the favorites to win the tournament… North Crowley had other thoughts. Having one win already under their belts, the Panthers came out swinging vs the national power from the east coast in what turned out to be a 32 minute slug fest! NC led by 6 at the half 34-28 and held on down the stretch for the 66-62 upset! The Panthers were again paced by 6’7″ senior forward Isaiah Crawford who led the Panther in scoring with 29 points on 11-13 from the field & 7-8 from the line. Wyatt again found double figures for the game scoring 16 points and included 3 long range bombs from behind the arc. Junior guards Jacari Chambers & Tre Ballard made their presence known as they combined for 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals off of the bench for the Panthers.
Saturday, 12/29/18 – The second straight upset by the Panthers advanced them to the semi-finals where this time they would face a power from the west coast in Westchester High School out of Los Angelas. The Comets from Westchester were the defending Los Angelas City Champions and had the majority of their team returning from a 30-6 campaign in 2017-18. The Panthers again rose to the challenge… In a game that never saw a double digit lead by either team and had multiple leads changes, North Crowley came up just a possession short dropping the semi-final game 45-47. Crawford and Wyatt again were the top 2 scorers on the squad scoring 21 & 10 respectively.
Sunday, 12/30/18 – On the off day in the tournament, the Panthers spent time on the beautiful beaches of South Carolina, visited the Myrtle Beach Aquarium & spent time hanging out throughout the day… and oh yeah, competing in the slam dunk contest and three point shootout hosted by the Beach Ball Tournament that evening. The Panthers nominated seniors Jay Gates & Isaiah Crawford to participate in the slam dunk contest, while seniors Evan Williams and Isaiah Wyatt represented North Crowley in the three-point contest. All 4 young men performed well, but it was the Panthers’ filmer for the weekend Bryson Harston who stole the show by winning the Crispy Cream Doughnut eating competition!
Monday, 12/31/18 – The Panthers were back in action on New Year’s Eve as they played North Little Rock in the tournaments 3rd place game. Like in it’s previous three games the Panthers were in for a 32 minute battle & this one came down to the final second as senior Chris Jordan hit a game winner with under a second to play to secure the 51-49 victory and make sure the Panthers ended 2018 on a high note. The Panthers were led in scoring by Crawford, who was a unanimous selection to the prestigious Beach Ball Classic All-Tournament Team, with a game high 21 points and 6 rebounds. The win also marked the 600th win for Head Coach Tommy Brakel and the North Crowley M en’s Basketball Program!
Wednesday, 01/02/19 – After another very challenging day of travel on New Year’s Day, the Panthers took on the Warriors from Arlington Martin High School on Wednesday night @ Panther Fieldhouse on the campus of North Crowley HS. The match-up was a crucial district 4-6A game between the 2 district leaders. Martin entered the game atop the district at 5-0 on the season while the Panthers, due to an earlier district bye, sat in second place at 4-0. North Crowley, weary from the extremely tough games played in South Carolina, coupled with the extremely challenging travel schedule had to grind for the entire 32 minutes of this contest. The Panthers turned in a wonderful defensive performance in the first half holding Arl. Martin to 14 points and taking a 29-14 lead into the intermission. The Panthers and Warriors exchanged 2nd half blows, but Martin was never able to cut the Panther lead below double figures & the Panthers held on for the 61-46 victory that put them alone atop the District 4-6A Standings!
Upcoming – The Panthers travel to Arlington Sam Houston on Friday Jan. 4th to take on the Sam Houston Texans before returning home to Panther Fieldhouse on Tuesday, Jan. 8th to play the FW Trimble Tech Bulldogs. North Crowley HS will be honoring all of the North Crowley Men’s Basketball alumni on Tuesday night as they celebrate the program’s 600th win!