Knights Battle in the Beach Ball Classic Tournament
What is the Beach Ball Classic? It all started in 1981 as a dream of Socastee High School Coach Dan D’Antoni. The tournament consisted of 8 teams, 4 in state and 4 out of state, and it was the first event of this type ever held in the State of South Carolina. No one would have ever imagined the progression into a 16 team National tournament, lasting 30 years and becoming the Premier High School Holiday Tournament in the United States.
The Saint Francis Knights would end the tournament with one win and two losses. A valiant effort by our Knights against very stiff competition. In their first match up they defeated the Poca Dot’s of West Virginia. In the next round SF was up against the 3 time defending national champions in Montverde (Montverde, FL). Despite a great battle, Montverde’s size would prove to be too much for the Knights. Monteverde went on to win the championship game.
On a quick turnaround the Knights had to face national power Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, OH) the following morning, the Knights just didn’t have the firepower to keep up and dropped a second game by a score of 59- 42. Moeller finished 5th in the tournament.
For the first time in 32 games, Poca (WV) came out on the short end of the scoreboard with a 73-56 loss to St. Francis (GA) in the opening round of the 35th Annual Beach Ball Classic.
St. Francis (8-3; Alpharetta, GA) found itself down 6-0 after a pair of quick 3-pount baskets by Poca’s Luke Frampton and Elijaf Cuffee. St. Francis responded by scoring the game’s next 22 points and built the lead to 35-12 on a Drew Smith 3-pointer with 3:55 to play in the opening half. Poca (4-1) went on a 16-1 run as Cuffee connected on three 3-point baskets during the stretch to close the gap to eight points at 36-28 with 44 seconds remaining in the half. Chance Anderson’s two free throws capped the scoring in the first half to give St. Francis a 38-28 lead entering the break.
Poca (WV) could not close the gap into single digits in the second half as St. Francis led by as many as 20 points in the second 16-minute period.
St. Francis was paced by Kobi Simmons’ 28 points. Cuffee led Poca with 23 points, while Luke Frampton added 17 points for The Dots.