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Christmas tourneys highlight basketball paths

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 12/28/22

ORANGE PARK - After one of the more exciting Battle on the Island holiday basketball tournaments, area teams head out of town for the next week to compete in Christmas tournaments …

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Christmas tourneys highlight basketball paths


ORANGE PARK - After one of the more exciting Battle on the Island holiday basketball tournaments, area teams head out of town for the next week to compete in Christmas tournaments statewide.

Fleming Island and Orange Park both battled to top three finishes in Fleming Island’s Battle on the Island with Orlando Christian Prep taking top team honors.

Fleming Island won their opener with the comeback thrilling 58-57 win over Class 6A fifth ranked Lake Minneola then fell to Columbia (58-44) and Martin County (66-48).

Top scorers for the Golden Eagles were inside power players Ethan Williams and Joey Chenette with 18 and 13, plus George Hamm’s 12 against Lake Minneola.

Against Columbia, top scorers were Darion Domenick, 13, and Axel Holmquist, 10, against fast, athletic Tigers team.

Against Martin County, Ethan Williams was only player in double figures with 15 points.

Fleming Island heads to the Jarvis Williams Christmas Classic hosted by Palatka High with an opener against Eustis High on Wed., Dec. 28 with Thursday against Naples and Friday against Lake Howell.

Orange Park, behind a fast backfield of Tom Faucette and Brian Falcone, opened with a strong 53-14 blowout of Baker County in the Green Division of the Battle on the Island before taking out Wolfson 69-42 before taking a tough 43-41 loss in the bracket championship to Ribault.

Against Baker County, Deandre Dickerson, Faucette And Capo Triggs all with 11 points to pace the Raiders.

Against Wolfson, Falcon had 15 with Faucett and Dickerson both adding 12.

Orange Park heads to the Milton Johnson Invitational in Marianna with an opener on Tues., Dec. 27 against Munroe.

Oakleaf, 8-1, travels to Deland on Wed., Dec. 28 for an opener against McKeel Academy at 430 p.m. in the Gus Gibbs Deland Holiday Tournament.

Also in Deland will be Leesburg, University Orlando, University High, American Senior and Deland.

Ridgeview, 3-7, heads to the Baker County Christmas Showcase with a Wed., Dec. 28 opener against Sandalwood. Also in Baker County is Baldwin.

Ridgeview entered the holiday with a win over Keystone Heights, 62-58, with two close losses to Creekside, 66-53, and West Nassau, 80-77.

In girls basketball, Ridgeview is headed to Destin, FL, for the 28th annual Hilton Sandestin Beach Blowout Girls Invitational with an opener on Wed., Dec. 28. Teams included are Freeport, South Walton, Hewitt-Trussville (AL), White County (TN) and Enterprise (AL).

St. Johns Country Day School girls basketball, 4-4, heads to Bradenton, FL, for the Chick-Fil-A Holiday Tournament with a Wed., Dec. 28 opener at 3 p.m. against 7A-George Jenkins High (8-3).

St. Johns Country Day School’s boys team traveled to Orlando for the 2022 KSA Events Classic at the Gaylord Palms Resort (Dec. 19-23) and came away with a 64-42 loss to Salem HS (MA) in the single elimination format.

St. Johns lost 51-28 against Central of Tuscaloosa, AL, in bracket play, then won 47-31 against Sunbright High (TN) in the consolation bracket.

St. Johns bracket included teams from Massachusetts, Alabama, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Tennessee and Rhode Island.

Orange Park High’s girls basketball (5-6) will travel to Orlando’s Bishop Moore for the Jim Clark Holiday Classic with an opener on Tues., Dec. 27 against St. Cloud High School (11-1) at 1:30 p.m. Also on the team roster are Ponte Vedra, Bishop Moore, Lake Howell, Eustis, Windermere and Lake Mary.

The Lady Raiders will have to rebound from two losses prior to the tournament; an 81-42 bruising at Oakleaf and a 65-27 loss to Andrew Jackson; both without top scorer Eris Lester.