- Jodie Wagner Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Dwyer closed the first half of the 2017-18 boys basketball season with its unbeaten streak intact.
Miles Coleman scored 19 points, and Michael Ingraham added 13 to lead the Panthers to a 59-49 victory over Ridge View (S.C.) in the Holiday Basketball Classic national championship bracket title game Saturday night.
Jocquez Blunt added eight points for Dwyer, which improved to 13-0 with the win.
The Panthers won all three of their tournament games — played on Dwyer’s home court — against out-of-state teams. The Panthers defeated Dutchtown (Ga.) and Iona Prep (N.Y.) earlier in the competition.
“This is big for us,” Dwyer coach Fred Ross said. “Coming into this tournament, you always want to win. But we wanted to get that experience from good competition.”
Blunt keyed an early Dwyer run, hitting the Panthers’ first three shots for a 6-2 lead.
Dwyer held the lead for most of the quarter, with Coleman and Bailey Stephanos each hitting 3-pointers to put the Panthers up 14-9 with less than three minutes left.
But the Blazers matched Dwyer from the outside, tying the game at 15 on a Crosby Harris-James 3-pointer with 1:46 remaining, and then going ahead on a Tyler Rice jumper with 46 seconds left.
Dwyer regained the lead early in a low-scoring second quarter, but nearly lost it in the waning minutes with sloppy play.
The Panthers had five turnovers in the quarter, but the Blazers — with four turnovers — were unable to take advantage.
With Eddie Davis leading the way, Dwyer led 25-22 at halftime. Davis and Blunt both had seven points at the half, while Walyn Napper led Ridge View with eight.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Ingraham and Coleman to open the third quarter pushed Dwyer’s advantage to 32-24, and Dwyer led by as many as 16 points as the Blazers went cold from the field and the free-throw line.
Ridge View broke a lengthy scoring drought with less than a minute remaining in the quarter, and closed within 40-30 as time expired.
The Blazers continued to chip away at Dwyer’s lead as the fourth quarter got underway, but an Ingraham 3-pointer with 6:30 left pushed the Panthers’ advantage back to double-digits.
Ridge View rallied midway through the quarter, pulling within 48-41 and appearing to gain momentum.
But the Blazers couldn’t hit their shots in the end, while Dwyer did.
Napper finished with 15 points for Ridge View.
Wellington 70, Forest Hill 58: Bryan Williams scored 20 points, and Jonathan Philistin added 17 points and eight rebounds to lead the Wolverines past the Falcons in the Palm Beach Shoot Out championship game at Atlantic Christian Academy. Wellington improved to 11-0 with the win, while Forest Hill dropped to 9-1. Williams was named the tournament MVP, and Nico Toledo was named to the All-Tournament Team.