Garner claims conference tournament for fourth consecutive season


For the third time this season, and the 12th consecutive time, Garner defeated Southeast Raleigh 66-56 to claim their fourth straight Greater Neuse River Conference Tournament championship.

Southeast Raleigh (17-9) began the game by finding their hot hand - Sameer Daniels who scored his teams first eight points and finished with 19 of his game high 24 points in the first half, 11 of those points came in the opening quarter. However, Garner managed to steal a 19-17 lead away from the Bulldogs after the first eight minutes of basketball.

Both teams had trouble keeping their hands off each other as 26 combined fouls were called in the first half and the two teams shot a total of 31 free throws in the first half. Southeast did a better job at the line in the first half and managed to grab a 33-32 lead at the break. Keeping the Trojans in the game was Donald Johnson who scored 11 points in the opening half. Gavin Wilson also chipped in 10 points in the first.

Garner (24-0) came out in the second half with a renewed intensity on the boards. After being out rebounded in the first half, Garner turned the table in the third quarter and managed to take lead thanks to six third quarter points from Johnson.

With four second left in the quarter, the Trojans trapped Tristan Walker between the rings but he threw up a prayer from 25-feet away and his prayer was answered as the Bulldogs took a 46-45 lead going to the final period.

With his team trailing by one, Wilson put his team on his back and carried them down the stretch scoring seven of his 19 points in the final eight minutes. However, the Bulldogs didn't go away as they stayed around until the final two minutes.

Garner has struggled at times from the line this year, but when it counted on Friday night, the Trojans were right on from the stripe as Garner's final 12 points came from the line as they pulled away over the final 90 seconds to secure the conference tournament championship for the fourth consecutive season.

The Trojans will now enter the state playoffs which will begin Monday night. Garner will be at HOME on Monday night at 7:00 as they play host to E.E. Smith the number four seed from the Mid-South conference.