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Hargrave Knocks Off FUMA to Win First Piedmont Corp. Invitational!

Benjamin J Veshi

Over the weekend, the Hargrave Tigers PG Basketball team hosted the annual First Piedmont Corp. Invitational which featured four thrilling games over two days which has traditionally signified the culmination of the regular season for decades. The 2024 chapter of this storied event was one for the ages as the Tigers welcomed in the Redbirds of Hosanna College Prep as their first round opponent on Friday evening.

After a slow start, the Hargrave offense heated up en route to a 56-35 halftime lead that encompassed 9 different Tigers contributing to the early margin. An outstanding second half pushed the final margin to a whopping 41 points as Hargrave rolled, 117-76, to advance to Saturday’s championship game and a rematch with arch-rival, Fork Union Military Academy!

Friday’s standouts included:

Naim Ibroci (Staten Island, NY) — 26 points (9-13 FG; 8-12 3FG), 2 assists, 2 rebounds

Khalil Williams (Washington, DC) — 25 points (11-16 FG), 6 rebounds, 2 assists

Cameron House (Eudora, KS) — 12 points (4-8 FG), 4 rebounds

Trey Minard (Kannapolis, NC) — 11 points (5-8 FG), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals

Leland Coleman (Richmond, VA) — 10 points (5-7 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 assists

Saturday’s First Piedmont Corp. Invitational Championship served as the third meeting between Hargrave and Fork Union, with the visiting Blue Devils emerging victorious in the first two meetings. After an early 3-0 deficit, Leland “Boogie” Coleman grabbed two offensive boards and finished through contact to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead which they would never relinquish for the remainder of the game. Hargrave received contributions from all 9 guys that touched the floor in the first half as they went into the locker room with a 48-29 advantage behind a raucous environment inside historic Walter Davis Gymnasium!

Both teams came out of halftime and began trading buckets with the Tigers maintaining a 16-22 point advantage for most of the second half. Due to some sloppy play and increased defensive pressure, Hargrave saw their lead dwindle to as few as four points in the second half but a pair of Khalil Williams’ free throws iced the game and the Tigers took home the title with a 93-86 victory!

Saturday’s standouts included:

Khalil Williams (Washington, DC) — 26 points (7-17 FG; 9-11 FT), 6 rebounds, 2 assists

Trey Minard (Kannapolis, NC) — 21 points (5-10 FG; 8-11 FT), 6 assists, 2 rebounds

Walt Andrews, Jr. (Bridgeport, CT; NJIT signee) — 15 points (5-11 FG), 3 assists, 1 rebound

Leland Coleman (Richmond, VA) — 14 points (6-12 FG), 7 rebounds, 4 blocks