The Pope and Walton boys basketball teams closed 2011 on high notes with victories in holiday tournaments Friday.
For Pope, the 55-48 win over Forest Park in Smyrna earned the championship of the Campbell Holiday Classic and raised the Greyhounds’ record to 11-2.
For Walton, the 64-60 win over Buchholz of Gainesville, FL, secured fifth place in the Winged Foot Scholarship Foundation Gulfshore Shootout and completed a 3-1 trip to Naples, FL.
Pope led 21-19 at halftime but trailed 33-32 entering the fourth quarter, and Forest Park extended the lead to five points with 6:18 to play, the Marietta Daily Journal reported.
But the Greyhounds switched to a full-court press on defense and went on a 13-0 run en route to the championship, the MDJ said. Matt Polyne, named the tournament MVP, led Pope with 18 points.
In Naples, senior center Sean Morgan hit three of four foul shots in the final seconds to keep Walton from blowing what was a 12-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter, the Naples Daily News reported.
Morgan led the Raiders with 33 points against the smaller Bobcats, who got as close as 60-58 in the final minute, the Daily News said.
It was the second consecutive huge game for Morgan, who scored 28 in Walton’s 78-56 win over Naples on Thursday.
Both teams return to action Tuesday. Pope will play at 7:30 p.m. at Kell, which is coming back from a tournament in Daytona Beach, FL, while Walton will play at the same time at Woodstock.