Pharaohs take home top prize
Egyptian goes 3-0, Trexler reaches 2K career points
Dongola – The Egyptian Pharaohs were on the verge of winning the Dongola Christmas Tournament last December after winning it's first two games.

All they needed to do was to triumph over Joppa-Maple Grove in the finale.

But Coach Allen Pearman saw his club “stub its toes” against the Rangers, forcing a three-way tie with the tie-breaker going to Joppa-Maple Grove by free throw percentage.

Saturday at the eighth annual tournament, the Pharaohs removed all doubt with a final game 59-49 win over Pope County to seal the championship.

Egyptian improved to 11-3 on the season and 3-0 for the title at Dongola.

“Defensively, my kids played well. Zion LaGrone and Ethan Warren are two of the best I've ever coached at drawing charges. Tyrome Huff got the difficult assignment of guarding Jackson Eddington and limited him to just nine points in the first three quarters. That's not an easy task.”

The weekend turned out to be very sweet for the Pharaohs' 5-foot-9 senior guard Christian Trexler.

The four-year varsity standout hit a milestone by reaching 2,000 career points.

Trexler netted 13 points in a 68-45 win over Dongola on Friday night and then he turned it up a notch Saturday afternoon, cashing in 31 points in the Pharaohs' 89-49 rout of Joppa-Maple Grove.

He led his squad with 20 points in the 10 point title game win over the Pirates.

Needing 56 points going into the weekend, Trexler scored 64 points and was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

The Pharaoh guard reached the milestone in the fourth quarter as he led his club to the win by canning seven consecutive free throws.

“Trexler scored his 2000th in a game that meant something, at a crucial point in the game, and that makes the memory better for him,” said Coach Pearman about Trexler. “He's just a winner. Dongola limited him to 13 points, but in the end he was three rebounds shy of a triple-double (11 assists, 7 rebounds). He also had five steals. He finds a way to be a presence even when he's not shooting well. He had over 20 assists in the tournament.”

He became just the fourth boy's basketball player in South Egyptian Conference (and area) history to reach 2,000.

The others were the late great Charles “Chico” Vaughn of Tamms (3,358), Joe Aiden of Dongola (3,033) and Dana Ford of Tamms Egyptian.

With a really great second half of the season, Trexler could surpass Ford's 2,222 points at Egyptian as he is currently 214 shy.

The senior guard had help Saturday night as teammate Tyrome Huff stepped up with 17 points.

Huff, a 6-foot-3 junior forward, added 17 points for Coach Pearman as he, too, was “money” from the foul line.

He hit 7-of-9 overall, and 5-of-7 in the fourth quarter.

Five-foot-eight sophomore Robert Stafford also pitched in with 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers.

“The tournament win was nice. It was a team effort. Everyone contributed, even my young kids who were able to play some and save the legs of the players in the traditional rotation. We were able to neutralize one of our early losses; it was a huge step toward getting one of the top four seeds in the sub sectional, which is one of our team goals,” said Coach Pearman.

Pope County, who is now 8-5 on the season, went 2-1 on the weekend for Coach Jim Simmons.

The Pirates took care of both Dongola (71-50) and Joppa-Maple Grove (72-30) in their first two games of the tournament.

Five-foot-ten senior guard Jackson Eddington led Pope County with 14 points in the title game defeat.

Sophomore guard Jesse Smith added 10 points while the Pirates got nine points each from senior Jordan Ellis and junior Braxton Mitchell.

Egyptian jumped out to a 16-4 lead at the end of the first quarter and held off Pope to claim its second title in three tries.

“They (Pope County) beat us earlier in the year at the Crab Orchard Turkey Tournament (55-49 on November 27). We knew will be physical going in and that we needed to match that physicality,” said Coach Pearman. “Sophomore guard Robert Stafford knocked down some shots, scored 11 points, but it's his 'bulldog mentality' is something that we needed.”

Pope County

Pope County (49) – Eddington 7 0 0-0 14, Hobbs 0 1 1-3 4, Mitchell 1 0 7-8 9, Ellis 4 0 1-3 9, Wilson 0 0 0-0 0, Lindgren 0 0 0-0 0, Smith 4 0 2-2 10, Croley 0 1 0-2 3.
2FG-16, 3FG-2 FT-11-18, PF-20.

Egyptian (59) – Reeves 0 0 0-0 0, Stafford 1 3 0-0 11, Huff 5 0 7-9 17, White 0 0 0-0 0, Essex 0 1 0-0 3, Trexler 3 2 8-10 20, Pitts 0 0 0-0 0, VanDommelon 0 0 0-0 0, Pearman 0 0 0-0 0, LaGrone 2 0 0-1 4, Blake 1 0 0-0 2, Warren 1 0 0-0 2.
2FG-13, 3FG-6, FT-15-20, PF-22.

Fouled Out – Warren - Egyptian.
Technical Fouls – None.

The host Demons and head coach Sean Lesley picked up a win on Saturday night to get to 1-2 in the event and 3-11 overall.

Dongola ended up with four players in double-figures in scoring in the victory.

Six-foot-two senior Andrew Tarpley led the way with 14 points while Coach Lasley got 13 markers from 5-foot-11 senior Joey Thomas.

Colin Hall, a 6-foot-1 senior, added 11 points and 6-foot senior Evan Treat finished with ended up with 10.

Cameron Hogue, a 6-foot senior, also added seven points to the total while senior Hunter Freeman scored four.

Coach Lasley also got a couple of big 3-point bombs in the first quarter from 5-foot-11 junior Hunter McCommons and 5-foot-7 junior Matthew Aden.

The Demons got out to a 37-20 halftime lead and they could have won this game by a much larger margin had they been more efficient from the foul line.

Dongola was just 15-of-35 from the stripe, missing 12 of the shots in the first half.

However 5-of-7 in the fourth quarter helped the club hold off the Rangers for the victory.

Joppa-Maple Grove (0-12) ended the weekend 0-3 despite a breakout offensive performance by 6-foot-8 senior Matt McGinness.

He led all scorers with 20 points.

Coach Jeffery Dufour got 14 points from senior Jacob Dry.

Junior Mason Dean put in 10 points in the Rangers loss.

Joppa-Maple Grove

Joppa (54) – Johnson 1 1 1-2 6, Lyle 0 0 0-0 0, Dean 3 0 4-4 10, M. McGinness 10 0 0-2 20, Greer 0 0 0-0 0, Dry 2 3 1-1 14, J. McGinness 1 0 2-4 4, Laird 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-17, 3FG-4, FT-8-13, PF-23.

Dongola (65) – Treat 2 1 3-6 10, Hall 5 0 1-4 11, Tarpley 5 0 4-13 14, Thomas 5 0 3-6 13, Hogue 1 1 2-2 7, Freeman 1 0 2-4 4, Smith 0 0 0-0 0, McCommins 0 1 0-0 3, Aden 0 1 0-0 3.
2FG-19, 3FG-4, FT-15-35, PF-17.

Fouled Out – Dean - Joppa-Maple Grove.
Technical Fouls – None.