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Friday, June 14, 2024

47th HAECO Invitational Tournament

By Joe Daniels, Peacemaker Sports / December 22, 2023

Carlos Neely, a junior guard finished with 10 points in the Panthers win over Bishop McGuinness in 2OT. Photosby Joe Daniels/
Carolina Peacemaker.

The Greensboro Sports Council, in conjunction with the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, presented the 47th Annual HAECO Invitational, a renewal of this classic high school basketball tournament.

Tip-off was Tuesday night, December 19 at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Event and Coliseum Fieldhouse. Participating schools included: Smith, Dudley, Page, Grimsley, Ragsdale, Southeast Guilford, Greensboro Day, and Bishop McGuinness.

The HAECO Invitational showcases the finest high school basketball talent in or around Guilford County and remains one of North Carolina’s most successful holiday basketball tournaments. For more than four decades, tournament proceeds have been donated to charities and the participating schools. Following the 2022 tournament, the Greensboro Sports Council donated $80,000 to the tournament’s participating schools. Since 2008, the HAECO has contributed $1,374,000 to its participating schools. In addition, the tournament awarded four $2,000 Bill Lee Scholarships.

In the evening’s most exciting contest Dudley defeated Bishop McGuinness 78-75 in double overtime. Courtney Jones, a Dudley sophomore guard hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer sending the game into overtime.
McGuinness’s Cal Barrett scored on a put back on a missed free throw in the second OT. Tied at 70 and with two-minutes remaining, Dudley’s Jaden Faison made the shot of the game, a 3-pointer and Jerron Blackwell scored on a steal to give the Panthers a 75-70 lead. Nicholas Graves canned a 3-pointer pulling McGuinness to 76-75 with 43 seconds.

Blackwell led the Panthers with a team-high 25 points, Jones added 16 points. Nasir Newkirk and Carlos Neely contributed 10 points each. Graves paced McGuinness with 21 points while John Campbell had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Dudley will play rival Smith Thursday at 7 p.m.


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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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