BY GENE NARDI
Last week, Palm Beach Central High School hosted its annual Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament. Four teams participated in the round-robin style event held Dec. 21-22. Aside from the Broncos, teams from Seminole Ridge, Atlantic and Inlet Grove high schools took part.
Teams from Palm Beach County typically participate in events such as these to serve as a tune-up to improve their performance midway through the season. It also gives the teams a chance to compete against other schools that they might not see during the regular season.
On the first day, Palm Beach Central (8-5) defeated Atlantic High School 51-40. The Hawks (6-7) bested Inlet Grove 85-53.
On day two, the Hawks fell to Atlantic 60-48, and the Broncos handled Inlet Grove 61-32. The Broncos completed the event unbeaten. Michael Shakes combined for 24 points, and Gyvicht Geneus produced 14 in both games for the Broncos.
Defensively, the Broncos excelled, holding Atlantic to just five points in the first quarter of their first game and limited the Inlet Grove Hurricanes to single digits in all but one period in their second match-up. Palm Beach Central center Kenson Innocent totaled 11 points against the Eagles.
Seminole Ridge was equally as aggressive on defense against Inlet Grove in its first game. The Hawks twice had the lead against Atlantic in their second match-up but struggled under the net in winning the ball. Seminole Ridge managed to tie the Eagles at the half 28-28, and regained the lead early in the second half, but the Eagles rallied back and controlled the tempo the rest of the way.
Jihadu Brunner had 20 points for the Hawks in their rout of the Hurricanes. Christian Lugo had 10 points, and Jeremiah Brown had a three-pointer.
Both teams are participating in the Martin County tournament this week, but results were not available by press time. Palm Beach Central will pick up its regular season, hosting the Hawks on Tuesday, Jan. 5. The Broncos will then travel across town to take on rival Wellington High School on Friday, Jan. 8, while the Hawks will host Okeechobee. Both games are at 7:30 p.m.
ABOVE: Jihadu Brunner goes for a layup for the Hawks against Atlantic.