Caleb Hurley

Caleb Hurley (12) goes in for a layup as a Dale County defender attempts to block the shot. 

The New Brockton Gamecocks took part in last week’s Daleville Christmas Tournament and finished in last place out of the eight teams playing.

All season long the Gamecocks have struggled to finish games and that problem once again came back to bite them.

The Gamecocks led both Samson and Dale County late in those games before losing in the final minutes, falling 64-52 to Samson and 61-52 to Dale County.

“We came out and went into halftime with a lead for the first time this year,” New Brockton coach Anthony Carter said of the Samson game. “Once again we just couldn’t finish the game and Samson came back, hats off to them, and won it in the last three minutes. We just turned the ball over and couldn’t hit our free throws down the stretch.”

Jy’shan Nelson led the Gamecocks with 16 points against Samson.

Against Dale County those same problems hamstrung the Gamecocks.

“Dale County was the same exact situation,” Carter said. “We came out undermanned but still played really well and got up to a big lead but just like the previous game, couldn’t finish it.”

New Brockton led 26-18 at halftime and led as much by as much as 13 points in the third quarter, but a late Dale County run led to the Gamecocks hanging on to a slim two-point lead heading into the final period of play. Dale County outscored New Brockton 25-14 in the fourth quarter as the Gamecocks couldn’t close it out.

“We just couldn’t finish the game,” Carter said. “We turned the ball over and couldn’t make our free throws or rebound the basketball late. That was the difference in the ballgame. Right now our problem is our inability to finish games and we’ve got to get that figured out.”

Against Dale County, Nelson led the Gamecocks with 16 points, one steal, three assists and seven rebounds. Caleb Griffin added nine points and Caleb Hurley chipped in with eight points, three blocks, one assist and eight rebounds. Karl White added 14 points and five rebounds.

In New Brockton’s final game of the tournament, Dothan dominated the Gamecocks 87-43 to earn seventh place in the tournament finish, while it secured last place for New Brockton.

Nelson and senior Lukas Perdue earned All-Tournament honors for New Brockton, despite Perdue suffering an ugly fall in the Dale County game and injuring his elbow.

“He’ll be fine, he started against Dothan,” Carter said of Perdue. “That’s a tough kid. He plays hard all the time and that’s what I really like about him.”

Perdue could also be seen refusing to back down from a number of Dale County players that attempted to get in his face during the second round matchup.

“He will not be intimidated,” Carter said. “Sometimes he should walk away but I love to see that fight in him. I told him that I wasn’t mad at him for that and I love to see that fight.”

Carroll defeated Daleville in the finals of the tournament.

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