By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published January 8, 2009
The Pinecrest Academy girls basketball team reached the finals of the first Pinecrest Christmas Classic with a 55-20 win over Monsignor Donovan High School, Athens. Pinecrest senior forward Danielle Anderson scored the team’s first five points and finished the night with 14 points. Sophomore guard Margaret Cassandra also poured in 20 points. In the Dec. 30 championship game Pinecrest was defeated by Macon’s Mount de Sales Academy 66-57. The two teams played each other pretty close early on, but in the third quarter Mount de Sales moved out to a 20-point lead. Pinecrest cut the lead to single digits late in the game, but the team was unable to complete the comeback. Cassandra and junior forward Kayla Bergen led Pinecrest with 18 and 17 points respectively in the team’s fifth loss of the season.
The Pinecrest Academy boys were defeated by Cardinal Newman School of Columbia, S.C., in their opening game 67-48 Dec. 29. Pinecrest did a good job of containing Cardinal Newman’s 6-foot-7-inch center Jake Motto, but the team shot a season low 29 percent. Forward Joe Neiner led Pinecrest with 17 points as guard Arturo Merriman chipped in 13 points. Cardinal Newman went on to win the championship, defeating Mount de Sales Academy 63-61. Mount de Sales was led by 5-foot-7-inch senior John Rhyne with 23 points and Cardinal Newman was led by tournament most valuable player Motto.
In the consolation game the Pinecrest boys defeated Monsignor Donovan 83-62. Once again Neiner was the leading scorer with 20 points. Center John DePalma added 14 points and forward Bryce Haynes and guard Jonathan Oshinski scored 11 points apiece. Kevin Metz provided eight steals on the defensive side of the ball.
Pinecrest will face rival Holy Spirit Preparatory School, Friday, Jan. 9.