Tuesday August 16th, 2022 8:27PM

Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
55th annual boys Lanierland Tournament

Tuesday's schedule at Chestatee High School


Johnson 76, Gainesville 63

Consolation round

East Hall 71, Chestatee, 40, 3rd place game

Flowery Branch 46, Lakeview Academy 35, 5th place game

North Hall 68, West Hall 44, 7th place game

Sportsmanship Award

Faris Mance, Gainesville

Most Valuable Player

Ty Cockfield, Johnson

All-Tournament team

Rod English, Johnson
ryson Jones, West Hall
Tae Turner, Lakeview Academy
Jordan Pulliam, Chestatee
Brock Wingo, North Hall
Tylor Brown, East Hall
Taylor Bourdage, Flowery Branch
D'Marcus Simonds, Gainesville
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GAINESVILLE -- Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson's Ty Cockfield was anything but in the first half Tuesday against rival Gainesville in the finals of the Lanierland Tournament.<br /> <br /> And Johnson coach Jeff Steele let it be known to his star guard.<br /> <br /> "We need him to be aggressive and he was really way too passive at the beginning," Steele said. "I told him to do what he does best."<br /> <br /> Cockfield, the Knights leading scorer, had just four points and the Knights were trailing 34-29 after two big Gainesville runs erased a 9-0 start for Johnson. He would also get a boost from the Gainesville student section, which chanted, 'Got no offers' early in the third quarter. That was all he needed.<br /> <br /> The 6-foot senior sparked an 18-6 Johnson run moments later slashing through the Red Elephants defense for eight points and two assists and then carried the Knights to an impressive 76-63 win over Gainesville for the title in a battle of unbeaten teams.<br /> <br /> The run turned a 40-35 Gainesville lead into a 53-46 Knights' advantage heading into the fourth quarter and fired up the rest of the Johnson bench.<br /> <br /> "I heard them," said Cockfield, who poured in 18 second half points to finish with 22 to go with five assists. "(The chant) kind of fired me up and coach told me to take control so that's what I decided to do. We came in wanting to make history and that's what we did."<br /> <br /> The win for the Knights (13-0) was the second straight Lanierland title, a first in the program's 54-year history. Steele said the team got an emotional lift before the game from his wife, who also serves as the team's official scorekeeper.<br /> <br /> "This team is a family and she came in and reminded everyone in the room of that," he said. "There wasn't a dry eye in the lockerroom. It was an inspiring speech. We won this game because we're a close-knit group. Everyone stepped up to pick up the slack if someone was struggling.<br /> <br /> "But it feels great to be able to do something that hasn't been done here before. We'll enjoy this for a few days and then get ready for the next game."<br /> <br /> Rod English, who finished with a team-high 25 points, would extend the Knights' lead just moments into the final period with a 3-pointer for a 56-46 lead. Gainesville (12-1) would not get closer than six the rest of the way.<br /> <br /> A big key for the Knights was forcing 23 Gainesville turnovers. Johnson had 11 turnovers for the game, but none after halftime.<br /> <br /> "You can't have that many turnovers against a good team like Johnson and expect to win," Gainesville coach Benjie Wood said. "Johnson played outstanding defense. You have to give them credit. They made the big plays when they needed them."<br /> <br /> Red Elephants' junior D'Marcus Simonds did everything he could to keep Gainesville within striking distance. He answered every big Johnson shot with one of his own in the fourth quarter. He would score the final 15 Gainesville points to finish with a game-high 33. The problem was he couldn't outscore the entire Johnson roster.<br /> <br /> Steele said after their semifinal win over Chestatee on Monday he was going to need everyone to contribute to have a chance against the Red Elephants. The Knights had four players with eight or more points and seven different players score. Simonds was the only player in double figures for Gainesville, which had just five players score.<br /> <br /> "Ty and Rod are going to get their points. The key for us is finding a couple of other guys to step up. They did that tonight," Steele said.<br /> <br /> It was just the opposite for the Red Elephants.<br /> <br /> "We couldn't make any shots for a while," Wood said. "We needed someone to step up but they played excellent defense on us and that was a factor."<br /> <br /> Andrew Sims finished with 10 points for Johnson before fouling out. Monte Nicholson added eight points for the Knights.<br /> <br /> Freshman Bailey Minor had nine points for Gainesville and fellow freshman K.J. Buffen had just five points one night after blitzing East Hall for 19 points and four blocks.<br /> <br /> <b>3rd place game</b><br /> <br /> <b>East Hall 71<br /> Chestatee 40</b><br /> <br /> East Hall opened the game with a 14-0 run and never looked back in taking the third-place victory.<br /> <br /> The Vikings (8-2) forced six Chestatee turnovers in the opening four minutes and held the War Eagles scoreless until a Rylee Camp shot with 1:34 left in the first quarter. East Hall took an 18-5 lead into the second quarter and then outscored Chestatee 22-10 in the second quarter for a 40-15 halftime lead.<br /> <br /> East Hall blew the game open in the third quarter with a 23-12 run. <br /> <br /> Tylor Brown had 17 points to lead the Vikings, who drained six 3-pointers. Jqcques Hopkins added 13 and Kyvon Davenport 10 points for East Hall.<br /> <br /> Chestatee (8-6) was led by Mikey Petraroi with nine points. Hunter Creamer and Jordan Pulliam each had six points for the War Eagles.<br /> <br /> In other consolation games on Tuesday,Flowery Branch beat Lakeview Academy 46-35 in the fifth-place game. In the seventh-place game, North Hall beat West Hall, 68-44.
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