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December 27, 2013

WEST POINT CHRISTMAS TOURNEY: Warriors, Cold Springs enter final day with 2-0 records

WEST POINT — As tournament director, West Point coach Randy Jones wants all participants to head home happy at the end of each day.

But not too happy.

No one could blame the Warriors for being ungracious hosts on Friday, as Will Wrenn and Ryder Jones took care of business in the paint and on the perimeter to hold off Priceville for a 64-57 victory.

The Maroon and White led by as many as 15 points in the first half and 10 multiple times in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs were determined not to go down without a fight.

West Point never fully let its Day 2 opponent get back in it, though, stretching a three-point advantage with 4:50 remaining out to a slightly more comfortable cushion the Bulldogs ultimately couldn’t overcome.

Jones scored six of his 22 points in the final stretch, while Bryant Farley sank a pair of late free throws for his only points to keep Priceville at bay.

“I was proud of the guys for keeping their focus and composure and finishing off the game,” said coach Jones, whose squad improved to 9-7 overall and 2-0 in tournament play. “We could’ve easily lost our composure and lost that one. We’re still young, but we’re maturing really well. I like where we are right now.”

Warrior fans have had more than a season to watch the younger Jones’ maturation process, but they’ve just started to see the kind of potential Wrenn possesses.

The 6-foot forward kicked off the scoring with a 3-pointer and never really let up, sinking three more treys along the way. Wrenn worked his magic inside during the second quarter and eventually set up shop from behind the arc for much of the third and fourth frames. No matter his placement on the court, the junior was as good as gold — and Jones couldn’t have been happier.

The coach also couldn’t help but talk up the steady improvement of Farley at point guard.

“Both those guys are JV guys from last year, and they’re just getting better,” Jones said of the two. “I think we’ve got some pieces that people have a hard time stopping inside or outside. The guys did a good job of setting Will up tonight, and he knocked down some shots. Will can do that. He’s a good shooter.”

West Point senior Tristan Dubberly followed up a dazzling Day 1 performance with seven points. Levi Laney, Tanner Rusk and Zack Tilley all piled on three points apiece, while Riley Voce netted one.

Ryley Mason came through with 23 points for the Bulldogs. Kaleb Barker had 14.

The Warriors will likely need to get by Lawrence County Friday at 6:30 p.m. to stay in the running for the tournament’s Cullman County trophy. If two teams tie for the top spot, the title comes down to opponents' records. The final tiebreaker would be the least points allowed for the tourney.

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