December 30, 2023, Myrtle Beach (SC) Convention Center – In a dazzling display of high school basketball, Great Crossing (KY) faced off against Bishop O’Connell (VA) in the championship game of the 2023 Beach Ball Classic. It was a contest not just of skill but of sheer will, as both teams fought tooth and nail, extending the game to an electrifying double overtime.
Great Crossing, with an unblemished record of 12-0 on the line, brought their A-game with Malachi Moreno leading the charge. Moreno’s staggering 24 points and an impressive 25 rebounds were a testament to his prowess on the court. Yet, in basketball, it’s a team game, and his teammates, notably Jeremiah Godfrey and Vince Dawson III, contributed significantly, scoring 19 and 17 points, respectively.
Bishop O’Connell, holding a strong 10-2 record, responded in kind. Bryson Tucker, with his sharpshooting skills, racked up 27 points, becoming a crucial playmaker for his team. Wyatt Norton’s 21 points and AJ Swinton’s decisive plays in the clutch moments kept the game on a razor’s edge.
As the game unfolded, the lead seesawed between the teams, with Bishop O’Connell initially dominating but Great Crossing clawing back fiercely. The score tied multiple times, and the lead changed hands more often than the waves hit the sands of the Myrtle Beach shoreline. It was a battle of strategies, a test of endurance, and above all, a showcase of young talent at its finest.
In the end, it was Bishop O’Connell who edged out a victory with a narrow final score of 77-74 in double overtime. The final moments of the second overtime were a blend of tactical plays, nerve-wracking shots, and heart-stopping misses. But when the final buzzer sounded, it was Bishop O’Connell’s day to celebrate.
This game was more than just a win or loss; it was a celebration of high school basketball at its finest. Players from both teams showed potential that goes beyond the high school courts, hinting at bright futures in colege and beyond.
As the crowd dispersed, they knew they had witnessed a game that would be talked about for years to come. In the heart of Myrtle Beach, two teams gave it their all, and in the end, basketball was the true winner.