Arizona’s Bella Vista claims crown in South Carolina

Bella Vista (AZ) spoiled St. Frances’ holiday trip to Columbia, SC for the annual Chick-Fil-A Classic, defeating the second-ranked Panthers, 55-46, Saturday evening, to win the National Division championship game.

No St. Frances player scored in the double figures in the contest and most of the Panthers’ stars were held in check. Carlos Alexander led St. Frances (14-3) with nine points.

Bella Vista led 23-22 at halftime and took control of the game early in the second half.

Bella Vista is the first team from Arizona to win a championship in the 17-year tournament. The Bears and Hillcrest Prep were the first two Arizona teams to play in the tournament when they entered this year.

Addison Patterson scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds to lead Bella Vista. He was named to the All-Tournament team. Bella Vista senior and University of Arizona signee Terry Armstrong was named the National Division Tournament MVP. Armstrong averaged 18.3 points a game.

Panthers junior guard Adrian Baldwin was named to the All-Tournament team. St. Frances reached the final with a 59-58 win over Tennessee’s Memphis East, which featured the nation’s No. 1 recruit in Memphis commit James Wiseman, and a 53-44 win over St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ).

Chic-fil-a Classic

at Richland Northeast (SC)

National Bracket final

Bella Vista (AZ) 55, No. 2 St Frances Academy 46

Bella Vista – Patterson 17, Armstrong 8, Talbot 8, Elame 6, Galbrath 5, Bell 5, Issanza 4, Tshimanga 2.

St. Frances – Alexander 9, Baldwin 7, Toles 7, Murphy 6, Jones 5, West 4, Brown 4, Montague 4.