Blooming Grove might have a little trouble reviving its winter basketball tournament, especially if it keeps beating all of the invites.

Both the girls and boys basketball teams won their respective titles at the Blooming Grove tournament, which the school hosted Friday and Saturday. The Lady Lions went undefeated in pool play beating Wortham 58-47, and the boys team won the four-team bracket tournament by beating Wortham as well, 56-39 in the championship game.

The boys team — the Lions — were dominant on offense for the tournament, routing Ennis St. John’s 88-33 in Friday’s first round.

“We’ve just played good ball the last two days,” Blooming Grove coach Fancy Dan Johnson said. “We’re shooting the ball with confidence and we’re starting to get a team chemistry going that we didn’t have early in the season.”

Leading the offensive surge was sharpshooter Darius Harris, who led the Lions in scoring (19 points) against St. John’s and hit 3-of-4 three pointers in the championship game against Wortham.

In that game, Blooming Grove’s platoon of players capitalized on mistakes made by the Bulldogs (2-5) to jump out to a double-digit lead in the first half.

Ryan Jones led the Lions with 12 points, but Blooming Grove got contributions from almost all of its 11 active players. Six players had at least three rebounds and eight players registered at least one point.

Wortham tried to get back into the game, but 16 turnovers and an inability to make shots cost the Bulldogs.

A bright spot for Wortham was the play of De’Andre Thomas, who had a game-high 14 rebounds and led the team with 13 points.

Despite Thomas’ play, Bulldogs coach Lance Strebeck wasn’t complimentary of his team.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Strebeck said. “We were pitiful on both sides.”

In the girls final, Blooming Grove and Wortham got a chance to have a rare early-season rematch.

The two teams met earlier this season for each team’s first game with the Lady Lions going on the road and beating Wortham 43-32.

On Saturday, Blooming Grove won by 11 again, but it wasn’t easy.

In a physical championship game, Blooming Grove’s rebounding and free-throw shooting helped the Lady Lions pull away.

Brandee Stout, the versatile Lions forward, led Blooming Grove with 23 points and 14 rebounds.

“Stout, she’s got some muscle,” Lady Bulldogs coach Anthony Branch said. “She’s a threat — she can play inside or out.”

The aptly named Stout battled Wortham in the paint along with Lady Lions post Kelsie Tipping, who had six rebounds and scored nine of her 15 points off of free throws.

Blooming Grove hit all but one of its 21 free throws and out rebounded Wortham 37-21.

Although Lady Lions coach Kendra Atkinson said it wasn’t the most physical game her team has played this season, it didn’t diminish how rough the game was. Blooming Grove’s Johnna Smith was removed early in the game for an open cut and Lady Bulldogs forward Sarah Owens had to go to the bench for a moment with a bloody mouth.

Both incididences were a result of two determined teams according to Blooming Grove coach Kendra Atkinson.

“I think coach Branch pushes the same thing, get after it get on the floor after the loose ball,” Atkinson said. “Both teams did a great job hustling for the ball — they wanted to win.”

But only Blooming Grove took home the big trophies, unless you count the one-foot long, three-column, wood and brass trophies presented to Wortham’s boys and girls teams for finishing second.

“I like the trophy,” Strebeck said. “Blooming Grove’s always generous — I like coming here.”

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