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Patriots find success over holiday break
The Heritage Patriots picked up a pair of wins over the holiday break at the Walnut Grove Christmas Tournament, defeating Monroe Area and Jefferson in the annual Christmas clash. - photo by Matt Smith

After suffering an opening-round defeat to Athens Christian in the first round of the Walnut Grove Christmas Tournament, the Heritage Patriots varsity basketball team picked up a pair of victories over Monroe Area and Jefferson, capping off its holiday week with a 2-1 mark in the tournament.

The Patriots earned an 82-49 win over Monroe Area before defeating Jefferson 63-53.

Isaiah Banks and Rashad Jones led the Patriots with 10 points each against Jefferson, but Heritage went into the break down 27-24.

The Patriots responded in the third quarter, outscoring the Dragons 21-10 in the first period after the break. Heritage outscored Jefferson 18-16 in the final quarter to hold on for the 10-point victory.

Heritage shot just 39 percent from the floor, but Banks led the Patriots with an 80 percent mark, hitting four of his five shots.

Banks also led the team in rebounding with eight boards, while Terrell Rainey finished with eight rebounds and a block.

The Patriots earned their first win of the holiday season with an 82-49 victory over Monroe Area, limiting the Purple Hurricanes to 20 first-half points.

Heritage jumped on Monroe Area early, outscoring the Purple Hurricanes 21-6 in the first quarter.

Monroe Area responded with 20 points in the fourth quarter, but the Patriots built up a 56-29 lead heading into the final period of play, putting the contest out of reach.

San Marteen Rozier, Jordan Thomas and Trevor Campbell led the Patriots in double figures, with Rozier and Thomas scoring 12 points apiece, while Campbell finished with 10.

JaDarius Smith led Heritage with nine rebounds, while Banks finished with eight rebounds and two steals.

Andrew Harris paced Heritage with five assists and four steals.

Heritage fell in the opening round of the tournament to Athens Christian 67-55. The loss was the first game back for Athens Christian's Will Jackson, a 6-foot-4 Division I guard prospect who holds offers from Kansas, Florida and Connecticut.

Heritage returns to action Tuesday at home against Apalachee.