The LMS Tigers, the defending Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association champions made an early season statement in defense of their title Thursday night in Lewisburg, chasing the E. O. Coffman Panthers out of the den in a big 52-25 win.
It was the third straight win for the Tigers, who moved to 3-1 on the season with Thursday night's win over the Panthers.
LMS head coach David Lovell's squad also has wins over Fayetteville and Whitthorne. Their only loss was a 52-45 set-back on opening night versus Meridianville.
Lovell said after the game, "We played well. We played with a lot of energy. We picked up on the defensive end and ran the ball on the break very good. We really, really moved the ball well and were cutting and hitting the open man. They are very unselfish."
The Tigers were 17-1 last season.
Coffman's Ben Farrington scored first before Lewisburg's Aaron Medley grabbed a rebound and put it back in, tying the game.
LMS point guard Aaron Hobbs drove the lane for a three-point play and moments later, Chris Walker banged home a three bomb, making it 8-2.
After a Coffman turnover, Hobbs found Medley underneath for a score.
Two possessions later, Medley scored again, making it 12-2.
Coffman's Parks Hartsfield finally got one back before Hobbs scored again.
Hartsfield's late bucket made it 14-6 after the first quarter.
Defense was the name of the game in the second for LMS, holding Coffman to just one bucket.
Hobbs scored six points in the period and had two steals, while Medley owned the boards, and Austin Stacey scored two, giving the Tigers a 22-8 halftime lead.
The third period began just the outset of the game with Coffman scoring first.
After the initial Panther basket the floodgates opened for LMS as they went on a back breaking 21-5 run, putting Coffman away for good.
Stacey went ballistic in the period, scoring 13 of his season high 15 points.
Grayson Wiles netted a half dozen in the 3rd quarter and Walker scored one basket as the Panthers were in shock after18 minutes of play, trailing 43-15.
Lewisburg led by as many as 30 in the fourth before Lovell called off the cats.
Hobbs led the Tigers with 18 points and is averaging 13.8 points per game. Stacey's 15 improved his per game average to 9.8.
Medley (8.0) and Wiles (4.5) had six each, Walker scored 5 (5.9), and Kacy Pleas had 2 points.
Asked if this year's Tigers squad had a chance to repeat the TMSAA title, Lovell smiled and said, "Oh, no question. That is our goal."
Second half barrage keeps Tigerettes winless on season
In the early game, the LMS Tigerettes remained winless on the season at 0-4 after falling 36-24 to the Lady Panthers.
LMS never led, but stayed within reach of the Lady Panthers for much of the first half before a 15-3 third quarter sealed their fate.
The Lewisburg gals came out inspired, hanging tough with the talented Coffman squad.
Jameka Braden scored all four of the Tigerettes points in the 1st quarter, leaving them in an 11-4 hole after six minutes.
LMS picked up the defense in the second quarter, which led to the Tigerettes outscoring Coffman 5-4.
Mecia Reed had a steal and a long three-pointer in the period and Allison Hargrove came off the pine to get a basket and shore up the defense.
Reed scored on one of two from the free throw line to begin the 3rd quarter, but after that Coffman went off, scoring 15 out of the next 17 points in the quarter and led by 18 points after three periods.
The Tigerettes came out determined in the last quarter, beginning with a Braden bucket down low and a three-pointer by Mary Kate McGehee, cutting the Lady Panther lead to 30-17 and forcing a Coffman timeout.
Bethany Watson and Kiona Gibert scored back-to-back baskets for Coffman after the timeout, re-opening a 17-point spread with just over two minutes to play in the game.
After that, LMS could not any closer than the eventual 12-point deficit.
Reed and McGehee had 7 points each to lead the Tigerettes in the ballgame.
Braden finished with 6 points and Hargrove and Michala Hopkins finished with two points each.