LMS Tigers cream E.O. Coffman
Having defeated E.O. Coffman by 50 points in their first encounter of the season, the Lewisburg Middle School Tigers (11-4) once again had an easy time dispatching of the Panthers on Thursday night, as they beat their conference rival 43-25 at home.
Despite getting off to a slow start, the Tigers held a 24-11 lead at halftime before opening up a 24-point cushion at the end of the third quarter en route to claiming their 11th victory of the season.
Bolstered by a 7-of-13 shooting performance in the second quarter, Lewisburg finished with an 18-10 advantage in field goals and a 3-1 edge in three-pointers.
E.O. Coffman did outrebound LMS 36-26, but the Tigers held a 12-8 edge on the offensive glass and forced 27 Panther turnovers while committing only six miscues.
"I think our defensive pressure wore them down," said Lewisburg coach David Lovell. "They started turning the ball over and we took advantage in transition."
Center Darius McKenzie led LMS' offensive attack by pouring in a game high 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and a blocked shot. Malek Sain followed McKenzie with nine points and four steals, while Jay Howard added six points. D'Andre Brown and Zach Johnson also chipped in two points apiece for the Tigers and Dylan Jones had one point.
"I think Darius has been a key for us because he gets points inside the paint. When he gets the ball close to the basket, he's hard to stop," said Lovell.
Forward Austin Odum paced E.A. Cox with 11 points, while Craig Nix and Bryce Clifft tallied five and three points respectively.
After Lewisburg inched out to an early 4-2 lead on baskets by Sain and McKenzie, the Panthers closed the first quarter with a 9-3 run to pull ahead 11-7.
E.O. Coffman's lead would be short lived, however, as the Tigers dominated the second period and outscored the Panthers 17-0 in the stanza with the help of eight points from McKenzie, four points from Howard, and a Keiler trey to take a 24-11 advantage into halftime.
LMS continued to distance themselves from E.O. Coffman in the third quarter by putting together a 15-4 run behind five points from McKenzie and a Sain three to forge a 39-15 lead.
The Panthers then outscored the Tiger reserves 10-4 in the fourth period for the 43-25 final.