LMS Tigers take home Sectional championship
The Lewisburg Middle School Tigers (17-4) claimed their third TMSAA Sectional tournament title in four years by posting three double digit victories at Charlotte Middle School last week.
After defeating tournament host Charlotte 47-34 in the first round on Tuesday, the Tigers whipped conference rival Spring Hill 39-26 on Friday in the semifinals before beating Harpeth 46-32 in the championship game on Saturday.
"The athletes have been here and have bought into the expectations of winning, playing hard, and playing good defense. They're willing to do what it takes to play winning basketball," said Lewisburg coach David Lovell. "I thought we could do this when the season started. We had two 7th grade starters and I felt they would improve as the season went along. Once we started playing good defense I felt like we could make a run."
On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Tigers pounced on Charlotte early and jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the first quarter on the strength of five points from point guard D'Andre Brown and a basket from Dylan Jones before opening up a 19-11 advantage at halftime with the help of three points from Jay Howard and a Curtis Keiler trey.
After pushing their lead to 32-23 in the third period behind five points from Brown and four points from Howard, LMS outscored Charlotte 15-11 in the fourth thanks to five points apiece from Brown and Darius McKenzie to cap their 47-34 triumph.
Brown spearheaded the Tigers' offensive attack by pouring in a game high 16 points. Howard followed Brown with eight points, while Keiler and McKenzie tallied seven points apiece. Malek Sain, Steven Dangerfield, and Jones chipped in four, three, and two points respectively for Lewisburg as well.
In the semifinals, Lewisburg took on the Spring Hill Generals for the fourth time this season. Having won the first three encounters, the Tigers inched out to 4-2 lead in the first quarter thanks to baskets from Howard and Brown, but broke the game open in the second by putting together a 14-0 run on the strength of five points from Brown and four points apiece from McKenzie and Howard to forge an 18-2 advantage at halftime.
Lewisburg maintained their 16-point cushion in the third and held a 30-14 lead at the end of the quarter with the help of four points apiece from Sain, Brown, and McKenzie before cruising to the 39-26 victory.
Brown led the Tigers with 16 points, while McKenzie and Howard tallied 10 and eight points respectively. Sain rounded out the scoring for LMS with five points.
Tylin Oden paced Spring Hill with 13 points, while Justin Oden had five points. Noah Williams and Adam Westra also chipped in four points apiece for the Generals.
On Saturday, LMS faced off against the Harpeth Indians in the title game and jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the first quarter thanks to four points apiece from Sain and McKenzie.
After extending their lead to 19-13 in the second with the help of five points from Dangerfield and four points from Howard, the Tigers opened up some breathing room in the third by putting together a 15-8 run behind seven points from Keiler and threes from Sain and Brown to forge a 34-21 advantage.
Lewisburg then outscored Harpeth 12-11 in the fourth period on the strength of six points from Howard and three points from Sain to wrap up their 46-32 win.
Sain and Howard led LMS with 10 points each, while McKenzie added nine points. Keiler tallied seven points as well and Dangerfield notched five points. Brown also chipped in three points for the Tigers and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while Jones had two points.
"This was the most balanced team I've coached here. Someone different stepped up every night. It seemed like we had two or three guys in double figures every game," said Lovett.
Bradley Baker and T.C. Newton paced the Indians with 13 and 12 points respectively. Zane Hutton notched five points for Harpeth as well and Drake Fullum had two points.