LMS Tigers pull away from Whitthorne
On Monday night, the Lewisburg Middle School Tigers (8-0) completed the season sweep of Whitthorne Middle School by defeating WMS 57-27 at home.
Having crushed Whitthorne 65-19 in their previous meeting on Nov. 29, Lewisburg had trouble shaking WMS early on in Monday's contest and trailed for much of the first half before taking a 24-17 lead into the break.
Whitthorne narrowed the gap to 26-22 early in the third quarter, but the Tigers turned on the afterburners and outscored WMS 31-5 the rest of the way to cruise to the 30-point victory.
"We came out sluggish and just didn't have the same fire in the first half that we had against them in the previous game," said Lewisburg coach David Lovell. "The guys might have thought that they could just show up and win without putting forth the right effort. The first half was a good wakeup call for us."
Bolstered by a 15-of-31 shooting performance in the second half, the Tigers shot 45 percent (25-of-56) from the field overall against Whitthorne's 3-2 zone, which included a 3-of-13 effort from three-point range. Lewisburg also outrebounded WMS and held an 11-2 edge on the offensive glass.
Despite hitting 4-of-6 shots in the first quarter, Whitthorne finished with a mere eight field goals on 27 percent shooting, while the Tigers recorded 23 steals en route to forcing 36 WMS turnovers.
"Offensively, we did a better job of getting the ball inside against their zone in the second half. Plus the weakness of the zone is rebounding and we did a better job of getting offensive rebounds," said Lovell. "I thought the key to our run was speeding up the game and getting them to play faster than they were comfortable playing."
D'Andre Brown led three Tiger players in double figures with 17 points and eight steals. Jay Howard also tallied 14 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocked shots, while Caleb Fields added 12 points and four steals. Tre Crutcher and Keevon Maxwell chipped in six points apiece for Lewisburg as well, and Donathon Tears had two points.
Cameron Harvey paced WMS with 11 points, while Kenyante Davis notched nine points.
Whitthorne jumped out to a 9-4 lead late in the first quarter before Howard and Brown scored consecutive layups to slice the deficit to 9-8 at the end of the stanza.
After Davis converted a three-point play at the start of the second period to make it 12-8, the Tigers knotted the game at 12-12 thanks to layups from Brown and Fields.
WMS then pulled ahead 14-12 on two free throws by Kris Armstrong, but Lewisburg closed the half with a 12-3 run, highlighted by a Brown three-point play and a pair of treys from Fields and Maxwell, to seize a 24-17 advantage.
In the third quarter, the Tigers stretched their lead to 26-17 on a layup by Fields before Harvey tallied five straight points to close the gap to 26-22.
Lewisburg then opened up some breathing room by putting together a 10-0 run behind six points from Brown to push their lead to 36-22 late in the third.
Harvey hit a runner to trim the deficit to 36-24, but the Tigers kept their foot on the gas and outscored Whitthorne 21-0 over the next six minutes on the strength of eight points from Howard, a Maxwell trey, and a couple of three-point plays from Brown and Fields to forge a 57-24 advantage late in the fourth period before claiming the 57-27 win.