Tigers finish perfect, their way
The LMS Tigers have been the dominant force in middle school basketball for five years, adding feat after remarkable feat and on Thursday night in Lewisburg, they etched another mark in the record books, finishing an undefeated regular season (13-0) their way, via a 56-19 run and gun thrashing over E. A. Cox.
"We have put a lot of work in, a lot of time, a lot of practice and the boys have played hard this year, we have played together," said LMS head coach David Lovell.
Lovell, who picked up his first win as Tiger head coach in Nov. of 2007, has guided the Tigers to an 87-22 overall record in six seasons with Lewisburg, while claiming three out the last four TMSAA Sectional Tournament titles.
"I have been fortunate and been blessed to have a lot of talent," said Lovell. "But also, these are just good kids and they work hard and they get along with one another. I have just had some special groups."
E.A. Cox's Javari Braden scored first Thursday night, making Lovell a touch edgy, but not much as the Tigers exploded in their trademark engulfing-mode, causing turnover after turnover with relentless defense, resulting in fast break baskets and wide-open three-bombs.
"I think it made them a little mad when they scored first," said Lovell.
LMS scorched the cords for 19 consecutive points the remainder of the first quarter with nine of those markers coming on a pair of treys by D'Andre Brown and one by Dayveonte Brown.
"That is our foundation, that is what we talk about all the time is it starts with our defense," said Lovell. "We want to get the game up-tempo and most teams can't play us."
The second quarter was a typical six minutes of fury for LMS, beginning harmlessly with a rebound and put-back by Jay Howard.
Keep up now.
Caleb Fields drilled a three-pointer for Lewisburg after a Cougar miscue, a steal and dish by Tre Crutcher to Dayveonte Brown on the run and a steal and score by D'Andre Brown made it 28-2.
E. A. Cox called timeout with 4:16 remaining in the first half.
Yes, the Cougars coughed it up after the stoppage and Fields drilled another three-bomb, and after a Cougar brick at the other end, Crutcher rained home a three-pointer to make it 34-2.
Oh yeah, E.A. Cox finally scored again on a free throw by Gavin Bailey with 3:11 left in the first half, making it 34-3.
Lovell went to the bench, calling off the elder Tigers and in pounced the young cats with J.Q. Haislip and Keevon Maxwell banging down long three-pointers, plus Dayveonte Brown's half-ending basket that put LMS way out in front 42-7.
The starters returned to spread some icing on the cake at the outset of the second half with D'Andre Brown scoring twice and Howard and Dayveonte Brown adding a basket apiece to open up a 45-point lead at 52-7.
Lovell emptied the bench with four minutes to go in the third quarter.
Quavion Harris scored the last four points for Lewisburg in the remainder of the contest as the Tigers won by 37 points.
D'Andre Brown led all scorers with 14 points (2 treys, five assists); Fields also ended up in double figures with 10 points (2 treys) and Dayveonte Brown scored nine points (1 trey).
Crutcher added seven points (1 trey), Howard netted six points, (1 trey, nine rebounds, 5 assists), Harris had four points in the paint, and Haislip and Maxwell had one three-pointer apiece.
The Tigers take on Hickman County Middle School in the first round of The Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association Area Tournament on Sat. at 7:45 p.m. at Lewis County High School in Hohenwald.
The sectional tournament will begin next weekend at E.O. Coffman Middle School in Lawrenceburg.
"It would be a disappointment if we didn't win the whole thing, that has been our goal from the start of the year," said Lovell. "We have taken it one game at a time, but that is where we want it to lead, to the championship."