LMS Tigers crush Cheatham County
On Saturday, the Lewisburg Middle School Tigers advanced to the championship game of the TMSAA Middle Tennessee Class AA Sectional tournament for the second straight year by hammering the Cheatham County Bearcats 43-7 in the semifinals at E.O. Coffman Middle School.
Cheatham County had defeated Bridgeforth 31-24 in the opening round of the tournament, but proved to be no match for the Tigers. Lewisburg built a 30-2 lead in the first half before outscoring the Bearcats 13-5 over the final two quarters to run their record to 18-0 on the season.
Playing stifling man-to-man defense, the Tigers limited Cheatham County to a mere two field goals on 12 percent shooting, while the Bearcats finished with almost twice as many turnovers (30) as shot attempts (17).
Despite missing all 11 three-point attempts, LMS shot a respectable 42 percent (20-of-48) from the field overall, highlighted by a 10-of-15 shooting performance in the second quarter.
Lewisburg also committed just seven turnovers, outrebounded the Bearcats 30-18, and held a 19-4 edge on the offensive boards.
"I think this was the most focused effort we've had this season especially on the defensive end. It was one of the best defensive efforts I've seen in a middle school game," said Tiger coach David Lovell. "I think the guys realize that this is a special group. You don't get many chances in life to be a part of something like this and they want to finish it off right."
Forward Jay Howard led LMS with 12 points on six-of-nine shooting to go along with five rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Tre Crutcher followed Howard with 10 points and seven rebounds, and Caleb Fields added nine points and four steals. D'Andre Brown and Quavion Harris chipped in five points apiece for Lewisburg as well with Brown recording five assists and five steals, while Dayveonte Brown had two points.
Bryce Pendleton and Brandon Bishop paced Cheatham County with three points each, and Nate Saunders had one point.
The Tigers pounced on the Bearcats at the start of the game and jumped out to a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter with the help of four points from Howard and baskets from D'Andre Brown, Fields, and Dayveonte Brown.
Pendleton hit a jumper in the waning moments of the first period to trim the deficit to 10-2, but things went from bad to worse for Cheatham County in the second, as LMS outscored the Bearcats 20-0 in the quarter behind 10 points from Crutcher and four points apiece from Howard and Fields to take a 30-2 cushion into halftime.
The Tigers continued to rapidly distance themselves from Cheatham County at the start of the second half and tallied the first seven points of the third quarter on a Fields layup, a free throw from D'Andre Brown, and a pair of baskets from Howard to push their lead to 37-2.
After Saunders hit one-of-two free throws to trim the deficit to 37-3 late in the third period, Lewisburg went on a 6-1 run on the strength of five points from Harris to forge a 43-4 advantage with 2:17 left in the fourth before taking home the 43-7 triumph.