CPA bulldozes past Marshall County

Friday, January 24, 2014
Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber Marshall County's Chris Walker shoots a runner over CPA's Braxton Blackwell in the second quarter.

After winning their four previous conference games by an average of 45.5 points, Christ Presbyterian Academy steamrolled another District 12-AA foe on Tuesday night when they thumped the Marshall County Tigers 82-40 in Lewisburg.

Boasting five players on their roster that have either signed or received Division I scholarship offers in various sports, the Lions (21-1, 5-0 District) simply had too much firepower for MCHS (12-6, 3-1 District) and built a 45-28 lead in the first half before outscoring the Tigers 37-12 over the final two quarters to claim the 42-point victory.

Bolstered by an 11-of-11 shooting performance from sophomore center Braxton Blackwell, CPA shot a sizzling 63 percent (35-of-56) from the floor overall, while knocking down 8-of-22 three-pointers and committing only 13 turnovers. The Lions also outrebounded Marshall County 32-17 and held a 9-8 edge on the offensive glass.

Star player

With North Carolina head coach Roy Williams on hand to watch his performance, Blackwell led four CPA players in double figures with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Jake Allsmiller followed Blackwell with 18 points, while point guard Braxton Bonds tallied 16 points, 10 assists, and three steals. Thomas Richard notched 11 points for the Lions as well.

The Tigers were unable to overcome CPA's significant height advantage in the front court and mustered only 14 field goals on 30 percent shooting, which included a 2-of-12 effort from beyond the arc, while committing 17 turnovers.

"We wanted to push the ball after they scored so they couldn't set up their press, but we missed a few close range shots early and maybe it hurt our confidence," said MCHS coach Adrian Wilson. "Their big guy may have had something to do with that, but our shot selection steadily got worse throughout the game."

Marshall County's Kacy Pleas fires up a jumper over CPA's Sam Johnson in the second quarter.

Junior guard Chris Walker was the biggest bright spot for Marshall County and paced the Tigers with 18 points and five steals. D'Andre Brown also notched six points, while Malek Sain and Kacy Pleas chipped in five points apiece. Darious McKenzie and Tre Crutcher rounded out the scoring for MCHS with four points each.

'Good decisions'

"Chris always steps up against quality competition. If we didn't have him, we would have been in a lot more trouble tonight. He was our main ball handler and made good decisions," said Wilson.

The Lions set the tone early and jumped out to an 11-2 lead midway through the first quarter.

After Marshall County tallied the next four points on two Brown free throws and a layup by McKenzie to cut the deficit to 11-6, CPA responded with a 12-2 spurt to open up a 23-8 advantage early in the second quarter.

The Tigers put together a 7-2 run with the help of five points from Walker and a Brown layup to narrow the gap to 25-15, but the Lions outscored MCHS 20-13 over the final 6:20 of the half to push their lead to 45-28.

CPA then blew the game wide open in the third quarter by engineering a 20-6 run to forge a 65-34 advantage with 1:15 left in the stanza.

Sain hit a three-pointer from beyond the half court line as time expired in the third period to trim the deficit to 65-37 before the Lions outscored Marshall County 17-3 in the fourth quarter to cap their 82-40 triumph.