LMS splits home games with Cox
The Lewisburg Middle School Tigers and Tigerettes took to the floor at Lewisburg for the last time this season on Thursday and garnered a split of a twin bill with E.A. Cox as the girls won and the boys lost.
The Tigerettes turned in a solid performance in the first game, taking down the Lady Cougars 39-25 as three LMS players posted double digits in the scoring column with Karlye Wiser and Kelsey Keiler netted 11 points apiece and Hannah Davis knocked in 10.
"In terms of scoring, we must have balance in order to score with the consistency we need to," LMS coach Chris Coleman said. "It was very nice to have three players in double figures tonight. I'm proud of the way we shared the ball and put it in the basket."
Back from behind
LMS trailed at 4-3 early before scoring seven straight points on a Keiler 3-pointer and field goals by Davis and Abby McGehee.
"It was great to get off to a strong start, we hit a couple early threes and did a good job of executing defensively," Coleman said. "Aside from a sloppy stretch late in the second quarter where we turned the ball over a few times, I was very pleased with our overall performance."
Lewisburg stayed strong in the second period, going up by as many as 11 points at 17-6 on a Keiler 3-pointer with three minutes to go in the quarter.
The Lady Cougars would mount a comeback, cutting the LMS lead to five points after a Makiyah Edwards bucket, but a Wiser 3-point buzzer-beater gave Lewisburg a 20-12 lead at the intermission.
Getting it together
Wiser ended another E.A. Cox run with a 3-pointer midway through the third quarter and Davis followed with a bucket in the paint as the Tigerettes entered the fourth period with a 33-18 lead.
"I really liked how we raised our level of play on both ends of the floor after halftime and put the game away when we had the opportunity," Coleman said. "With the tournament right around the corner, we are preaching that it is time to start putting it all together as our best basketball of the season will be needed for us to perform in the postseason like we want."
Baskets by Keiler and Davis at the outset of the fourth quarter did put the game on ice as the Tigerettes cruised home with the home finale win.
"We emphasize that the main purpose of the regular season is to get us prepared for tournament time and I feel our performance last night was a good step in that direction," Coleman stated.
The Tigerettes (13-2) beat Fairview on the road Monday, setting up preparation for the 42nd Annual James C. Haile Middle School Tournament at Middle Tennessee Christian School on Saturday.
"This team has been a dream to work with and coach. They have totally bought in and done everything asked of them since day one. They have an inner drive to be successful that makes my job as their coach so much easier," Coleman said.
Lewisburg opens up tournament play at 2 p.m. Saturday versus Avery Trace Middle School from Cookeville with second round action continuing the following Saturday at 7 p.m.
"We have a tremendous group of eighth grade leaders and our seventh graders have followed suit," Coleman said "I'm very proud of each them. We have improved as the season has progressed and I expect our best ball is still in front of us."
EA Cox 4 8 6 7-25
LMS 10 10 13 6-39
EA Cox-Janiyah Riley 8, Makiyah Edwards 5, Tasiyah Lyles 4, Janice Bailey 3, Kemani Knight 3, Kalasia Odom 2.
LMS-Kelsey Keiler 14, Karlye Wiser 11, Hannah Davis 10, Cortney Agnew 2, Abby McGehee 2.
Three-point goals-Wiser 3, Keiler 2.
Free throws-Keiler 4-4.
Halftime score-LMS 20, EA Cox 12.
Tigers fade in fourth, fall to Cougars
Things looked good at the start of the contest for the Tigers as a Canelius Turner basket to open the game, followed by a Cougar turnover leading to an Andrew Gold bucket gave LMS an early 4-0 lead.
Lewisburg would lead 8-4 at the end of the first quarter before the Cougars scored the first three points in the second period to cut the Tigers' lead to a single digit at 8-7.
Gold and Keshawn Frierson traded buckets before one foul shot by Jaylin Duncan tied the game at 10.
The low scoring period ended with Javaria Rucker and Duncan trading baskets, making it 12-12 at the intermission.
Tied at 14-14, Turner scored for the Tigers, but they would not score again in the period as Terez Smith and Ahqueeza Martin banged down 3-pointers for the Cougars, who led 20-16, entering the fourth period.
The Cougars kept the heat on the Tigers, going on a 9-1 run to begin the stanza, including another Smith trey.
A Matthew McCormick basket with just over two minutes to go in the game cut the E.A. Cox lead to 29-22 before the bottom fell out on Lewisburg.
Four consecutive LMS turnovers led to eight Cougars' points and visitors claimed the 13-point win.
"I was very proud of the team's effort last night. I felt like they competed and really played hard," LMS coach David Lovell said. "Unfortunately, the flurry of turnovers late put the game out of reach, and we just didn't shoot well."
The Tigers (2-12) open up play in the James C. Haile on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. versus Prescott South Middle Boys, also out of Cookeville.
"I think that if we play hard, play good defense, and take better care of the ball, we have a chance to compete with the teams in the tournament," Lovell stated.
The Tigers' second round game will be on Monday January, 25 at 5:45 p.m. if they advance.
EA Cox 4 8 8 17-37
LMS 8 4 4 8-24
EA Cox-Keshawn Frierson 12, Terez Smith 10, Ahqueeza Martin 5, Jaylin Duncan 5, Khyre McClain 3, Devin Reynolds.
Three-point goals-Smith 2, Martin.
Free throws-McClain1-2, Frierson 0-2, Smith 0-2, Duncan 1-4.
LMS-Andrew Gold 10, Canelius Turner 7, Matthew McCormick 4, Javaria Rucker 2, A'ky Howard 1.
Free throw-Gold 0-1, A'Ky Howard 1-2.
Halftime score-LMS 12, EA Cox 12.