Hot-shooting foes end LMS boys' year

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Ak'y Howard attempts a free throw Saturday during the James C. Haile Tournament at Murfreesboro. Tribune photos by Mike Inglsbee

The Lewisburg Middle School boys traveled to Murfreesboro for the season-ending James C. Haile Tournament at Middle Tennessee Christian School to take on Prescott South from Cookeville in the first round of the large school division.

The Tigers (2-14) stayed even early, but a big second quarter and the Bulldogs' ability to hold Tigers leading scorer Canelius Turner to just two points culminated in a 56-22 loss.

On target

The Tigers had a definite size advantage but LMS coach David Lovell knew from the get go that the Bulldogs would make up for the size deficient with quality shooting.

"I wasn't surprised of how good they were because I watched how many shots they hit in warm-ups and I thought 'This team can really shoot'," Lovell said. "That's why we had to come out of our zone so quick because they shot us out of it."

The Bulldogs' Brandon Gilliam came out on fire with three first quarter 3-pointers, but the Tigers managed buckets from Matthew McCormick, Andrew Gold and A'Ky Howard in the opening period for a manageable six point deficit at 12-6.

Rough quarter

Gilliam would add seven more second quarter points and the Tigers would manage just three Howard points and the Prescott lead ballooned to 31-9 at the break.

"We could have done a better job stopping their shooting and getting to the shooters more quickly," Lovell said. "We could have done better at contesting those shots as well."

The Tigers came out with a little more fire in the third quarter, playing almost evenly with the Bulldogs, but the halftime lead was too much to overcome and the benches were cleared for the final quarter.

Canelius Turner (5) calls for the ball in the Tigers' season-ending loss to Prescott South Middle School.

Twins lead

The Hazel twins (Kaomil and Joamil) led the Tigers with a combined five fourth quarter points and the Tigers played tough to the end, but the Bulldogs' great shooting was too much for the Tigers to overcome.

Despite winning just two games during the 2015-16 season Lovell thought the season was still a success.

"I felt like over the course of the season we did improve as a team," Lovell said. "I felt like the guys got better individually as players and I feel like we did have fun. There were some positive experiences throughout the season so we try to remember those instead of the bad."

LMS 6 3 6 7-22

Prescott South 12 19 8 12-56

LMS (22): Matthew McCormick 2, Canelius Turner 2, Andrew Gold 4, Preston Shelton 2, A'Ky Howard 5, Kaomil Hazel 2, Joamil Hazel 3, Gannon McMahon 2.

Prescott (56): I. Allen 6, C. Allen 5, Gilliam 21, Roby 7, Billow 5, Stout 2, Fox 4, Mills 4, Rush 2.

Three-point goals: LMS (2) - Howard, J. Hazel. Prescott (5) - Gilliam 4, C. Allen 1.