KENNESAW — Lakeview Academy coach Todd Cottrell pored over tape this week to discover just how dominant Whitefield Academy’s Isaiah Hart and Brendon Myles could be.
The duo lived up to their expectations.
Hart and Myles combined to score all 23 of Whitefield’s third-quarter points Friday to push the Wolfpack to a 59-39 victory over Lakeview in the quarterfinals of the Class A-private state tournament at Kennesaw State University.
“We knew what they were and what they could do,” said Cottrell. “Their best players were hitting shots at the right time. It’s a disappointing way to close out a great season for us.”
With the win, Whitefield (20-10) is back in the state semifinals for the third straight year, and will play the winner of St. Anne-Pacelli/St. Francis 8:15 p.m. Saturday at Kennesaw State.
Lakeview (25-5) closed out a historic season with a disappointing fourth quarter, scoring just one field goal (Adam Cottrell’s trey with 1:07 left to play) in the final eight minutes.
The Lions led by as many as five (22-17) with 2:55 remaining in the second quarter, but an 11-1 streak between the second and third quarters allowed the fifth-ranked Wolfpack to take its crucial lead.
Myles led all scorers with 26 points, while Hart tacked on 20, including seven buckets in the third quarter alone.
“We’ve been depending on those guys all year,” said Whitefield coach Tyrone Johnson. “We had a little bit of an identity crisis early this season, but once we settled down offensively, we knew we could rely on them. We’re playing some pretty good ball right now. ... They both have excellent basketball IQs.”
Senior Daniel Fadool (10 points, 7 assists) was the lone Lion in double digits, while Carter Reeves (8 rebounds) and Tre Gober both pitched in eight each.
In Todd Cottrell’s third year at the school, Lakeview Academy topped its single-season wins record (23) and earned its first region championship since 2008.
The Lions defeated Hebron Christian Academy 82-76 in overtime to earn their first quarterfinal berth in program history.
The Lions were riding an 11-game win streak dating back to Jan. 16 heading into Friday’s matchup.
But the Wolfpack’s experience paid dividends as Whitefield turned a 14-point lead entering the fourth into a 22-point advantage. The Wolfpack converted 10 free throws down the stretch as Lakeview was unable to threaten the Whitefield rim.
“I thought that in the second half, we really committed defensively,” said Johnson. “I think we gave up six layups in the first half, which is unacceptable. I told them (at halftime) that they better defend and rebound, or they’ll be going home.”
Cottrell said he was satisfied that his defense pushed Whitefield late in the game.
“That’s all that you can ask, is that you push them into contested shots,” said Cottrell. “We’ve got a good group coming back, as long as we stay together, we’ll be fine. Daniel is a huge loss for us as a leader, he’s very unselfish. He set the bar high.”
Whitefield lost in the state title game in 2013-14 and fell in the semifinals last season.