Even with considerable youth, the Lakeview Academy boys put up a scrappy effort against undefeated Athens Christian on Tuesday in Gainesville. However in the fourth quarter, the Eagles (12-0, 2-0 Region 8-A) found a way to pull away like they have many times this season.
Lakeview Academy (9-5, 3-1) kept the game within 10 points for most of the night, before Athens Christian went on a 10-0 run early in the fourth period to secure a 69-49 victory.
“I was overall pleased with the way we competed tonight,” said Lions coach Todd Cottrell. “We were a little shell-shocked early in the game but responded well after that.”
Midway through the third period, Lakeview got its deficit down to five points. Daniel Fadool knocked down a 3-pointer for the Lions, then a layup at the end of a 7-0 scoring run. In between Fadool’s two baskets, Tre Gober also knocked down a shot inside against the considerably taller and third-ranked Eagles.
Athens Christian finally put the game away with its inside play and baskets by Rondy Brownlee and a pair of buckets by 6-foot-5 senior Chris Tate in the early minutes of the fourth quarter. Cottrell said that Lakeview wasn’t able to match Athens Christian’s tempo in the fourth quarter, finishing with too many empty trips down the court on offense.
Tae Turner finished with a team-high 13 points for the Lions, including three 3-pointers in the opening half. Fadool scored nine points with five assists for Lakeview.
Even though the Lakeview Academy starting five comprised of all underclassmen managed to battle tough, it didn’t nullify the silky-smooth shooting of Eagles senior and University of Georgia signee Will Jackson. He scored a game-high 28 points, 21 coming in the opening half.
Jackson knocked down 4 of 5 3-point tries in the opening quarter, including a pair of long 3s in the final seconds of the first quarter to lead 30-17.
“Will’s got NBA range on his 3-pointers,” said Athens Christian coach Ron Link. “And he’s got work ethic better than anyone I’ve coached in 45 years.”
In the opening quarter, it wasn’t just Jackson knocking down shots for Athens Christian. Inside the paint, Tate (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Demetrius McWhorter (nine points) were also scoring their fair share early.
Then in the final minute of the first, Jackson got an open look behind the line, drawing a fiery reaction from Cottrell toward his team after Jackson hit the 3-ball on the final shot of the first quarter.
“He (Jackson) is hard enough to guard as it is,” Cottrell said. “You can’t let him have wide-open shots like we did in the first quarter.”
On Friday, Lakeview Academy visits Towns County in Hiawassee. Athens Christian plays at Athens Academy on Friday in Watkinsville.
LAKEVIEW ACADEMY GIRLS 61, ATHENS CHRISTIAN 33: Schyler Miller had the hot hand late, hitting four 3-pointers and finishing with a game-high 20 points for the Lady Lions.
Marlee Rochester hit three 3-pointers in the opening quarter, the first coming on the first shot of the game.
With Miller’s basket that drew a foul three minutes into the game, Lakeview Academy held a 10-0 lead. The Lady Lions scored four points on a pair of steals on inbounds passes and an easy basket in the final minute of the first quarter to lead 17-1.
Hanna Grogan finished with 16 points for the Lady Lions.