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Lakeview Academy sweeps Region 8-A basketball titles
Boys roll to rout of Hebron Christian, girls edge Athens Christian in 2nd half
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ATHENS — No need for pressure-packed free throws this time.

A night after pulling out a dramatic one-point win, the Lakeview Academy boys rolled from the opening tip to overwhelm Hebron Christian 71-44 Saturday and complete a Region 8-A tournament title sweep for the Lions.

Earlier in the evening on the same Athens Academy court, the Lakeview girls rode a strong second half to defeat Athens Christian 47-41 for the Region 8-A tournament championship.

The Lakeview boys dominated the nightcap with a balanced offense and a defense that held Hebron Christian (20-8) to its third-lowest point total of the season.

“I think our kids came ready to play and played extremely well, especially on the defensive end,” Lakeview coach Todd Cottrell said. “Our defense really got our offense going tonight.”

Four Lakeview players scored in double figures with Tre Gober and Josh Randolph providing 15 points each, Drew Cottrell had 14 and Carter Reeves scored 13. Reeves, a 6-foot-5 junior, ruled the post in the first quarter, hitting all four of his shots, plus three free throws on his way to 11 points as the Lions jumped out to a 27-7 lead through the first period.

Hebron Christian got no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.

Lakeview (24-4) was able to clear the bench late in the game and later posed for photos with the trophy in hand as the team celebrated its first tournament championship since 2008.

“It’s pretty big, but we still have a bigger goal,” said Daniel Fadool, the team’s only senior.

The Lions now take a 10-game winning streak into the state playoffs, which begin later in the week on a day yet to be determined.

Randolph, who sank two free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining in Friday’s 41-40 semifinal win over Prince Avenue Christian, had a huge game Saturday with 10 rebounds and seven assists in addition to his double-digit point total.

Reeves had a double-double of his own with 10 rebounds while Cottrell (seven assists, five steals) and Fadool (eight rebounds, seven assists, four points) also stuffed the stat sheet. Evan Pitts pulled down eight rebounds to go with his four points. Jack Blackburn (four points) and Adam Cottrell (two points) also got in the scorebook.

Lakeview shot 49 percent from the field and went 15 for 16 from the free throw line.

Hebron Christian, down 39-16 at halftime, made a run to start the second half to pull within 39-24, but a technical foul shortly thereafter led to a four-point Lakeview possession. Hebron Christian never threatened again.

Lakeview beat Hebron for a third time in as many tries this season. The latest victory gave Lakeview its most wins in school history after tying the mark on Friday.

“They’re fantastic kids,” said Cottrell. “They’ve had a really good year. This was one of their goals and it’s really nice to see them achieve it.”

Luke Crawford scored 19 and Kobe Wharton 15 for Hebron Christian.

LAKEVIEW ACADEMY 47, ATHENS CHRISTIAN 41: Lakeview Academy coach John Carrick knew his team’s ice-cold shooting of the first half couldn’t continue all night — or at least he hoped it wouldn’t.

Sure enough, the Lady Lions saw the ball go through the net in the second half with more regularity to pull away for the region tournament title.

Lakeview made only four of its 27 first-half shots (14.8 percent) before turning things around with 8-for-22 shooting in the second half, which might not sound great, but 5-for-12 from 3-point range does.

“Just because I’m having a bad day right now doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bad week, doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bad tomorrow, doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad all the rest of the day. So that’s a lesson for those kids to learn, and I’m glad that they did,” Carrick said. “They put an awful lot of energy into the second half and thank goodness some shots were going in.”

Hanna Grogan made three second-half 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 18 points for Lakeview (22-6), which has won 10 straight entering the state playoffs. The junior also pulled down 10 rebounds, while Ryann Moody added 10 points, Christen Copeland had seven points, four assists and two steals, and Tori Taylor scored six for the Lady Lions.

“We’ve wanted this,” Grogan said. “We’ve worked so hard this year as a team and I’m just glad we finally came together.”

Lakeview improved to 2-0 against Athens Christian this season, having won the first meeting 49-40.

Callie Palmer scored 14 to lead Athens Christian.

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