Lakeview Academy boys coach Todd Cottrell didn’t see Friday’s 98-54 loss to No. 5 Athens Christian as any immediate need to panic, even though it did go down as a defeat in the region column.
With the Class A power-ranking system in place for postseason qualifying, tonight’s game against Class AAAA Lumpkin County in Gainesville will have a greater impact for the Lions (10-9, 5-5 Region 8-A) with regard to making the postseason.
And Cottrell knows, without question, that Athens Christian is head and shoulders above everyone else in Region 8-A.
“I felt that we played hard tonight, we just didn’t play that well,” said Cottrell.
J.B. Britte finished with a team-high 11 points for the Lions, but it was the Eagles’ talented combo of point guard William Jackson and post Demetrius McWhorter that gave Athens Christian a 15-point lead after the first quarter, and led 57-31 going into halftime.
Jackson, ranked one of the nation’s top prospects for the Class of 2015, gave the assist to McWhorter (32 points, 10 rebounds) on five baskets in the final three minutes of the first quarter for Athens Christian, which had a stretch of four wins against higher classification programs earlier in the season.
“I was a little disappointed that we let (McWhorter) get the position that he did underneath,” Cottrell said.
The Eagles (15-4, 9-0) haven’t won a region game by any less than 25 points this month, including two by more than 50.
Tre Gober scored nine points and Tae Turner had eight for Lakeview Academy, which has four more region games left before the regular season ends on Feb. 7.
And Jackson also lived up to his billing for the Eagles. He put up 12 points in the first quarter, and finished with a triple-double of 29 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
After being the point man for the vast majority of McWhorter’s 24 first-half points, Jackson, who is only in his 10th game back from meniscus surgery on his left knee, showed up with 10 points in the final 2:50 of the third quarter.
DeMarcus Evans finished with 10 points for the Eagles, who face Prince Avenue Christian on Tuesday in Athens.
LAKEVIEW ACADEMY GIRLS 46, ATHENS CHRSTIAN 30: Hanna Grogan scored a game-high 16 points with six rebounds for the Lady Lions (13-6, 9-1 Region 8-A), and Ainsley Cash finished with eight and five rebounds as they kept their hopes alive for the top spot to the upcoming Region 8-A tournament next month.
The Lady Lions, which host Lumpkin County at 5:30 p.m. tonight, jumped to a 9-2 lead late in the first quarter with a Grogan 3-pointer, their only long-range basket in the opening half.
Lakeview Academy secured the win with a 15-5 scoring run in the third quarter, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers by Cash.
Charity Williams led Athens Christian (10-4, 7-4) with eight points.