LA boys place in state championship game
By Eason Franklin
The Lowndes Academy‘s (10-2) junior boys basketball team made a strong showing this season despite a championship game playoff loss to Edgewood Academy.
The final game of the tournament saw the Rebels battle back from an 11 point deficit at halftime to tie score in the fourth quarter to a 29-23 loss at the end.
“It was a success,” said coach Matt Marshall when he referred to the Rebels’ overall basketball season. “Even though it was the first time in five or six years we were hindered by the injury bug.”
Coached by Marshall and Jeff Lovell, the team participated in the AISA 2A Invitational Basketball Tournament.
Lowndes Academy was the number one seed in the tournament after receiving a first-round bye.
East Memorial took on the Rebels in the second round of tournament action.
Garrett Headley, an eighth grader, led the team with 12 points, followed by Toby King with a solid 11 points to secure a 43-20 win.
At half-time of the championship game against Edgewood Academy, Lowndes Academy trailed 23-12. However, the boys fought back and evened the score at the end of the third quarter.
The Rebels blazed into the fourth quarter, but trailed when the final buzzer sounded and placed them second in the tournament.
“The game was a battle of attrition,” said Marshall. “The man-to-man defense wore the team down, we took more outside shots than we should have and some of our keynote players did not get enough touches on the ball as we would like to have seen.”
James Pate, who led Lowndes Academy with 11 points against the Wildcats, and Headley were named to the all-tournament team.
Headley led the Rebels team this year with a 9.3 scoring average, followed by Pate at 7.2, King 5.7 with Wesley McMiken 4.8 and William Nall 2.8 points-per-game.
King and McMiken led the Rebels in rebounding.
Derek Pearson, Adam Callis, Ryan Tindell, Hunter Johnson and Cody Harrell played key reserve roles.
“We had a lot of younger players, eighth and ninth graders, playing as varsity team members. In spite of adversity, the kids worked incredibly hard and showed great improvement over the course of the season,” said Marshall.