Boys basketball advances to third place game in Battle of the States tourney

  • Pat Jackson lays up two of his 21 points in Lumpkin's first round win over Murphy, N.C. at the Battle of the States tournament.
    Pat Jackson lays up two of his 21 points in Lumpkin's first round win over Murphy, N.C. at the Battle of the States tournament.

The LCHS varsity boys basketball team advanced to the third place game of the Battle of the States basketball tournament hosted by Towns County High School after they defeated Murphy, N.C. in round one and fell to Union County in round two by three points this past week.
The Indians, fresh off handing Banks County its first and only loss of the season, went into the Battle of the States tournament in hopes of advancing to the championship game.
Lumpkin knew it would have to get past a solid Murphy, N.C. squad in the first round of the tournament on Thursday, Dec. 26, in order to make that hope a reality.
The Indians got off to a strong start when they went on a 14-7 run in the first quarter to take an early lead over the Bulldogs.
However, Murphy refused to go away without a fight and cut the Lumpkin lead to 25-23 by the halftime break with a 16-9 run.
When the Indians retook the court after halftime, their offense picked up the pace and outscored the Bulldogs 28-13 to extend their lead to 53-36.
Lumpkin continued to roll in the fourth quarter and when the final buzzer sounded the Indians claimed themselves a decisive 71-54 victory.
Prolific scorer Pat Jackson turned in another high-powered performance in the win, scoring 21 points to lead the team.
Both Peyton Polk and Jacob Cumbie each contributed 15 points while Chandler Pulley and Brian Cunane each added six points off of the bench for Lumpkin in the contest.
The win advanced the Indians to the semifinal game versus Union County on Friday, Dec. 27.
Lumpkin got off to a slow start offensively thanks in large part to a Panthers’ defense that shut down the passing lanes and forced the Indians to take contested shots in the first quarter of play.
However, the Indians made some adjustments in the second quarter and outscored Union County 21-14 to even the score at 28-28 by the time the halftime buzzer sounded.
The two teams went back-and-forth in the third quarter, but the Panthers were able to eke out a two-point advantage to take a 47-45 advantage into the final quarter of the game.
The Indians kept battling in the fourth quarter, but Union County was able to knock down its free throws late in the game to hold on to a close 64-61 victory over Lumpkin.
Jacob Cumbie led the Indians in the loss with 19 points. Jackson followed right behind Cumbie with 17 points and Polk recorded a double-double, scoring 14 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
The defeat dashed the Indians’ hopes for another Battle of the States championship title.
At press time, the Indians were set to take to the court in the third place game at the Battle of States tournament on Saturday, Dec. 28. No official results were available.
The LCHS varsity boys basketball team will get back to action when they travel to take on the North Hall Trojans in a Region 7-AAA matchup this Friday, Jan. 3. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.