The LCHS varsity boys basketball team displayed fight, grit and tenacity last week when the Indians battled it out with Dawson County before pulling out a stunning upset of Banks County to improve their overall record to 5-8.
The Indians started the week by hosting their neighboring region rival the Dawson County Tigers at the Longhouse at LCHS on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
LCHS head boys basketball coach Jeff Steele and his players knew battling against the Tigers would be a tough test, especially given that Dawson County came into the game ranked fourth in the state in classification AAA.
The Indians received double digit performances from both Jacob Cumbie and Pat Jackson in the contest. However, the Tigers’ Jasper Gibson went off offensively, scoring 23 points, including five three-pointers.
Lumpkin found itself down by 18 points going into the fourth quarter of the game. Despite the large lead by Dawson, the Indians never gave up and slowly chipped into the Tigers’ advantage down the stretch.
When the final buzzer sounded, Dawson emerged victorious by a final score of 58-48.
Cumbie led the Indians’ offensive charge in the loss with 17 points and six rebounds. Jackson followed right behind Cumbie with 13 points and four rebounds.
The Indians also received some offense off the bench from Chandler Pulley, who knocked down eight points.
Peyton Polk added seven points, three rebounds and three charges taken for the Indians in the 10-point defeat.
The loss dropped the Indians’ overall record to 4-8 and their region record to 2-3.
“We didn’t play bad,” said LCHS head boys basketball coach Jeff Steele. “We were in the game and played until the final buzzer.”
The Indians hoped to bounce back from the loss to Dawson when they traveled to Banks County to battle it out with the Class AA third-ranked Leopards in a non conference matchup on Friday, Dec. 20.
The Indians got off to a blistering start to the game behind sensational efforts from Gus Faulkner and Jacob Cumbie. The two Indians players helped Lumpkin jump out to a 20-12 start with their aggressive attacking of the basket.
The Indians continued to roll in the second quarter and outscored the Leopards 17-14 to take a 37-26 halftime lead.
Behind an active defense, the Indians continued to light up the scoreboard in the third quarter and went on an 18-16 run to hold a 55-42 advantage going into the final quarter of the game.
In the fourth quarter, the Indians received an offensive explosion from its lineup and Lumpkin dropped 30 points on the Leopards.
Banks County tried to mount a comeback, but the Indians refused to miss their free throws in the fourth quarter and maintained their lead throughout the quarter.
In the end, the Indians held on to win the contest by a final score of 85-67.
The victory was sweet for Lumpkin, as they had been downed by Banks earlier in the season 64-45.
“It was all about composure down the stretch,” Steele said.
Cumbie led the Indians’ offense with a fantastic 27-point performance versus the Leopards. Cumbie also pulled down seven rebounds in the game. Cumbie was solid at the free throw line for the Indians in the second half, knocking down 12-of-17 from the charity stripe.
Faulkner also had a breakout performance in the win, contributing 20 points, pulling down six rebounds and dishing out five assists.
Jackson quietly recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Polk was two rebounds short of a double-double, knocking down 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
The victory improved the Indians’ overall record to 5-8.
The Indians will look to stay in the win column when they participate in the Battle of the State tournament hosted by Towns County on Thursday, Dec. 26. Lumpkin will face Murphy, N.C. in the first round of the three-day holiday tournament. Tipoff is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.