Lumpkin boys basketball vanquishes Vikings to start region play

  • Standout Jacob Cumbie flies through the lane for two of his 17 points during Lumpkin’s region win over East Hall. Cumbie finished the game with a double-double, scoring 17 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
    Standout Jacob Cumbie flies through the lane for two of his 17 points during Lumpkin’s region win over East Hall. Cumbie finished the game with a double-double, scoring 17 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.

The LCHS varsity boys basketball team is beginning to find its rhythm and is playing better basketball, as the Indians bounced back from a disappointing loss to Cherokee Bluff to defeat East Hall last week to start Region 7-AAA play with a 1-1 record.
The Indians gave a lackluster performance against the Cherokee Bluff Bears when the two teams met up at Cherokee Bluff High School on Tuesday, Dec. 3, for their Region 7-AAA openers.
“We just didn’t show up,” said LCHS head boys basketball coach Jeff Steele. “We didn’t have the energy we needed and it showed.”
Despite a double-double performance from senior Peyton Polk, the Indians had no answers for the Bears in the contest.
Cherokee Bluff’s offense had no trouble scoring at will against the Indians’ defense and the Bears’ defense successfully shut down Pat Jackson,  Lumpkin’s top scorer this season.
The end result was a lopsided 82-48 victory for Cherokee Bluff.
Polk was the Indians’ top scorer in the contest with 16 points. Polk also pulled down 10 rebounds in the loss to record a double-double.
Junior point guard Gus Faulkner scored in double digits with 10 points, Jackson was limited to seven points and Jacob Cumbie knocked down seven points as well.
The 82-48 defeat dropped the Indians’ overall record to 2-6 and started Lumpkin off with a 0-1 region record.
The Indians looked to turn things around when they hosted the East Hall Vikings in a conference matchup at the Longhouse at the LCHS gymnasium on Friday, Dec. 6.
The Indians fell behind 2-0 to start the contest, but quickly took the lead with a 4-0 run and never looked back from there, as they never lost the lead after that.
The Indians held on to a slim 14-13 lead after the first quarter, but extended their lead to 31-26 by halftime with a 17-13 run in the second quarter.
Jackson displayed his prolific scoring ability in the first half of play with 12 points for the Indians. Cumbie followed right behind Jackson with seven first half points and Faulkner ended the first half with five points for the Indians.
The two teams slugged it out in the third quarter with neither defense being able to stop their opponents’ offensive attacks. Both the Indians and the Vikings scored 23 points in the quarter, allowing Lumpkin to hang on to a 54-43 advantage headed in to the final quarter of the game.
The Vikings tried to make a comeback run in the fourth quarter, but the Indian knocked down some big free throws in the final minute of the contest to fend off the East Hall rally.
In the end, the Indians earned a 67-64 win over the Vikings.
“Coming into the game we wanted to make sure that we held on to the ball and wanted to limit our turnovers to 20 or less,” Steele said. “We did that tonight which was important, especially given East Hall’s run at the end of the game.”
Steele was also impressed with his team’s composure in the late minutes of the game when East Hall was trying to mount a furious comeback attempt.
“We’ve talked recently about what it takes to finish a game,” Steele said. “I am proud of the way our guys kept fighting and finished the game. We’re starting to come together as a team and I really think that these guys are playing for each other instead of just for themselves. They don’t care about being the hero and on any given night that hero could be anyone of these guys. They are playing unselfish basketball. It’s a great thing to see and I think it will be good for us as the season progresses.”
Jackson dropped 28 points and pulled down seven rebounds in the victory to lead the Indians’ offense.
Cumbie had one of his best games since joining the team with a double-double, scoring 17 points and recording 10 rebounds. Cumbie also disrupted the East Hall offense with sticky hands, creating several Viking turnovers.
Polk finished the game with nine points and 10 rebounds and Faulkner connected for seven points and recorded four steals in the contest.
The win improved the Indians’ overall record to 3-6 and their region record to 1-1.
At press time, the Indians were set to travel to Fannin County for a conference matchup with the Rebels on Tuesday, Dec. 10. No official results were available.
Lumpkin will step back on to the court when they hit the road to take on the Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans in a Region 7-AAA contest this Friday, Dec. 13. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.