Lumpkin County boys basketball hits rough road

  • Lumpkin County's Peyton Polk lets a three-pointer fly versus the North Hall Trojans. Polk led the Lumpkin offense with 10 points in the 60-40 loss to the Trojans.
    Lumpkin County's Peyton Polk lets a three-pointer fly versus the North Hall Trojans. Polk led the Lumpkin offense with 10 points in the 60-40 loss to the Trojans.
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The LCHS varsity boys basketball team found itself in the midst of a three-game losing skid when the Indians dropped their final game of the Battle of the States holiday basketball tournament before falling to region rival North Hall last week, dropping the team’s overall record to 6-11.
The Indians finished the Battle of the States holiday tournament hosted by Towns County when they faced off with the Yellowjackets of Hayesville, N.C. in the third/fourth place game on Saturday, Dec. 28.
Neither team got much offense in the first quarter of play, but Hayesville was able to outscore the Indians 11-8 to take a three-point lead into the second quarter.
In the second quarter, the Yellowjackets’ offense went nuts, as Hayesville went on an 18-4 run to take a 29-12 advantage into the halftime break.
The Indians’ offense began to heat up in the third after the slow first half start. Lumpkin scored more points in the third quarter than it had in all of the first half, dropping 18 points on the Yellowjackets. However, Hayesville kept pace, scoring 15 points of its own, to maintain a 44-30 lead going into the final quarter of the contest.
The Indians once again outscored the Yellowjackets in the fourth quarter, going on a 15-13 run, but in the end it was not enough to allow them to climb out of the hole they dug themselves in the first half.
In the end, the Indians fell to Hayesville by a final score of 57-45 to earn fourth place at the Battle of the States tournament with a 1-2 record.
Jacob Cumbie led the Indians’ offense in the loss with 13 points and six rebounds.
Pat Jackson finished the game with 11 points, Gus Faulkner added eight points and Brian Cunane delivered six points and six rebounds off the bench for Lumpkin.
The loss marked the second straight for the Indians, dropping their overall record to 6-10.
Jackson, who played well for Lumpkin during the three-day tournament, was recognized for his performances with an All-Tournament selection.
The Indians hoped to end their two-game skid when they traveled to North Hall to square off with the Trojans in a conference matchup on Friday, Jan. 3.
The Trojans started the contest on fire from beyond the arc and built an early advantage with a 10-1 run to start the first quarter. North Hall would stifle the Indians’ offense, allowing Lumpkin to score just nine points in the opening quarter. The Trojans held a 21-9 advantage headed into the second quarter of play.
The Indians’ offense continued to struggle in the second quarter and was once again held to under double digit scoring by the Trojans’ defense. The Trojans outscored Lumpkin 12-6 in the quarter to take a 33-15 lead into halftime.
North Hall displayed tons of hustle on every loose ball in the first half the game and dominated the boards.
The Indians hoped to reverse their fortunes in the second half and got off to a better start when the third quarter began. However, the Trojans continued their solid play and outscored Lumpkin 15-13 to maintain a 48-28 lead headed to the final quarter of the game.
Both teams scored 12 points apiece in the fourth quarter, allowing the Trojans to earn a 60-40 victory.
“We got out hustled and outplayed,” said LCHS head boys basketball coach Jeff Steele. “They [North Hall] just got to the loose balls and rebounds before we could and that was the difference.”
Peyton Polk and Jackson led the Indians’ offense with 10 points apiece. Polk finished the game with 10 points and five rebounds while Jackson finished with 10 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Faulkner contributed eight points, four rebounds and four steals and Cunane added energy off the bench along with six points and nine rebounds.
The 20-point loss dropped the Indians’ overall record to 6-11 and their region record to 2-4.
The loss also marked the third in a row for Lumpkin.
The LCHS varsity boys basketball team will look to snap their losing streak when they host the Cherokee Bluff Bears at the Longhouse at the LCHS gymnasium this Friday, Jan. 10, for a conference matchup. Tipoff is scheduled for 7: 30 p.m.