Overton, Lipscomb in tourney final rematch

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 1:32am
Lipscomb basketball teams will meet Wednesday in the championship game of the Overton Christmas tournament.

The game will be a rematch of last year's tournament final, in which Overton was victorious, 58-52.

Tuesday night Lipscomb roared to a big lead, then held on to beat Abundant Life, the No. 3 ranked Class 2A team in Arkansas, 61-55. Four Mustang player scored in double figures, led by Blake Bell with 15. Andrew Dickerson added 13, with Cody Connelly chipping in 12 and guard Carter Sanderson adding 10.

Garrett Southerland led all scorers for Abundant Life with 22, including four three-pointers.

Lipscomb (10-2) jumped ahead early and doubled the score at 44-22 before surviving a furious fourth-quarter rally by the Arkansans.

“We got off to a great start with 23 points in the first quarter, then had 20 more in the third, which was the difference,’’ said Coach Mike McPherson. “But in the fourth quarter, we didn’t handle their pressure very well, and they made a game of it.’’

Like Lipscomb, Overton (12-2) placed four players in double figures, as the Bobcats were equally impressive in their 81-52 romp over Greenbrier.

Point guard Mookie Betts led a balanced Bobcats offense with 19 points, giving him 41 in the past two games, to go with five assists. Cameron Lewis checked in with 13, while Frank Lobasco and Justin (J.P.) Perry added 12 and 10. Tracy Hampton chipped in with seven points with some stellar defense.

“That may well have been our best game of the season,’’ said Coach James McKee. “We played very well, especially on defense. We have a very big challenge ahead of us in Lipscomb, they played very well in their game, as well.’’

Overton and Lipscomb will tip-off at 9 p.m. Wednesday. Overton beat Lipscomb earlier this month.

About the match-up with Overton, McPherson said, “they have an outstanding team, very physical, with some great athletes. We will have to be able to control the ball and the tempo somewhat to give us a chance to win.’’

Last year's win was the Bobcats first title at their own tournament since the Chris Hight-led team won the 1994 crown.

Glencliff, Ryan in girls final

In the girls final, Glencliff will rematch with Ryan from their game two weeks ago, when Glencliff won 63-55. Glencliff beat Lipscomb and Ryan stopped host Overton in the semis Tuesday.

The girls final tips off at 7:30, following the consolation games.

Centennial roars in Irish tourney

Centennial High blitzed host and defending champ Father Ryan 63-45 Tuesday and landed a berth in the finals of the Ryan Christmas tournament.

Ryan Bristol led all scorers with 17 points for the aggressive, trapping Cougars (11-3) in their win Tuesday night. Centennial will meet Murfreesboro Oakland, which crushed Hillsboro 71-48 Tuesday.

The finals game tips off at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday.

“We’re a very athletic team that plays well together,’’ said Coach Darren Henrie who has taken the Centennial job after moving over from Independence. “We have great support from the administration and a great group of kids.’’

Chad Farbman added 11 for Centennial, which scored 12 straight points for a 12-3 lead and never looked back. The Cougars led by as many as 22 (60-38) and coasted against the cold-shooting Irish.

“We know any time we play Ryan, they are physical and really come at you defensively, and play hard the entire game,’’ Henrie said.

Guard Jackson Coursey, who led the opening win over Blackman Monday, scored eight points to to lead the Irish as nobody hit double figures for Ryan (7-5).

“We didn’t shoot the ball well, and we missed a lot of free throws in the first half when we got too far behind,’’ said Coach Doug Bontrager, who recently collected his 400th career win at Ryan. “We didn’t handle their pressure very well either.’’

Ryan meets Hillsboro in the third-place game Wednesday at 6:15 p.m.

CPA reaches Hickman finals

Christ Presbyterian Academy added a semifinal win over Warren County to an opening 59-41 win over Harding Academy in the Hickman County Invitational in Centerville.

Matt Zelenik scored 20 in the win over Harding, then Jalen Lindsey poured in 24 in the semis win Tuesday for CPA (13-1) to help the Lions reach Wednesday’s final.