Well-traveled, road-weary CPA looks forward to a few games at home

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 10:08pm

It's safe to say no Nashville basketball team has logged as many miles over the holidays than Christ Presbyterian Academy's boys.

After lengthy trips North and East of the state lines, the Lions (13-2) celebrate a return home, where they start the New Year's part of the their schedule Friday night against rival Lipscomb Academy.

CPA, which saw its 37-game winning streak snapped last week in the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C., will be glad to see their home floor, where they expect a packed house.

"It's always special when we play Lipscomb,” coach Drew Maddux, whose Lions are reigning Class AA state champions, said. “Both communities get very excited for the game.

“[Lipscomb] coach Richie Pickens does a great job with those guys, they execute so well and they are hard to prepare for.''

CPA opened its District 10-AA campaign when it rallied from 15 points down to beat host East Nashville back in mid-December.

Then, just before Christmas, the Lions trekked to Louisville where they won a star-studded tournament. With victories over three of Kentucky's top teams, they successfully defended their 2011 King of the Bluegrass tournament championship.

"I had some coaches [at the next event] come up and tell me that it was amazing we were able to go up to the Bluegrass tournament and beat those three caliber teams on their home turf,” Maddux said.

On a quick turnaround, CPA traveled Myrtle Beach, where it lost its first two games. The Lions finished up strong Monday with a 71-63 win over host Myrtle Beach behind Jalen Lindsey's 22 points, Braxton Blackwell's 19 and Jake Allsmiller's four 3-pointers and 14 points.

"We got back from Louisville at 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve,'' Maddux said. "After we celebrated Christmas, we had a quick turnaround where we left at 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 26 for Myrtle Beach. On the 27th, we played a truly outstanding team in St. Rita out of Chicago, a team with multiple DI [prospects], and we lost [71-63].

"We were flat, and that was understandable, given the travel situation we had gone through. I want to be clear, though, that St. Rita was really good. We lost the next night to the defending Utah state champs, they were 24-1 last year, and again, we didn't play our best.

“But I was proud of our team, they fought hard, but emotionally, after all the travel, we just were not at our best. We were fortunate in that we then had two days off, got to do some team activities and catch our breath. We came back [Monday], and beat a very good Myrtle Beach team.”

Lindsey, who has at least 15 major college offers, continues to lead the Lions in scoring at 21 points per game. Blackwell, a freshman averages 16 points and Allsmiller is at 12 points per game.

After Lipscomb, the Lions host tough district foe Maplewood on Tuesday.

Briefly: The annual Father Ryan Invitational Wrestling tournament will be Friday and Saturday at the Irish Gym. Some of the state's top teams will be on hand, with finals Saturday night.

Friday's games

Lipscomb Academy at Christ Presbyterian Academy
Whites Creek at East Nashville
Overton at Hillwood
Maplewood at Hume-Fogg
Stratford at Pearl-Cohn
Davidson Academy at Franklin Road Academy
Donelson Christian Academy at Zion Christian
Pope John Paul II at Montgomery Bell Academy
Father Ryan at McCallie