Augusta Christian’s boys and girls basketball teams opened their seasons with performances that were polar opposites Tuesday night.
The young Lady Lions, who graduated four starters from last year, fell at home to Brentwood 50-33, while the Lions started four seniors and romped to a 98-28 win in the boys game.
“I was pretty pleased with that effort,” said Lions boys coach Marty Griffin, who noted that Brentwood (0-2) was without eight of its players, who are in the GISA Class AA football playoffs.
From the beginning, the fast, athletic Lions came out in a full-court press that led to three quick steals and layups after a layup off the opening tip and a 8-0 lead with just over a minute gone.
The lead was 28-12 at the end of the first period before the Lions turned it up a notch. Just before the break, the Lions led 51-19 and went on an 11-0 run in the last 1:20, fueled by three steals leading to layups and a 3-pointer.
All 11 players on the Lions roster scored, led by freshman Madison Williams’ 16 points including a 3-pointer and a rim-rocking dunk to end the half. Nick Fortenberry had 15 points, with two 3s, K.J. Armour had 12 points while Ashton Grant and Calvin Taylor each had 10.
Fortenberry, Taylor and Tyquan Burns (8 points) are fresh off Saturday’s football championship win and didn’t start, but Griffin said that depth is one of the team’s strong suits and everything is up for grabs.
“It’s wide open,” Griffin said. “It’s going to be a war in practice every day to earn playing time.”
The Lady Lions tied the game at 2 on a layup by Caroline Roberson early in the game, but a 3-pointer by the Lady Eagles’ Brooke Hinton made it 5-2 and the Lady Eagles would never surrender the lead.
Anna Motes led the Lady Lions with 21 points.
“We knew we would struggle,” said Lady Lions coach Nick Isaac, who added that he has yet to have all 10 players on the court at one time this year. “Last year we had the full playbook in the first game, tonight we just ran three plays.”