AIKEN — Don’t judge the Augusta Christian Lady Lions too harshly for giving up much of their 26-point first-half lead in Tuesday’s 57-42 win over Mount Vernon.
The host team for the girls’ side of the Augusta Christian Christmas Classic has been working double duty after the tournament had a team pull out too late to find a replacement. That’s why the undefeated Lady Lions played a losers’ bracket game Tuesday morning, then regrouped for a semifinals game later that night.
The demanding schedule produced tired legs for the Lady Lions, but both games ended in wins despite second-half struggles.
Anna Motes scored a game-high 20 points in the semifinals victory. The sophomore said she woke up at 6:30 a.m. to prepare for the team’s 9 a.m. game, and the early wakeup call was a factor.
“My legs are pretty sore,” she said. “We’re definitely more of a night team.”
The Lady Lions shot 57.7 percent (15 of 26) in the first half but were 2 of 12 in the third quarter. Head coach Nick Isaac said his team can’t have a similar letdown in today’s championship game.
“That’s been one of our weaknesses we’ve been discussing. We haven’t played a lot of strong teams yet, so we sometimes get complacement and we’ve been working on that,” he said after Tuesday night’s win. “We’re going to need a good 32 minutes tomorrow.”
The Lady Lions (11-0) will face Franklin Road Academy (10-2) out of Nashville, Tenn. at 1 p.m. The boys’ title game will feature North Carolina’s Davidson Day School against Christian Academy of Knoxville at 2:30.
Davidson Day’s D.J. Carnegie hit a 3-pointer
at the buzzer for a 56-55 win over Father Lopez in Tuesday’s semifinals meeting.
Christian Academy of Knoxville led by three points at halftime before pulling away for a 63-56 win over A.C. Flora.
Both championship games will be played at the USC Aiken Convocation Center and will wrap up Augusta Christian’s first three-day Christmas tournament.
Augusta Christian’s boys will face Evangel Christian Academy at 11:30 a.m., and Westminster’s boys will face Mount Vernon at 2:30.