CPA Boys Win Regional Championship
The Christ Presbyterian Academy’s boys varsity basketball team and their fans watched the Lions’ hope of advancing to the TSSAA state championship playoffs go in and out on Monday as CPA lost a great game to Maplewood High School 52-49 at home.
Senior Drew Scott, who hit consistently all night for CPA, got a great look at the rim at the buzzer, but his shot went half way down before bouncing out.
It was a heart-breaking way to end a great game as both teams battle throughout.
The Lions trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, struggling with the athleticism of the fifth-ranked Bearcats, and especially Mr Basketball finalist Bo Hopkins.
Hopkins scored inside and on the break in the first half as Maplewood built a 9-8 lead in the first quarter, and stretched it to 24-15 at halftime.
Scott, who hit two three-pointers in the first quarter, capped the Lions strong effort in the third quarter, hitting a clutch three-pointer as time expired in the third quarter to cut the Maplewood lead to 33-29 going into the final period.
The senior cut the lead to 33-31 to start the fourth and the fans who filled the CPA gym could feel the momentum begin to shift.
When senior James Deaton drove the lane and layed it in to tie the game 33-33, the crowd went crazy.
But Hopkins, who was quiet during the CPA comeback in the third, started to get the ball again in the fourth. His layup gave Maplewood the lead again 35-33.
Bryce McCormick made a great cut and Michael Mayernick found him to tie the score again 35-35. Mayernick was able to find a lane and score, but Maplewood hit two crucial three-pointers to take a 41-37 lead with four minutes left.
Mayernick then fouled Hopkins on the ensuing possession. It was the senior point guards fifth, and CPA was forced to play without their play-maker for the final 4:35.
But the Lions refused to give up. McCormick made two nice drives and Clay Washburn hit two big free throws to make it 45-43 Maplewood with 2:20 left.
When Dean Cooper made a great basket to tie it at 45-45 the home crowd went crazy again.
Cooper made another basket and a free throw, but Maplewood had made a huge three-pointer, and buried two free throws and the score stood in Maplewood’s favor 51-49.
Hopkins was fouled with 5.1 seconds left. He made the first, but missed the second making it 52-49.
Out of time outs, CPA pushed the ball up the court and deep into the corner. McCormick found Scott, who was trailing, wide open at the top of the circle. The crowd tried to wish it in, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Though the Lions came up short of their goal to win a state title, they were crowned Region 6 AA champions.