Christ Presbyterian Academy captured a 73-55 win over Marshall County in a matchup of District 12-AA unbeatens on Tuesday night.
CPA (18-4, 5-0), the No. 1-ranked team in Class AA and winners of seven in a row, faced a 6-2 deficit in the game’s opening minutes — junior Braxton Blackwell missed four consecutive free throws through the first 3:06 — but the Lions quickly closed the gap, stringing together a 10-2 run to claim their first lead.
Marshall County (13-7, 4-1), which trailed by as many as 13 in the first half, pulled to within 25-23 on sophomore De’Andre Brown’s 3-pointer at the 4:19 mark of the second quarter, but CPA rallied once again.
“We always tell the guys to trust the process,” Lions coach Drew Maddux said. “Trust the way we play and the run is eventually going to come. Whether it’s in the first quarter, the second quarter or even at the end, just trust that it’s going to come.”
This time the Lions reeled off 11 unanswered, and the visiting Tigers never quite recovered.
“Just getting a run like that you can kind of see the other team getting down, starting to believe they can’t play with us,” said Blackwell, who had 17 points. “A run like that really helped.”
Senior Micah Davis also finished with 17 for CPA, including three 3-pointers, while eighth-grade point guard Tyger Campbell added 15.
Marshall County, led by Brown’s team-high 14 points, eventually narrowed the second-half deficit 11 — 58-47 with just under five minutes remaining — but the Tigers were unable to cut it to single digits down the stretch.
“We thought we were a 3-point shooting team tonight,” Marshall County first-year coach Arnett Bodenhamer said. “When we attacked them good things happened. We looked good in spurts tonights, but against a team like this you have to play four quarters.”
Marshall County’s Malek Sain finished with 12 points and Kacy Pleas added 10.
“This was a big-time win,” Blackwell said. “They were undefeated and we were undefeated coming into this game. They’re a good team with a new coach, and they play a lot different than they did last year.”
Reach Michael Murphy at 259-8018 and on Twitter @Murph_TNsports.