A high-powered offense gave the Christ Presbyterian Academy Lions (27-4) the lift they needed to win over Tipton-Rosemark (17-4) Thursday night, 81-70, in the D-II A boys state semifinal in Cookeville at Tennessee Tech.
“This win means a lot,” said Coach Maddux. “I am proud of our seniors who have invested their time with us in our program. They (seniors) have led well this year. To have the opportunity and the blessing to play on the last day of the season is all you can ask for. Especially in this COVID environment, we consider ourselves extremely blessed and privileged to compete for a state championship.”
In the first quarter, CPA started out strong with jumpers and 3-pointers by junior Jake Dystra, senior Braden Zapp, junior Braeden Moore, junior Evan Shiflet, junior Kolby Wright and senior Drew Cox to take the frame, 22-14.
The Lions offense battled tough with layups and long-range shots from Dykstra, Zapp, Moore, Cox and senior Andy Nichols to keep the advantage at halftime, 39-32.
CPA’s offense continued to gel in the third quarter with behind the arc shots from Shiflet, Dykstra, Moore and Zapp to hold the lead, 57-51.
In the fourth quarter, the Lions continued their offensive sharp-shooting in the paint and from downtown by Shiflet, Dykstra, Zapp and Wright to win the state semifinal, 81-70.
CPA was able to get enough stops to hold Tipton-Rosemark to 70 points.
“We knew the game would be played in vertical space, and it would be paced out,” said Coach Maddux. “We like games that are played with that kind of rhythm and pace, and we knew they liked it scrambled up to make it a playmaker’s game.
“We were fortunate we got to the fourth quarter with a lead and made our free throws tonight. We got some stops and big rebounds when we needed to do so. I’m really proud of the way we finished in the fourth quarter.”
The Lions point leaders were Zapp with 21 points, Moore with 17, Shiflet with 17, and Dykstra with 12.
“These four all average double figures,” said Maddux. “Jake Dykstra made a lot of key shots especially in the corners when we tried to utilize the space. Braden Moore was terrific in the first half and played with foul trouble in the second half. Shiflet and Zapp, we just love what they bring, especially when we get to the fourth quarter. All of those guys had a great game and finished the game with excellence."
Tipton-Rosemark’s leading scorers were junior Tyler Byrd with 36 points and senior Alex Anderson with 15.
With this loss, Tipton-Rosemark’s season has come to an end.
CPA will advance to the state championship game on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. versus Goodpasture. Those two teams met in the region finals, with the Cougars coming out ahead.
“We did not feel like we played our best basketball the last time we faced them (Goodpasture),” said Coach Maddux. “We are excited for another opportunity to get to play them. They will get our very best effort.”