The results of Augusta Christian’s boys and girls basketball season-openers were not wholly unexpected.
The Lady Lions, who graduated four starters from last year, fell at home to Brentwood 50-33, while the boys started four seniors and romped to a 98-28 win.
With just three juniors and one senior on the 10-girl squad, Lady Lions coach Nick Isaac thought inexperience would be an issue.
“We knew we would struggle,” said Isaac, who added that he has yet to have all 10 players on the court at one time this year because of injuries and sickness. “Last year we had the full playbook in the first game. Tonight we just ran three plays.”
The boys team was the polar opposite as they started four seniors and a junior and took advantage of a depleted Brentwood squad that has eight players involved in the GISA Class AA football playoffs.
From the start, the Lions (1-0) showed their athleticism, using a fast, aggressive defense and a full-court press. The press created three quick steals, leading to layups, after starting with a layup off the opening tip. Barely a minute into play, the Lions had an 8-0 lead.
“I was pretty pleased with that effort,” said Lions head coach Marty Griffin, despite worries about foul problems. “Our intensity was sky high.”
Already running away with the game, the Lions went on an 11-0 run to end the half up 62-19.
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 treys, K.J. Armour added 12 points and 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 Augusta Christian’s strong suits and everything is up for grabs.
“It’s wide open,” said Griffin. “It’s going to be a war in practice every day to earn playing time.”
In the girls game, through the first 2½ periods, the Lady Lions would see the Lady Eagles (3-0) build a sizable lead, only to reel them back in.
Down 13-6, the Lady Lions (0-1) went on a 7-2 run, fueled by six points from junior Anna Motes to close within 15-13 after one period.
Motes led the Lady Lions with a game-high 21 points.
Down 27-16 at the half, the Lady Lions got two layups from Motes, a layup from eighth-grader Kymmya Thomas and a 3-pointer from Kendall Brown, closing the gap to 29-25 at 5:09 of the third period.
The Lady Eagles scored the last seven points of the period to widen their lead to 36-25.
The Lady Eagles extended the run to 19-0, scoring the first 12 points of the fourth period to salt the win away.
“We’ve got to stay consistent,” said Motes. “In the second half we got going and then we died off.”