Augusta Christian girls basketball coach Nick Isaac came away from a 57-34 home victory over Augusta Prep on Tuesday impressed by two things.
The first-year coach was more than satisfied with how his team played defense, considering it was the squad's first game since its season opener two weeks earlier.
The other thing that impressed him was the vibrant play of the opposing point guard, sophomore Amanda Murphy.
"That No. 3, Murphy, for them is an unbelievable player," Isaac said. "She created so many mismatches on the post because our post player had to help, and then she's a great passer.
"Their post players weren't finishing, but it became two-on-one because they had the numbers."
Indeed, Murphy presented her teammates with plenty of opportunities around the rim. Jamie Alexander was the primary beneficiary, leading Augusta Prep with 11 points.
Despite Murphy creating favorable numbers for the Cavaliers, Augusta Christian adjusted and allowed only 17 points in each half in securing the win.
Annie Cave led the way, scoring 14 points and grabbing numerous offensive rebounds for the Lions. Amaura Brandt and Lindsey Jernigan added 10 points each.
Augusta Christian got out to a 20-4 first-quarter lead, but then struggled to maintain the early momentum.
"They see ... 20-4 on the board, and they think they can let up," Isaac said. "Sixteen points is a good early lead, but it's not insurmountable."
Augusta Prep kept the deficit at 12 points entering the fourth quarter, but Brandt heated up and helped the Lions go up by 21 with four minutes to go en route to the victory.
Jamie Alexander had 11 points for Augusta Prep.
In boys' action, the Cavaliers and Lions hung close through three quarters. After that, Augusta Prep seemingly couldn't miss.
A big fourth-quarter push by the Cavaliers turned the game into a runaway, as Augusta Prep earned a 57-35 road victory.
"We finally started making our layups," said senior John Paul Lynn, a GISA Class AAA All-State selection last season. "At the beginning of the game, we were getting good shots the whole time. We just weren't making them."
The Cavaliers came in as the more experienced squad, as the Lions boast only two seniors and no juniors. With so many young players -- six sophomores and two freshmen -- Augusta Christian coach Marty Griffin expected some early struggles this season.
Lynn, a senior, and Frank Hull provided the late boost during a 12-0 Augusta Prep run in the fourth quarter. Lynn finished with 12 points, while Hull scored a game-high 20.
Augusta Prep coach Mike Guthrie noted that his program has struggled in past years playing at Augusta Christian, making the 22-point victory a little sweeter.
"We've had a tough time playing here over the years, no question," Guthrie said. "It's nice to get a win this year. Marty has had some good teams."
The Cavaliers led by just four after the Lions opened the scoring in the fourth quarter. But Augusta Christian scored only two more points in the final frame while being outscored 20-4.
Gaige Gilbert led the way for Augusta Christian with 14 points.
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