Chase Dunn led the charge in the first half and Will Barnes carried Lee late in the contest as the Flames improved to 28-1 to secured at least a share of the SSAC East Division with a grinding 80-69 win over Brewton-Parker College on Saturday afternoon.
Dunn scored 16 of his 21 points in the opening half. Barnes duplicated Dunn’s 16 points in the second 20 minutes and finished the battle with 20 points. Dunn made 4-of-7 3-point attempts and Barnes was 2-of-4 from behind the arc. Both were perfect from the charity stripe as the Flames converted 13-of-16 attempts.
Jamorris Gaines (11) and Steve Bennett (10) were the only other Lee players in double-figure scoring. Corey Billingsley added seven markers and Chad Lee paced the Lee rebounders with five.
Coach Tommy Brown was not pleased with his club as they head to Emmanuel for a Monday evening showdown with the Lions. Emmanuel has lost only twice in the conference after posting a win over Southern Wesleyan on Saturday. The Flames extended their winning streak to 15.
“If we play like this at Emmanuel, we are in for a long night,” said Brown. “I’m not taking anything away from Brewton-Parker. They put it all on the line and were well prepared for this game. We’ve got to get mentally tougher when things do not go our way or we will finish this season with a 28-4 record.”
The Flames seemed to be in command at the halftime break, leading 39-22. The stubborn Barons cut the lead to only six points at one point late in the contest before Barnes, Duran Blue and Gaines stepped up to hit some key shots and take away any hopes of a Brewton-Parker upset.
The Barons managed to stay in the contest by out-rebounding the Flames 31-26 and claiming 11 offensive rebounds.
“We can’t allow that to happen,” pointed out Brown. “We have to get tougher inside.”
Turnovers also troubled the Lee staff as the Flames committed 20 floor mistakes, but did force Brewton-Parker into 17.
Lee shot 45 percent from the field (29-of-52) and behind Dunn and Barnes, made 9-of-18 3-pointers. The Barons shot a respectable 44 percent from the floor. However, the home club was determined to push the ball toward the bucket and attempted only a pair of treys (0-2). Brewton-Parker was awarded 27 free throws and managed to stay close by converting 21.
Darrie Stephens posted a double-double for the losers. He tallied 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Brandon McCarden followed with 15 points and hit 7-of-10 shots from the field, while Justin Quartermann tallied 14 points.
LADY FLAMES 78,
LADY BARONS 49
After an easy 78-49 victory, the seventh-ranked Lady Flames will now set their sights on the SSAC Tournament in Montgomery, Ala., which begins on Thursday. Coach Marty Rowe’s club will go in as the No.1 seed with a record of 27-2 overall and a 16-2 mark in conference play.
Lee jumped out to a 12-point lead at the intermission and would go on to outscore BPC 41-24 in the second stanza to cap off the 29-point victory. The Lady Flames have won 10 straight games going into the postseason play. The last time they tasted defeat was Jan. 26 at Southern Poly.
“I was pleased with the way the girls closed out the regular season. This is the way we wanted to finish. I feel like we improved with every game.” said Rowe.
Junior Hollie German led the scoring attack for Lee as she recorded 20 points and dished out three assists. German made her presence felt on the defensive end as well swiping four steals. Juniors Karley Miller and Myriah Illes provided the punch in the post. Miller finished with 10 markers and seven rebounds while Illes added nine points to go along with five boards for the Lady Flames.
“I’m especially proud of the way our seniors have played down the stretch,” stated Rowe.
One of those seniors, Brooke Hamby, helped set the table for the Lee offensive. The veteran point guard dished off seven assists. Senior Julia Zimmerman continued to shoot the ball well from behind the arc hitting four 3-pointers. Zimmerman finished with 14 points.
Lee shot 45 percent from the field in the contest and hit of 10-of-25 from behind the arc (40 percent). The Lady Flames converted 14-of-19 from the charity stripe. Lee’s swarming defense limited BPC to just 31 percent shooting for the game and helped to create 26 turnovers. The Lady Flames were guilty of 17 floor mistakes and dished out 18 assists.
The Lady Flames won the battle on the boards by a 36-28 margin. A big advantage in the game was bench scoring as Lee outscored BPC 31-13 off the bench.
Brianna Webb was the only player in double-figures for the host team. She scored 12 points and pulled down four rebounds. Crystal Nwaopara and Ima Petion added nine points each.
“I really feel good about this team as we enter tournament play next week.” admitted Rowe. “Today we came to a tough place to play, took care of business and that is what good teams are suppose to do.”