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Cougars can sew up final-four berth with win

The Lafayette Christian School Cougars won a region championship last week, and a first-round game in the state tournament on Tuesday. If the Cougars win another game today, they’ll be in the final four of the GICAA state tournament. Photo by Matthew Strother
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_cougars.jpgThe Lafayette Christian School Cougars won a region championship last week, and a first-round game in the state tournament on Tuesday. If the Cougars win another game today, they’ll be in the final four of the GICAA state tournament. Photo by Matthew Strother

LAGRANGE – They’re three wins from a title.

After opening their state-tournament stay with a 96-39 victory over Peachtree Academy on Tuesday, the Lafayette Christian School Cougars will host Eastgate Life Academy at 5 p.m. today in a second-round game.

The winner will advance to the semifinals of the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association state tournament.

The unbeaten Cougars (20-0) made it look easy in the first round.

They stormed out to a big early lead, and they never looked back.

“We scored 96 points, with our starters sitting for almost the entire second half,” Lafayette Christian School head coach Jarred Pike said. “We just couldn’t miss.”

Antaveis Sands led the Cougars with 19 points, Jemi Reed added 17 points, and Marcus Mobley (15 points) and Ross Clifton (11 points) were also in double figures.

Sands set the tone right from the start.

The Cougars got a steal, and Sands drained a 3-pointer for the first points of the game, and the onslaught was on.

“It was like that all night,” Pike said.

Lafayette Christian now turns its attention to an Eastgate team that beat Shiloh Christian School 52-39 to reach the second round.

It will be the first meeting this season between those two teams.

If the Cougars win today, they would play either Westside Christian Academy or Westminster Christian Academy in the final four at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19 at Gordon State College in Barnesville.

The championship game, which will also be played at Gordon State, is set for Feb. 20 at 3 p.m.

A year ago, the Cougars had a terrific season, but they lost two games in the region tournament before being eliminated in the first round of the state tournament.

Pike said this season, the players have been committed to making sure they keep the momentum all the way to the finish line.

“That’s the thing I keep preaching,” Pike said. “We’re not finished yet.”

Unfortunately for the Lafayette Christian Lady Cougars, their season is finished.

In the first round of the state tournament on Thursday, Lafayette Christian lost to Westminster 54-13.

In their final high-school games, seniors Veronica Prince and Roni Bowman had six and five points, respectively.

The Lady Cougars earned their state invitation by finishing fourth in last week’s region tournament.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports