Cougars chasing a championship
LAGRANGE – Marcus Mobley had himself a night.
The Lafayette Christian School basketball standout scored 30 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and even had three steals to lead his team to an 85-47 victory over visiting Skipstone Academy on Thursday.
This is Mobley’s second season on the Lafayette Christian basketball team, and he has been a tremendous player since his arrival.
“I try to dominate every game, play it like it’s your last,” Mobley said after helping his team improve to 4-0 with a blowout win at home.
Mobley is part of a team with state-championship aspirations.
Last season, Mobley and fellow newcomer Jemi Reed helped the Cougars enjoy the finest season in the history of the program.
The Cougars only lost two games in the regular season, and they ended up finishing 17-5 after falling in the first round of the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association state tournament.
In a loss to King’s Academy in the state tournament, Mobley had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Reed added 21 points.
A handful of seniors from the 2014-2015 team have moved on, but the Cougars came into a new season will plenty of reason for optimism.
It helps to have a dynamic duo like Mobley and Reed, who both enjoyed phenomenal junior seasons.
While Mobley controls things inside, Reed is a dymamic guard with the ability to light up a scoreboard, although he was limited to four points in Thursday’s game.
Reed is one of a handful of players making the transition from football to basketball.
More than half of the basketball players were members of the football team that won a state championship.
“This is our fourth game. We’re starting to come together, and play as a team,” said Jarred Pike, who has taken over as the Cougars’ head coach. “We just have to play more basketball games. That’s what we need.”
As gifted as Mobley and Reed are, the Cougars aren’t a two-person team.
With Reed having a hard time finding the range on Thursday, two other players stepped up and scored in double figures.
Ross Clifton made three 3-pointers and scored 14 points, and Anteveis Sands, one of the stars of the football team, scored 13 points.
Sands also had four rebounds and four steals, and Sam Marshall had eight points and did some nice work inside with five rebounds.
Nine of the 10 players scored at least two points during Thursday’s win.
Reed helped the Cougars dominate things defensively with eight steals.
“We can’t just rely on two players,” Pike said. “Ross Clifon, he stepped up. He’s a good player. Sam Marshall steps up defensively. He gets rebounds, take charges and shows good leadership. I have to tell those two guys, don’t put everything on your shoulders. We’ve got other guys that can score this year. The JV guys moved up from last year. And we’ve got Antaveis, and that’s going to help.”
Lafayette Christian had no trouble with Skipstone.
The Cougars led 21-6 after the first period, and they were ahead 41-14 at the half.
Mobley scored 19 points in the first half, and he showed off his shooting touch by making all five of his free-throw attempts as well as a 3-pointer.
Skipstone picked up the pace offensively in the second half, but it was unable to keep up with Lafayette Christian, which scored 44 points in the final two quarters.
Marshall scored all eight of his points in the second half.
The Cougars have another game on Monday, and they won’t play another game until January.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports