Cougars earn spot in state-championship game

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 21, 2016

By Kevin Eckleberry

BARNESVILLE – The Lafayette Christian School Cougars are one win away from a state championship and a perfect season.

Lafayette Christian beat Westminster 60-45 on Friday in the semifinals of the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association state tournament at Gordon State College.

Lafayette Christian will play North Georgia at 3 p.m. today in the championship game, which will also be played at Gordon State.

“They’ve got a big guy, and they’ve got a couple of guys that can shoot,” Lafayette Christian head coach Jarred Pike said of North Georgia. “It should be a close game, a competitive game. We’ll just have to be ready to play, and we’ll have to hit some shots.”

In Friday’s final-four victory, the Cougars got a big lift from Gregory Benefield, who scored 14 points and had eight rebounds and five steals.

“He’s been coming on of late,” Pike said. ” He was probably the player of the game. He played great. At one point, we were only up by two or three. He comes down and hits a three, and then he comes down and hits a two and gets the and one. That was a big play. He played big tonight for us.”

Antaveis Sands had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Marcus Mobley had 14 points and eight rebounds.

Point guard Jemi Reed didn’t get much done scoring wise, but he had nine rebounds and four assists.

Jonathan Parham got the start for the Cougars, and he made a 3-pointer to get the team off and rolling.

Pike said Lafayette Christian had a big cheering section in Barnesville.

“We had a whole section of the arena full of our guys, so that was good,” Pike said.

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