Columbus State falls short in championship game

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 7, 2016

By Kevin Eckleberry





COLUMBUS – After winning the regular-season title, former LaGrange Lady Granger Brittany Tatum and the Columbus State Cougars came up short in their quest to capture a third consecutive Peach Belt Conference tournament championship.

Columbus State (24-5) fell to Lander 72-68 in Sunday’s championship game.

The Cougars still amassed an impressive enough resume to earn an invitation to the NCAA Division II national tournament.

Columbus State will be a number three seed in its bracket, and it will play sixth-seeded Wingate in a first-round matchup on Friday.

Tatum, a junior point guard, has had a lot to do with the Cougars’ success this season.

Tatum, who has been a starter since her arrival at Columbus State as a freshman for the 2013-2014 season, has been one of the team’s top players.

Tatum averages 10.4 points per game, and before being held to nine points in Sunday’s loss, she’d scored in double figures in seven straight games.

That included a 20-point outburst in Saturday’s victory over Augusta State that propelled Columbus State into the championship game.

That was the most points Tatum scored in a game this season, and it matched her career high.

YAKIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Former Troup Tiger Demetrius Trammell and his Yakima (Wash.) teammates kept their season alive with a 94-89 victory over Emonds in the first round of the Northwest Athletic Conference tournament.

Yakima advances to the second round to face Clark on Friday in a quarterfinal matchup.

Trammell, who is in his second season at the two-year school, has been one of the team’s top scorers this season.

Trammell, who has played in all 29 games this season, is second on the team in scoring at 17 points per game, and he is making 52 percent of his 3-point attempts, which leads the league.

In the final regular-season game, Trammell was nearly perfect from the outside, making 10-of-12 of his 3-point attempts on the way to a 36-point night.

In the game before that, Trammell was 7-of-10 from long range.

“He was already the NWAC’s leading 3-point shooter,” head coach Ray Funk. “He showed why the last two games.”

ALABAMA A&M: It was a winning senior night for former LaGrange Academy Warrior Nick West and the other upperclassmen on the Alabama A&M basketball team.

Alabama A&M beat Jackson State 54-51 on Saturday to close the regular season on an upnote heading into next week’s conference tournament.

West has enjoyed a big senior season.

He has averaged a career-best 13.8 points per game, and he leads the team with 7.5 rebounds per game.

West’s best game came in a 71-66 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff when he scored 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and he had 21 points with 12 rebounds in a loss to Texas Southern.

Alabama A&M will play a first-round game in the Southwest Athletic Conference tournament on Tuesday.

LAGRANGE COLLEGE: What a season it was for former LaGrange Granger Justyn Olson, who led the Panthers in scoring in his second season on the team.

Olson, who helped lead the Panthers to a 20-9 record and a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament, averaged 16.6 points a game, and he was also among the team leaders with 4.6 rebounds a game.

Olson was a second-team member of the all-USA South team.

Olson will be a centerpiece of the team as a senior next season.

Andrea Heflin, a freshman from LaGrange High, played in seven games for the LaGrange College women’s team, and she was 2-of-4 on 3-point attempts during the season.

COVENANT COLLEGE: Morgan Douglass, a freshman from Lafayette Christian School, played in 16 games, and she ended up scoring 10 points while making a pair of 3-pointers.

Douglass also had 11 rebounds, eight assists and four steals.

Douglass is the all-time leading scorer in Lafayette Christian School history.

PRAIRIE VIEW: After three outstanding seasons on the Prairie View basketball team, former Troup Lady Tiger Shamiya Brooks has been unable to play this season because of an injury.

Brooks has enjoyed a terrific career at Prairie View, and she has helped the team win multiple conference championships.

In high school, Brooks led Troup to a region championship and a berth in the state’s elite eight as a senior.

MARYVILLE: Danterrius Bray, a freshman from LaGrange High, saw limited time for the Scots this season.

Bray, a sharp-shooting senior guard, signed with Maryville after helping lead LaGrange to a region championship and a berth in the state quarterfinals last season.

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