Contributed to
the Observer

On Tuesday, Feb. 1, the Southern Christian Patriots traveled to Clay County to play the First Assembly Christian School Lions. The boys’ middle school team came into the contest 17-2, led by its explosive point guard Parks Myers who is averaging 14 points per game, and power forward Jagger Scott who is averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds per game. In the 41-35 victory over the Lions, Myers and Scott did not disappoint. Myers finished with 16 points; Jagger had 10 points and 13 rebounds. Jedd Scott also added eight boards. In the junior varsity contest, freshman Cole Johnson led the Patriots to a 48-40 victory, scoring 20 points in regulation. Jedd added seven points and Myers added 10. Jagger was limited on the offensive end, scoring just six points, but came up big in the paint grabbing a whopping 16 rebounds. Jayden Mckee kepth the Lion’s offense at bay with six steals.

On Feb. 3, the Patriots hosted the ACSC powerhouse Evangel Lightning at Covington Rec Center in Opelika. The middle school boys had fought to victory over the Lightning when visiting their gym in Montevallo, and the Lightning are not used to losing.

“This was the most exciting basketball game I ever coached,” said Southern Christian Head Coach Jason Scott. “Evangel is a big school and always a tough competitor. We knew we were in for a fight after we beat them at their place.”

The two teams battled it out until the score was tied at 35 with little time on the clock. Myers took a potential game-winning shot for the Patriots when he was fouled as the buzzer went off. Myers, and 84% free throw shooter on the season, was presumably the man for the job. However, after Myers released the first free throw … clank … he missed. The crowd was silenced as he lined up for his second attempt to win the game on the free throw line. In what seemed like slow motion the ball nicked the back of the rim, rolled around for what seemed like ages and fell to the ground. The game headed to overtime. The two teams regroup for one final period of play — or so they thought. The two teams could separate from one another after one overtime, as the score remained tied 42-42. In the second overtime, Evangel missed a would-be game-winning shot, and the two teams entered a third overtime tied at 48. Finally, the Patriots earn some early separation thanks to steals by Myers and Jedd. The Lightning couldn’t recover and the Patriots escaped with a long-fought 56-50 win. Leading the scorers for the Patriots was Myers, who had 19 points and seven steals on the night. Jedd added 11 points, while Jack Eagan had nine points. Jagger again owned the paint, pulling down 17 rebounds, blocking four shots and scoring 13 points.

As if the excitement wasn’t high enough, then came the junior varsity game.

“I knew we were in for a tough game with their JV,” Jason said. “We were a little tired from the overtime game, but that’s not why we lost. We lost because they are just better than us, period. They are very talented group of older guys, and we are still pretty young, mostly 14-year-olds on this team.

Cole Johnson led the way for the Patriots in defeat. He finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Mckee had two three critical three pointers late to keep Southern Christian in the game, but the Patriots fell 35-58. The junior varsity would play Evangel again on Saturday in the ACSC junior varsity tournament.

The Patriots traveled to Samford University in Homewood, Alabama, for the tournament, facing an uphill battle having already lost to first-round opponent Evangel. Jason said he had hoped the Lightning would be looking past his team.

“It’s hard to beat a team twice but it’s really tough to beat them three times in a season,” said. “he That’s what we were counting on.Their starting five was older and bigger than us, I knew that coming in, so I decided because we are pretty fast that we had to try and run with them.”

The Patriots put up a good fight but could not match the Lightning for the entire game. Evangel was able to break the press of Southern Christian several times and when the Lightning got ahead, they did not look back. In the end the Patriots lost 34-50 and the season came to an end. The middle school team finished with an impressive 19-2 record; the JV record finished at 5-15.