LAMP has made a habit of rallying late, coming up short at times and pulling out late victories on other occasions.
In Wednesday’s championship game of the Montgomery Academy Tipoff Classic, the Golden Tigers were poised for another rally, but Stanhope Elmore answered each challenge, beating back LAMP 68-59 to grab the championship in the inaugural tournament on Wednesday afternoon.
LAMP had avenged early-season losses to Prattville and Marbury to reach the championship game, but it was Stanhope Elmore’s turn to avenge the previous week’s loss to the Golden Tigers with a solid effort on both ends of the floor.
“The difference (in the first meeting) was it was our second game in,” said Stanhope Elmore’s DJ Jamerson, the tournament most valuable player. “We had to get more practices, make sure we could communicate better on defense and on offense.”
Jamerson, the junior playing his first season of basketball in the United States, was a handful for LAMP in the first meeting between the two, but he was a difference maker in the second meeting, pouring in nine points in the second quarter and eight in the fourth, finishing with 27 points and upsetting LAMP efforts to turn up the defensive pressure on the Mustangs.
“We were able to run with them last time,” LAMP coach Marcus Townsend said. “We didn’t have an answer for him down low. When we played good defense, he was there to clean it up. We didn’t have an answer for their comeback. We normally do, but we just didn’t today.”
LAMP (3-4) got at least one 3-pointer from each of the 10 Golden Tigers that scored, but Stanhope Elmore turned the first meeting of an up-tempo style that favored the Tigers into Wednesday’s half-court style that favored the Mustangs, gambling with a zone defense at times that LAMP usually shoots through but couldn’t on Wednesday.
“We did not hit good shots and they did a good job of slowing us down at the beginning of the game,” Townsend said. “The pace of the game kind of affected the way we played. I think we just got outplayed today. The big man was important.”
Quinn Sloane led LAMP with 21 points, followed by Micah Boone with 10. Jamal Ball followed Jamerson in scoring for Stanhope Elmore (3-2) with 12 points, followed by Jay Tillman with 11.
Joining Jamerson on the all-tournament team were Tillman, Sloane and Boone, along with Marbury’s Zamari Brown.
In other tournament games on Wednesday, Prattville defeated St. Luke’s Episcopal 50-26 for seventh place, Central-Hayneville beat Montgomery Academy 78-73 for fifth place and Marbury ran past Loachapoka 77-51 for third place.
Marbury 77, Loachapoka 51
Jakheil Waller scored 20 points to help Class 5A Marbury run away from Class 1A Loachapoka to take third place in the MA Tipoff Classic on Wednesday.
Marbury led 12-7 after the first quarter, but scored 23 points in the second quarter and 24 in the third to cruise to an easy victory. Cedric Calloway added 15 points for the Bulldogs, followed by Zamari Brown with 11.
Aaron Frazier led Loachapoka with 17 points.
Central-Hayneville 78, Montgomery Academy 73
Oliver Bear went 7 for 14 from the 3-point arc and added five steals to lead the Eagles, but it wasn’t enough in a 78-73 loss to Central-Hayneville on Wednesday morning.
William Norrell added 13 points and four steals for Montgomery Academy (1-2), while Britton Kohn added 12 assists and William Robertson had 11 rebounds to go with four points. MA returns to action on Monday at Marbury.