Late block seals revenge at CCS for Lions versus CAK Warriors

Down three points with a few seconds left in a Tuesday, Jan. 31 rivalry showdown, Christian Academy of Knoxville’s boys basketball team had to have a trey to force overtime against homestanding Concord Christian School.

The Warriors went to their best player, senior wing Luke Carter. But Lion senior wing Jacob Dunn got a hand on Carter’s shot, and it fell well short. The result was a dramatic 51-48 comeback win that avenged CCS’s 43-38 loss at CAK Jan. 6.

“I’m more than pleased,” Lions head coach Justin Zachary said. “I’ve just been challenging them to not quit or give in.”

“We just didn’t play well at all,” Warriors head coach JD Johnson said. “We didn’t execute anything. Gotta get back to the drawing board and practice better.”

It was the final regular season game for these Division II-A East Region District 1 rivals, CAK finishes 19-9 overall, 9-4 district; CCS improved to 12-11, 7-8.

The Lions jumped out to a 5-0 lead and held that advantage to the end of the first quarter with a 14-9 edge.

CAK tied it at 17 with 4:09 left in the half on Evan Coffman’s layup. Down 23-21 with 2:27 left, the Warriors took their first lead on Carter’s three with 2:14 to go.

Before the half would end, Carter would hit a jumper, another trey and a lay-up en route to giving the Warriors a 31-26 halftime lead.

Points were hard to come by in the third for both teams, as a mere 12 were scored combined. The Lions’ 8-4 advantage cut CAK’s lead to 35-34 heading into the dramatic fourth.

A 5-1 CAK run to start the final period made it 40-35, but CCS came right back with six straight to take a 41-40 lead.

Down 46-45 with 49 seconds left, Concord went on a 6-2 run to make it 51-48 with five seconds left, setting up Carter’s game-tying attempt.

Dominic Alford, a junior wing, led the Lions with 14 points. “We just never lost hope,” Alford said. “I love the intensity of the game. I just love to fight; that’s why we never gave up.”

Carter led all scorers with 23. Coffman added 10.

“We kept fighting,” Zachary said. “I’m beyond pleased; so proud of them that they didn’t quit on me or each other.”