Dayton, Tenn. —
Last week the Somerset Christian School boys basketball team competed in the NACA (National Association of Christian Athletes) National Tournament.
The Cougars finished fourth out of 17 teams in their Division 5.
Here's a breakdown of the games.
The Qualifying game was played at on Wednesday, March 6, against the Providence Christian Lions from Savannah, GA. The Cougars easily won 67-23.
“Not much competition in this one, but we were glad to get a win to get us started on the right path,” said Cougars’ head coach Kirk Stickley.
Colby Alexander led the Cougars with 17 points, while Hunter Reed had 12 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals.
SCS 30 20 11 6 – 67
PCS 5 3 6 9 – 23
SOMERSET CHRISTIAN – Colby Alexander 17, Hunter Reed 12, Devin Mayne 11, Daniel Ellenberg 8, Tyler Burton 6, Jacob Ricks 4, Tanner Lewis 4, Aaron Stephens 3,Brandon Eades 2.
In the second game, the Cougars played the Mountain Christian Cougars from Horicon, WI. Somerset Christian won that game 73-35.
Mountain Top had two brothers Chris and Lucas Gough who were excellent 3-point shooters. Chris had scored 70 points in one game during the season.
“We played man-to-man on them,” Stickley commented. “Chris Gough scored 13 points in the first half, while Lucas Gough scored 15 points in the second quarter. At the half we were ahead by 2 points at 33-31. We decided to pressure their ball handler in the second half and to tighten our defense on the brothers. We played probably the best half of defensive basketball this season. Chris Gough hit a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter for his final points of the game. His brother didn't score at all in the second half.”
“We held Mountain Top to 4 points in the second half, while we put up 40,” Stickley added.
SCS 14 19 19 21 – 73
MCS 13 18 3 1 – 35
SOMERSET CHRISTIAN – Alexander 21, Ellenberg 14, Reed 10, Burton 10, Mayne 9, Ricks 7, Lewis 2.
The Cougar’s third game was played against a very solid team, the Lions of Carolina Christian out of Locust, NC. Somerset Christian won the game 63-50
“Carolina has a very good junior, Luke Moore, very smooth player,” Stickley explained. “he was slender in build but very solid fundamentally. He put up 21 points on us.”
“This was a game where their 5 had to beat our 5,” Stickley explained. “At the end their 5 wasn't able to match our balance. Plus we shot 60 percent from the field and 77 percent from 3-point range for the game.”
SCS 16 15 20 12 – 63
CCS 12 16 11 11 – 50
SOMERSET CHRISTIAN – Reed 17, Ricks 16, Alexander 14 , Ellenberg 8, Mayne 5, Burton 2, Lewis 1.
In the Cougars’ fourth game, they faced Galilean Christian Academy Eagles from Liberty, Ky. The Cougars fell 71-49.
This was the semi-final game for Division 5. The Cougars had faced the Eagles back on Dec. 7, 2012 and had come out victorious 71-55.
Whether this added any motivation for the Eagles is anyone’s guess. But the Cougars knew they would have to contain the Martin brothers, Jordan, Marvin and Gabriel.
Together the brothers scored over half of the Eagles points. Jordan had a team high 25, Marvin 6 and Gabriel added 17.
“We shot 30 percent from the field, that kind of cold shooting will kill any team,” Stickley said. “It was a physical game and neither team wanted to give an inch, but in the fourth quarter our frustration took control and we let them take the game away from us.”
SCS 16 10 17 6 – 49
GCA 15 17 16 23 – 71
SOMERSET CHRISTIAN – Reed 14, Ricks 10, Burton 9, Ellenberg 8, Alexander 4, Lewis 4.
The Cougars played their fifth game against Mountain View Christian Conquerors from Winchester, VA. The Cougars were facing the biggest team of the tournament for third place in Division 5. The Conquerors had two 6'7" players, a 6'4" guard and a 6'3" guard.
The Cougars feel 91-75 to take home fourth place in the NACA National Division 5
“We came out attacking their inside hoping to get the senior center, Brandon Pressley in foul trouble,” Stickley said. “At the end of the first quarter, we were tied at 22-22 and we even had the lead at half at 43-39. But in the second half the Conquerors’ three seniors, Pressley, James Kirksey and Isaac Foltz took control of the game, as they combined to outscore the entire Cougar team 44-32.”
“We gave it everything we had, but we were so tired by the end of the 3rd quarter, but we kept fighting all the way to the end,” Stickley said. “I am very proud of how hard we played against a bigger, more physical team. 4th place is nothing to be ashamed of, there were some very athletic and big teams in this tournament. We played very well for our first time there.”
SCS 22 21 15 17 – 75
MVC 22 17 25 27 – 91
SOMERSET CHRISTIAN —Alexander 21, Reed 16, Ellenberg 14, Ricks 12, Burton 6, Lewis 4, Gabe Souza 2.
Colby Alexander was named to the NACA Division 5 Boys All-Tournament Team.
On Saturday was the KCAA All-Star Game played at North Hardin Christian in Radcliffe.
Hunter Reed was a coaches' choice for the game. He was joined by Colby Alexander and Jacob Ricks from the Cougars.
Somerset Christian head coach Kirk Stickley was selected by the KCAA to coach the East All-Stars.
Hunter Reed scored 8 points, Colby Alexander had 4 points and Jacob Ricks failed to score. The West won 102-71.
Colby Alexander was also named All-Tournament at the KCAA State Tournament.
Hunter Reed was named to the KCAA All-State Team also.
The Cougars finished 24-9 for the season – 13-5 under Shane Skaggs and 10-4 under Kirk Stickley
“We're looking forward to next year,” Stickley concluded. “We have a summer to get bigger, stronger and better. Then take a senior laden team into their last season. We're still shooting for the trifecta, a regional, state and national championship.”