Trojans focused on Elite Eight after winning region championshipPublished 9:25pm Tuesday, February 5, 2013
After capturing a region championship, the Meadowview Christian School boys basketball team is now setting its sights on the Alabama Independent School Association Elite Eight and the state title chase.
Over the weekend, the Trojans (14-10) swept through the AISA Class 1A Region 2 tournament in Monroeville, winning three games to capture the region title and clinch a No. 1 seed in the AISA Elite Eight tournament in Montgomery.
In Thursday’s game, Meadowview defeated Sumter Academy 58-41, as senior Travis Stacey led the Trojans with 26 points, and senior Dylan Lawrence had 20 points, while Clayton Thorton added 8 points for Meadowview.
Meadowview carried the momentum over to Friday’s game, defeating Patrician Academy 55-46, as Stacey led the way with 23 points, Lawrence had 20 points, and Thorton had 7 points.
The Trojans closed out Marengo Academy in the championship game on Saturday, winning 49-32, as Lawrence had 25 points and 18 rebounds, Thorton had 13 points and 7 rebounds, and Stacey had 9 points.
Lawrence was named the tournament most valuable player, while Stacey and Thorton were both named to the all-tournament team.
In his first year as Meadowview head boys basketball coach, along with assistant Damion Dillon, coach James Murphy said the Trojans were able to find an identity after a rough start to the season.
“We started the first year bumpy, with my first year coaching I guess I had some trials and errors myself trying to get a fit between my coaching style and the kid’s play,” Murphy said. “In the beginning, it was kind of bumpy, but we were able to work some things out and actually get some chemistry between me and the players.”
Murphy said the Trojans have persevered through the early struggles, and each player has found his role in helping the team chase a state title.
“With my first year doing it, I didn’t know the ups and downs of it, but of course there are some. I’m enjoying it, taking it one day at a time, and all I can do is ask the kids to do things, and they do what I ask them to do. I think that’s the key to our success,” Murphy said. “With Dylan being Dylan, he’s a great player all around. Travis, he handles the ball well. With those two kids, and now Clayton stepping up and everyone playing their role, that’s been crucial to our success.”
Murphy said there were doubters in the beginning, but through faith in Christ and in each other, the Trojans have been able to achieve a lot.
Meadowview will look to continue its success starting Wednesday, as the Trojans will travel to Huntingdon College in Montgomery to face fourth-seed Abbeville Christian in the Elite Eight starting at 4:30 p.m.
Murphy said the goal is to continue the championship chase.
“Without a doubt, we want to win it all. We’ve gotten this far, it’s no sense in stopping,” Murphy said. “The first round we play Abbeville and we haven’t played them before. Second round, if we beat Abbeville, we play either Patrician or Cornerstone, and we’ve played both of them. With Patrician, we split. They beat us the first time and we beat them in the region tournament. With Cornerstone, they beat us both times, but that was during our rocky times. By far, we’re ready. It doesn’t matter who we meet now. It’s a very good chance that we can go all the way.”
Lawrence said it’s a great feeling as a senior to make it to the Elite Eight.
“It feels good. We haven’t done it in, what, four years. It’s been a while,” Lawrence said. “I feel like we’ve accomplished something. I think the team we have this year worked harder than the team we had last year.”
Stacey said the team’s hard work is paying off, and he’s hoping they can bring home a state championship.
“It’s real important. We haven’t been there in a while. The team’s working real hard and it’s paying off,” Stacey said. “We’re going to stay together as a team. We’re going to come out and not underestimate anybody. We’re going to play hard and we’re going to execute, do what coach says, and hopefully pull it out.”