LFO Warriors

The LFO Warriors checked off another goal from their list on Friday night with a 57-46 win over upstart Adairsville in the Region 6-AAA semifinals at North Murray High School.

Second-seeded LFO (22-4) will face top-seeded North Murray in Saturday night's championship game at 7:30 p.m. back in Chatsworth. The Mountaineers advance to the finals with a win over Calhoun in the other semifinal game.

Win or lose Saturday night, the Red-and-White are assured of at least one more basketball game in their own home gymnasium. That game will come next weekend in the opening round of the Class 3A state tournament.

LFO scored the first 10 points of the game against the Tigers and then used back-to-back 3-pointers by Jacob King and Cameron Gregg to help build a 20-4 lead with less than two minutes to go in the opening period.

But after going over 3:30 to start the game without scoring a point, sixth-seeded Adairsville - who upset third-seeded Murray County in the quarterfinals - reversed that trend. The Tigers scored the last seven points of the first quarter and the first eight points of the second quarter as they came storming back the cut the Warriors' lead to 20-19.

Jamichael Davis would break Adairsville's run on a bucket with 3:52 left in the half, but behind the inside presence of 6-foot-9 center Jaxon Welchel, the Tigers would stay close and they would go into the locker room down just three points, 24-21.

The Green-and-Gold would tie the game early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer, but they were never able to take the lead as LFO began to reassert itself on the defensive end of the floor.

The Warriors scored 10 straight points to go back in front by double digits. Brent Bowman hit a 3-pointer and capped the run with a nifty fastbreak pass to Amari Burnett for a transition lay-up that gave LFO a 34-24 lead.

LFO would put the game away early in the fourth quarter as solid outside shooting and tight man-to-man defense would help stretch the lead back out to 16 points with under three minutes to play. Adairsville would get a couple of late 3-pointers, but it was never enough to threaten the Warriors' victory.

Davis scores 19 points to lead LFO, while Bowman, who joined his fellow freshman on the All-Region first team, added 14 points in the win. Gregg had nine points and King finished with eight. Five points from Burnett and two from Cameron Lay rounded things out for the winners.

A win on Saturday night would give LFO its first region title in basketball since 1996.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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