Braxtyn McCuien arrived Tuesday night in the 3A-5 Conference tournament at Episcopal Collegiate.
McCuien, a 6-5 freshman who opted to play with his classmates this season instead of playing varsity, had 27 points and seven blocks in his debut for Mayflower and teamed with 6-5 senior David Jagers to carry the Eagles (7-19) to an 85-78 victory over the Lisa Academy Jaguars.
Jagers finished with 31 points as Mayflower advanced to play top-seeded Episcopal Collegiate on Thursday.
"They are two quality postmen,'' Mayflower Coach Brent Stallings. "We just moved McCuien up off the championship junior high team, and we knew he would make a difference and he did."
When the Eagles got the ball into the front court they scored with ease, but the constant hounding of the Jaguars' full-court pressure and the ability to hit three-pointers (12) created issues.
"Sometimes you paint a masterpiece and sometimes it is a bad child's coloring,'' Stallings said. "But that is how they make you play. Sometimes you are going to look good and sometimes you look like you never played basketball."
Mayflower led 11-0 after three minutes and finished the first quarter up 19-10.
The Jaguars made many runs but never could overcome the early deficit.
"They had the big lead and it was hard to swing it back,'' Lisa Academy Coach Sammy Clark said. "We kept making runs but we could just not break it down. We eventually got it to three but they came back."
With a 6-0 run to start the second quarter, the Jaguars closed to within 19-17 within the first 45 seconds of the quarter. The Eagles answered with an 18-0 run and led 37-17 with 2:55 left in the half.
Ashton Dedner led Lisa Academy with 26 points. Ellis Warren had 15 points, Quinton Ellis 13 and Julian Wilkins 11.
Sports on 02/14/2018
Print Headline: Freshman debuts for Mayflower