BGA faces toughest test to date in Lighthouse Christian
BGA’s Nathan Moran (5) takes a charge during a win over FRA as Zac Wracher (52) and Morris Hermann (12) look on. Defense will be critical for the Wildcats tomorrow night when they host high scoring and undefeated Lighthouse Christian following the girls’ 6 p.m. match up. Becky Williams
Battle Ground Academy’s boys (22-1, 10-0 Division II-A) has rattled off 21 straight wins and gained the number one ranking in Division II-A in Tennessee. All that could be in jeopardy tomorrow night when the Wildcats host their biggest challenge to date, a match up with Lighthouse Christian of Antioch (22-0, 5-0 Middle Tennessee Athletic Conference).
“I don’t like rankings at all,” said BGA Coach Len McKnatt. “The only thing we’ve tried to say is we’ve got a big target on our chest and we need to understand we are going to get everybody’s best game.”
McKnatt and the Wildcats will get exactly that from Lighthouse Christian, a school known nationally for one of its portable classrooms floating down I-24 during the Great Flood of 2010.
Now they are known for not backing down from competition.
The Lions, coached by Vic Wharton, have already beaten Centennial by 34, Independence by 24 and MBA by 17. The two teams share one common opponent, FRA, which Lighthouse defeated by 34 and BGA has beaten twice by an average of 8 points.
It could very well be an offensive showcase if the two teams get to running. BGA normally puts 73 points on the board and Lighthouse 71. Lighthouse Christian’s 22-wins have come by an average margin of 28 points, while BGA’s wins have been decided by an average of 21 points.
Part of the dominance the Lions have shown comes on the backs of three sharp shooters. Forward Tripp Davis averages 18.2 points a game, with shooting guard Chase Napier averaging 14.3 and Will Smith kicking in 12.5 points per game.
BGA is not without weapons, though. Nathan Moran is the county’s leading scorer, averaging 17.4 points per game. Daniel Brown averages 9.6 and Sam Wracher, who can be a force under the boards, is good for 8.7 points.
If it does turn into a sprint, McKnatt and the Wildcats should have an edge. BGA can go 14 deep on a team with eleven players averaging five points or more a contest. Lighthouse’s bench appears to thin after the seventh man.
It’s an advantage the BGA coach is proud of having.
“We have guys that are willing to sacrifice for the other members of the team. The guys that don’t start battle just as hard every day in practice. They are involved and know that in games, the coach may call on me.”
The boys’ game will tip off following the girls’ contest, which starts at 6 p.m. That contest will pit a Wildcat team (12-12, 6-5 Division II-A) against a struggling Lions team that comes in 8-16 overall, but 6-0 in MTAC. Freshman Allsion Cowie (14.8 ppg) and senior Caroline Abbott (10.6 ppg) are expected to continue to lead Coach Grover Levy’s squad. Miriam Kirk is the top scorer for Lighthouse at 15.1 points per game, with assistance from Aaraven Gilbert (14.0 ppg).
Posted on: 1/30/2014