|Providence Christian Academy just ended its season in the Middle Tennessee Athletic Conference tournament last week with another title in the middle school girls division and a fourth place finish for the boys upper school team.
The Lions were defeated by Christian Community School in the third place game, 52-31, Feb. 23, but PCA head coach Mike Jones was pleased with his team’s performance considering, it lost one of its top players to injury against Holloway High School in the quarterfinals.
“It was an emotional let down for the boys due to the circumstances of that injury, but they rallied themselves for the semifinal,” Jones said. “We lost that game, but overcame a 25 point first-half deficit and cut it to nine in late third quarter. I was very proud of their effort.”
PCA won that game against Holloway, 60-54, but were down a key player heading into the semifinal game against Franklin Classical School.
The Lions lost the following game, 78-66, and then fell in the consolation game to CCS.
Despite the loss, it was still a great season for PCA, as its starting five had a mix of three freshmen, Ethan Hennis, Jake Johnson and Kipp Swafford.
All three of them brought a championship mentality, since they were a part of back-to-back middle school titles at PCA.
At the same time, junior Payton Thomas broke 1,000 points this season and fellow junior Alex Byrum was also a key contributer to this year’s team.
Even though the Lions play in a different conference than some of their fellow local schools., the team decided to challenge some of those TSSAA schools, including Mount Juliet Christian, Columbia Academy and Central Magnet, during the regular season.
Jones said those experiences helped the team prepare for postseason play.
“Our players desired opportunities to play tougher competition and establish themselves,” Jones said. “I felt that the season provided positive incremental improvement which will serve our program moving forward.”
Speaking of the future, the Lions will have everybody back, since this year’s team did not have any seniors on it, Jones said.
As for the Lady Lions middle school team, it looks like a dynasty is building on DeJarnette Lane.
Don McMurry’s team brought back another title after beating the Webb School, 31-7, Feb. 9 in Bell Buckle.
It was the third win in three days for PCA in route to the MTAC title.
The Lady Lions also beat Grace Christian and Aaron Academy in the tournament.
PCA was led by a trio of star players, who each received postseason honors after the event.
Sydney Blankenship was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while teammates, Liza Jane Jones and Emma Christiansen were selected to the All Tournament team.