By Maurice Patton
COLUMBIA — None of the participants required medical attention following Monday’s matchup between Columbia Academy and visiting Summertown.
That, said veteran CA coach Marty DeJarnette, was a bit different.
“We went for a stretch where for 10 years, you had a guy leave bloodied every game,” DeJarnette said after his Bulldogs escaped – unscathed – with an 83-72 comeback victory. “Nothing dirty; just intense.
“For me, Summertown means something. There’s a history there. You know when you play them, either your toughness or your lack of toughness is going to show. For us, it was both.”
Meeting for the first time since their 2018 Class A state sectional clash, Columbia Academy struggled early to contain the inside/outside tandem of Skylar Trousdale and Gavin Burleson and trailed by as many as 10 points in the second quarter. Back-to-back Tanner Ham 3-pointers helped the Bulldogs close the period on a 10-2 spurt and make it a 39-37 game at intermission.
“We scored it well in the first half,” Eagles coach Wes Long said. “We let Tanner get loose in the second half. He’s a phenomenal player; he’s going to make shots. We missed some easy ones and let them get their energy ramped up. They found their shooters and got them going.”
Ham (23 points, five 3s) ripped in a trey to open the second half, but it took a 14-3 run over the late stages of the third quarter for CA to move ahead for good.
“We came out (to start the game) with no intensity,” Drew Butt said after scoring 16 of his 20 points in the final two quarters for the ‘Dawgs. “Coach D talked to us, got us right, we came out in the second half and turned the game around.
“Our defense is everything. We trust our offense; everybody on our team is an offensive threat. If we can lock in on defense, that’s where we win our games.”
After trailing by 10, Columbia Academy ran the lead out to 80-62 inside the final three minutes before a late Summertown flurry.
“We hung in as long as we could,” said Long, whose team defeated Murfreesboro Central 55-51 Saturday night before falling to 8-4 with Monday’s loss. “They’re a little quicker, a little more athletic than we are. I’m very pleased with the way we played. They’re a very good team.
“They’re kind of the measuring stick for us, even though they’ve moved on. To be able to play with a team like that, you’ve got to play mistake free. We got careless with the basketball, missed some easy ones that kept us from keeping it close late.”
Burleson scored a game-high 26 points and Trousdale 21 for Summertown, which opens District 11-A play Friday against visiting Perry County.
Columbia Academy got an additional 10 points from Hayden Morgan in bouncing back from a Dec. 28 loss to visiting Lipscomb Academy – the Bulldogs’ only loss in nine outings to this point.
“We just needed to play,” DeJarnette said. “We played a really good Lipscomb team last week, and you could tell the rust was there. Then we had another break. I really appreciate Wes coming over. They smacked us in the mouth early, but we needed that.
“We had some guys that stepped up and showed some toughness. I think we responded. Some of our guys learned lessons that will hopefully pay off down the road – like tomorrow night.”
CA resumes Division II-A District 3 play Tuesday when Franklin Road Academy visits Anderson Fieldhouse in the second of four scheduled games this week. The Bulldogs are set to go to Providence Christian on Thursday and host Grace Christian on Friday.
Columbia Acad. boys 83, Summertown 72
S 18 21 15 18 – 72
C 16 21 21 25 – 83
Summertown (72) – Skylar Trousdale 21, Zane Akins 2, Grayson Burleson 5, Gavin Burleson 26, Grant Burleson 7, Javen Edmiston 2, Kaden Trotter 9
Columbia Acad. (83) – Tanner Ham 23, Chase Duncan 3, Hayden Morgan 10, Drew Butt 20, Will Jackson 8, Canon Lansdell 2, Collins Malone 6, Gavin Morgan 2, Griffin Cooper 9
3-pointers – Summertown 7 (Trousdale 3, Gy. Burleson, Gv. Burleson 2, Gt. Burleson), Columbia Acad. 8 (Ham 5, Duncan, Butt 2)