Lambert’s boys’ basketball team cruised to a first round victory in the Region 6-AAAAAA tournament on Saturday, taking down North Forsyth, 69-28.
Lambert dominated in virtually every facet of the game, controlling the tempo from start to finish. By halftime, the Longhorns had accrued twice as many points as the Raiders (36-18) and would only let up when the starters were pulled after the third quarter.
While Lambert’s scoring attack was in top form, it was the team’s defense that impressed head coach Scott Bracco the most. North got into rhythms during the first and third quarters, but were held to a combined seven points in the second and fourth frames.
Senior forward Trevor Shipes put up a strong defensive showing, hauling in 20 rebounds to go along with 14 points. Teammate Tanner Hall took care of the offense, scoring 10 first quarter points and 20 overall. Neither Hall nor Shipes played in the final eight minutes.
“It was a team effort on both sides of the ball,” said Bracco. “Tanner got us going in the first half attacking the basket and knocking down some shots, and Trevor did a great job rebounding the ball.”
For North, junior Chad Bureau led the team in scoring with eight points. Senior Harris Roberts had 10 rebounds and, playing in his final high school contest, was clearly the Raiders’ most energized player on the court.
It would be easy for such a lopsided win to lead to overconfidence among the victors, but Lambert remains grounded heading into the second round of the tournament.
“We don’t look at it as reason [to get full of ourselves],” Bracco said. “We’re just trying to focus on the next game and next team, and we need to stick to our keys—and that’s playing hard and playing defense.”
The Longhorns will play Johns Creek at 6:30 p.m. Monday night, a team they have beaten twice already this year. However, the Gladiators are coming off an impressive triumph over West Forsyth and have now won four straight.
“At this time in the season you can’t be satisfied,” Bracco concluded. “You have to continue to work hard and to improve, and that’s our goal.”