Nichols Wins Mr. Basketball but Elder Takes Home State Championship


Now this is what state championship games are supposed to be like.

Corn Elder (Ensworth) scored 41 points and the Tigers of Ensworth needed overtime, but pulled away from the Saints of Briarcrest 87-77 to capture their third consecutive DII Class AA State Championship.

The victory offset an outstanding performance from Memphis signee Austin Nichols (Briarcrest) who finished with a game high 42 points and 13 boards in the gut wrenching loss.

Nichols had some measure of excitement at the conclusion of the contest as the senior power forward was selected as the DII Class AA Mr. Basketball over Elder and Reggie Upshaw (Baylor).

Ensworth trailed late in regulation but edged closed on a putback and free toss from sophomore Andrew Fleming (Ensworth). the bucket cut the lead to 72-70 with just under 1:30 left on the game clock.

DeAndre Ferby (Ensworth) converted a foul shot before Nichols hit a nice reverse lay-in to put the Saints up by three. Elder knocked down two fouls shots and hit a runner with 26 ticks left on the clock to tie things up at 75 all. Elder had a chance to win things in regulation but his driving lay-in just lipped off the rim.

Elder led the Tigers with 41 followed by Fleming with 17 and Ferby added 14. For his efforts Elder was named MVP of the tournament for the third straight season.

Lausanne 67

ECS 43

Cameron Payne (Lausanne) had himself quite a day as the Murray State signee scored 23 points leading the Lynx to their first state championship in the DII Class A ranks with a 67-43 victory over ECS.

Payne also added some serious hardware to his mantel as the senior guard was named Mr. Basketball over his fellow nominees Skal Labiessiere (ECS) and Burton Sampson (Knoxville Webb).

Joining Payne in the scoring column were Denio Chirindja (Lausanne) with 14 and Sedale Scullark (Lausanne) with 11.