So when the Lee High student cheering section shouted “daddy’s boy” every time McAmis touched the ball early in Friday’s Mountain 7 District game, he didn’t let it bother him. Instead, the son of Central coach T.J. McAmis seemed to use it as a motivation.
The younger McAmis and his dynamic duo partner, Elijah Hayes, set the tone early and the Warriors held off the determined Generals for a 59-52 district win in front of a capacity crowd at Lee’s gym.
View the photos from Friday’s games
The two seniors scored a game-high 21 points apiece to lead the Warriors (9-3, 2-0).
“I’m really more of a mama’s boy,” Isaiah McAmis said after the game that featured a championship atmosphere from start to finish.
The elder McAmis declined comment about the chants and their potential motivation for his son.
“I will say I’m proud of my son,” Coach McAmis said.
He was proud of his entire team Friday night.
After traveling some 900 miles for a tournament in Florida and then playing in the Arby’s Classic in Bristol, Tennessee, McAmis said his team was a little tired.
“I thought we were a little leg-heavy, but we battled. (Lee High) hit some tough shots. We just had to fight,” he said.
Isaiah McAmis and Hayes combined to score 25 of Central’s 31 first-half points, but in the third quarter, Lee’s defense held McAmis scoreless and Hayes to two points.
Still, Central opened the third with an 8-2 run to build a 39-29 lead.
Lee (8-2, 0-1) put together an 8-2 run over the final five minutes, cutting the Warriors’ advantage to 41-37.
The Generals took their first lead of the game on a 3-point shot from Jaxon Collier that put them up 42-41.
The teams exchanged the lead five more times before the Warriors took the lead for good on a jumper by McAmis with 3:27 left to play.
Hayes finished with nine rebounds, two slam dunks and a blocked shot on an attempted dunk by the Generals.
He said that even though his team may be looked at as a front-runner in the Mountain 7, he knows the Warriors can never take a game off.
“We draw a lot of attention. Everybody’s looking at us. We just have to prepare for every game and be ready to play,” he said.
Collier finished with 18 points and Dylan Fannon added 12 for the Generals.
“It’s the little things,” first-year Lee coach Kevon Honeycutt said. “Once we fix those little things, we’ll be on our way.”
CENTRAL PULLS AWAY
In Friday’s Mountain 7 girls contest, Central led Lee 28-16 at halftime before outscoring the Lady Generals 24-4 in the third quarter on the way to a 65-27 victory.
Hannah McAmis led a balanced offense for the Lady Warriors (6-4, 2-0) with 16 points.
Hannah Carter and Callie Mullins had 15 each and Jill Sturgill finished with 10 for Central.
Lee High (3-7, 0-1) got eight points from Philly Tolentino.
Both teams are back in action Tuesday. Wise Central hosts Ridgeview and Lee High is at home against Union.