When Christ Presbyterian Academy won its first Class AA boys basketball title last year, the Lions were known for their offense.
CPA (37-2) scored a lot of points again this season, but the Lions were particularly strong on defense as they won their second straight title.
"I measured our defensive efficiency against six criteria in NCAA college basketball, and we would be the top defensive team in college basketball if we were playing as compared to the other teams," said CPA's Drew Maddux, who was named The Tennessean boys basketball coach of the year for the second straight season.
The Lions allowed 49.9 points per game, limited opponents to a 36.7 field goal percentage and a 27.1 3-point field goal percentage and averaged 12.3 steals. CPA created 20.3 turnovers per game and won by an average margin of 20.4 points.
"So I think when you look back on this team, defense totally created our offense," Maddux said. "We drove our offensive efficiency through deflections and blocked shots and creating turnovers and creating a faster pace of game."
The Lions have won 63 straight games against in-state opponents. Their last loss was in 2011 to Northeast, which was led by Kentucky's Alex Poythress.
"Drew does a great job with them, and he gets them to play extremely hard," Hume-Fogg coach David Givens said. "They compete like crazy, which is a great testament to him. Obviously, they're super talented. And they're very unselfish."
CPA had no seniors, but four of its starters are college prospects. Forwards Jalen Lindsey and Braxton Blackwell, both 6-foot-7, are attracting the attention of major colleges. Jake Allsmiller has made 328 career 3-pointers, and point guard Braxton Bonds orchestrates the attack.
"(Coach Maddux) been a huge influence on me," said Lindsey, the Class AA Mr. Basketball winner and state tournament MVP. "It's good to have that type of a coach while playing in high school and going through what high schoolers go through. He's an X's and O's guy, but he also want us to play free."
CPA won its first 12 games, capped by a repeat championship at the King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic.
The Lions lost two straight to St. Rita, Ill., and Orem, Utah, before winning their last 25.
"I think just knowing what we had coming back this year and the expectations and the pressure -- it was much more difficult to (win state) this second time because of the focus and consistency that was required," Maddux said.