OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week: Lane

Stephen Lane
Staff Writer

The Starkville Christian School Cougars kept playing and Stephen Lane kept scoring.

When last Thursday night’s game against the Tuscaloosa Warriors went into overtime, Lane knew he had to keep producing for the Cougars.

And produce he did.

Lane put up 36 points as Starkville Christian won a 60-56 decision against Tuscaloosa.

“I really wasn’t thinking,” Lane said. “I was just doing what coach Luke (Buckner) was telling me to do. I was just trying to drive, give it to my teammates and get the points up so we could sure a victory.”

For his big scoring night and one of the highest this area has had this season, Lane was chosen the OCH/Starkville Daily News Athlete of the Week.

Lane has been solid in the post for the Cougars over the last several years.

Even early in his career, Starkville Christian could always count on Lane to bring effort every night.

Lately Buckner has watched Lane add other aspects to his game.

“He goes 100 percent all the time," Buckner said. "He’s always done that, but in the last two years, he’s started to work on his dribbling, his shooting and his passing, so his game has really flourished.”

Buckner has been trying to get more out of Lane this season, so he could reach his full potential.

It really did not surprise Buckner to see Lane hit the 36-point mark because he knew he was capable.

“When he goes to the hole, he’s almost unstoppable if he would just go in strong,” Buckner said. “(Last Thursday night) I think he caught a little glimpse of that. Once he goes, nobody can stop him unless they foul him.
“He’s also developed a 3. If you back up on him now, he can shoot it, then you have to come back, guard him close and he’ll drive it. He’s really improved. His rebounding is ridiculous. He’ll go after every ball and will usually go get it. If he doesn’t get it, he’s probably going to foul you anyway.”

The special scoring outing for Lane came on senior night. He was recognized prior to the game along with his brother John Michael and three other Cougars in Sam Fairley, Drew Latham and Will Lindner.

Lane said his career at Starkville Christian has “been a blast,” and being able to put up 36 points during his final game on the home court almost made him speechless.

“I can’t tell you in words how much that felt,” Lane said. “That was so emotional. I was feeling everything.”

Buckner said the big night could not have happened to a better person.

“He has a great heart,” Buckner said. “He loves the Lord and cares about his teammates. He’d do anything for anybody.”