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Warriors edge Eagles

AHOSKIE – Sophomore Daniel Oliver poured in 22 points leading Lawrence Academy to a 75-67 victory over Northeast Academy in the consolation game of the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament here Friday.

Lawrence took an early 4-0 lead after baskets by Oliver and Judd Whitehead.

A putback by Brandon Futrell and consecutive three’s from John Pope pulled the Eagles ahead, 8-4.

The Warriors’ Joe Harrell pulled up for two, which was answered by Hunter Deloatch’s deuce.

Harrell sank another basket to keep Lawrence within two, 10-8.

Northeast senior Drew Pinnix made two shots beyond the arc and Futrell added another basket to give the Eagles a 10-point advantage.

The Warriors sank two shots in the final seconds of the first quarter to pull within six, 18-12.

Northeast maintained their lead for most of the second quarter and held a six-point advantage with 3:27 left in the half.

Lawrence scored seven unanswered points over the final minutes to take a 28-27 lead into the third quarter.

The lead changed six times with Lawrence taking the lead for good on a basket by Holden Ratzlaff with just over four minutes remaining.

Oliver followed with two baskets in the paint to extend the Warrior lead, 42-37.

Josh Jenkins took Hall Edward’s pass to the basket for an Eagles deuce, but Oliver answered.

Brodie Harrell sank a foul shot to keep the Eagles within four, 44-40, but the Warriors scored four straight baskets to take a 52-40 advantage.

Futrell sank a trey at the buzzer to cut the Lawrence lead to nine, 52-43.

Lawrence’s seven-point scoring run at the top of the fourth quarter was ended by two foul shots from Jay Baugham.

A basket from Ryan Davis cut the Warriors lead to 10, 57-47, but Michael Cseko’s deuce kept the Lawrence lead in double digits.

Futrell sank the first of two foul shots then Deloatch took two poessessions to the hoop to pull the Eagles within seven, 59-52.

A three-point play by Oliver pulled Lawrence back ahead by 10.

The Eagles continued to chip away at the Lawrence lead, but each time the Warriors had an answer as they took the win.

Oliver led the Warriors with 22 points followed by Whitehead with 20.

Cseko scored 13 and pulled down nine rebounds.

Pinnix scored 18 points, including four three-pointers, and had two steals for Northeast.

Deloatch followed with 14 points, two steals and one blocked shot.

The Eagles made seven shots from three-point range.

“We changed our two-on-two defense to three-on-two to cut down on their ability to shoot from the outside,” explained Lawrence head coach Tommy Tripp.

The Warriors defense changed Northeast’s offensive plan according to Eagles head coach John Brown.

“They extended the zone and left the middle open while cutting out the outside shot.

We had no choice but to go inside.”

The Warriors were missing five seniors because of a class trip, causing Tripp to bring up four junior varsity players.

“Daniel (Oliver) stepped up and had four steals and deflected a lot of passes,” Tripp said.

After coming from behind to take the lead at the end of the first half, Tripp felt his team’s play in the third quarter sealed the win.

“We came out in the third and made 12 of 17 shots which made Northeast play catch-up ball, which was to our advantage,” he said.

The tournament gave Brown an opportunity to try his new offense which consists of two teams of five.

“We’re trying to play two evenly talented teams,” Brown stated. “Hopefully it will bring the less talented players up without sacrificing the others.”

“Trying to get chemistry between the two groups has been the toughest part,” explained Brown.

“The goal is for each group to give every bit they can for the amount of time they are on the court and for the next group to do the same.”

LA n Daniel Oliver 22, Judd Whitehead 20, Michael Cseko 13, J. Harrell 8, H. Ratzlaff 8, C. Oliver 4

NEA n Drew Pinnix 18, Hunter Deloatch 14, Ryan Davis 11, Brandon Futrell 10, B. Harrell 4, J. Jenkins 4, J. Baugham 4, J Pope 23