Lady Warriors top EaglesBy Thadd White
ASKEWVILLE – Nearly one half through their game with Bethel Christian Academy, Lawrence Academy coach Charlie Harden was steaming.
The third-year Lawrence Academy coach was upset with the way his team had played through 15 minutes, but the last minute of the first half changed his feelings.
With the game deadlocked at 15-all, sophomore Debbie Stotesbury swiped a Bethel pass, drove the lane and scored. Seconds later, junior Kendall Street blocked a shot that Stotesbury picked up, raced to the end of the floor and scored again to give Lawrence a 19-15 halftime lead and went on to win 45-33.
“I think the last minute started turning the tide,” Harden said. “We got more aggressive on defense and Debbie Stotesbury really stepped up.
“We’ve been working on a pressure defense and started running it tonight,” Harden continued. “We just made a mess of it and had to go back into our normal sets and tweak those.”
The last minute of the first half, however, carried into the third quarter as Lawrence opened with the first six points of the quarter thanks to field goals by Stotesbury, Street and LeAnne Eubanks. That gave the Lady Warriors a 25-15 lead.
Bethel scored for the first time in six minutes of game time at the 4:16 mark of the third period when Kelli Hoggard scored inside. Moments later, Mindy Miller hit a hoop and a free throw to trim the Bethel deficit to 25-20.
Street pushed the Lawrence lead back to seven (27-20), but Hoggard hit two free throws and Landis Marsh dropped in a bucket to get Bethel back within three (27-24).
The final two hoops of the quarter came when Taylor Davis and Street scored to give Lawrence a 31-24 advantage.
After an exchange of hoops through most of the fourth quarter, Sarah Gillam hit consecutive shots midway through the period to give Lawrence a 41-29 advantage as they went on to the victory.
“Offensively we had no patience whatsoever early on,” Harden said. “We didn’t run our sets. We really didn’t fix that until the second half. Once we made the changes in the second half, we responded reasonably well.”
Bethel’s Erin Young started the game with a hoop early on and Hoggard added a bucket moments later.
Bethel built a 10-6 lead when Martina Hill scored and Hoggard added two free throws, but Street had four straight points to get Lawrence even at 10 when the first period ended.
The teams exchanged leads five times in the third quarter, with each answering the other’s scores until the game was tied at 15-all.
Street led all scorers, contributing 25 in the Lady Warriors’ victory. Stotesbury added eight.
Hoggard led Bethel Christian with 10 while Miller had nine.
Both teams were on the road Friday night.
Lady Warriors (45): Kendall Street n 25, D. Stotesbury n 8, S. Gillam n 6, T. Davis n 4, L. Eubanks n 2, C. Mizell, J. Harden
Lady Eagles (33): Kelli Hoggard n 10, M. Miller n 9, K. Overton n 6, M. Hill n 4, L. Marsh n 2, E. Young n 2, J. Mizelle, M. Simons, K. Brown