Lawrence upsets Bethel

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 1, 2006

ASKEWVILLE – When Lawrence Academy senior Jay Spencer stepped to the line to complete a three-point play here Thursday night, the issue was already decided.

Spencer, who scored the final points of the contest, put an ending to the Warriors 75-51 upset victory over Bethel Christian Academy.

“They came out and made us play their game,” Eagles’ coach Joe Mizelle said after the contest. “They played our game and did an excellent job. I’ve got no excuses.

“I am looking forward to going back to their place,” he added.

The Warriors had a sluggish start, trailing 19-8 after one period of play, but then outscored Bethel 29-7 in the second quarter.

When asked the difference, first-year Lawrence coach Tommy Tripp said he believed it was defensive.

“Defensively, we switched from a 3-2 to a 2-1-2 and picked up the pressure,” Tripp said. “That pressure allowed us to pick up some each baskets.

“That was the difference in the game because they had to play catch up ball the rest of the way,” he added.

The Warriors scored the first 10 points of the second quarter and all but erased their deficit.

Marshall Ellis got the Warriors rolling with a hoop and a foul and Judd Whitehead converted a similar three-point play moments later. Michael Cseko and Whitehead then hit back-to-back shots to get the game within 19-18.

Larry Caldwell finally ended the Bethel drought with 5:59 to play in the second quarter, but the Warriors responded with consecutive hoops by Alex Hodges and Whitehead to take the lead.

After an exchange of buckets, Stephen Miller put Bethel back in front 25-24, but it was the last lead for the Eagles. When Cseko scored second later it was the beginning of a 13-1 Warrior run that gave them a 37-26 halftime edge.

Whitehead led Lawrence with 16 second quarter points while Cseko added six.

In the third quarter, Bethel attempted to chip into the lead, getting as close as five (43-38) after consecutive scored by Miller and Caldwell, but Lawrence closed the quarter on a 4-1 spurt thanks to hoops by Gray Harrell and Whitehead to take a 47-39 lead into the fourth period.

Caldwell and Josh Freeman both hit three-pointers in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough to get the Eagles back on track.

Tripp was pleased with most of what he saw from his team.

“For the most part, we had a reduction in turnovers and I was pleased with our defensive intensity,” he said. “That intensity created turnovers and I think we were able to take them out of their game plan.”

Bethel’s game plan clicked along fine in the first quarter when Caldwell scored eight

points to pace the Eagles jumped out to a 19-8 lead.

The Eagles also got four points each from Miller and Frank Feher.

Lawrence (75): Judd Whitehead n 26, Alex Hodges n 17, Michael Cseko n 10, M. Ellis n 7, G. Harrell n 7, B. Maxwell n 4, J. Spencer n 4, C. Oliver, J. Harrell, F. Baker, D. Oliver, H. Ratzlaff, S. Stevens, M. Walker

Bethel (51): Larry Caldwell n 22, Stephen Miller n 12, Josh Freeman n 11, F. Feher n 6, J. Hoggard, N. Davenport, L. Thompson, S. Hoggard, J. Perry, J. Caldwell , Z. Walter