By Mike Williams
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 26, 2006
ROCKY MOUNT – Lawrence Academy dropped a 54-52 thriller to Community Christian in the consolation round of the Rocky Mount Academy Holiday Tournament .
Despite a 24 point effort from senior sharpshooter Judd Whitehead the Warriors were unable to hold an early 11 point lead and the strong rebounding and inside play of the Cyclones 6’6” Purnell Vick who had an eye popping 16 rebounds in the game.
Lawrence controlled the 1st half jumping to a 16-8 1st quarter lead and extending it to 11 at 22-11 midway through the second stanza before Community Christian made its presence known.
Marshall Ellis, Judd Whitehead and Alex Hodges all had two buckets apiece in the opening period to key the Warrior start.
In the second period a pair of Whitehead buckets staked the Warriors to a 22-11 lead their largest of the game before the Cyclones made their comeback. Edward Holmes driving layup, a follow shot by Chris Barefoot and two Vick buckets cut the Warrior lead to 26-20.
LA was able to again extend their cushion to 10 on a layup from Gray Harrell followed by Whitehead’s jumper.
The Cyclones then tallied the last four points of the half on Vick’s follow shot and a
baseline by Caleb Varnell to cut the Warriors lead to 30-24 at the half.
In the second half Community Christian came out in a man-to-man defense with the larger Vick on the Warrior’s leading scorer Judd Whitedead.
Even though Whitehead was able to tally 14 second half points they were all earned as Vick contested every shot.
Whitehead’s follow of his own miss gave LA a 32-28 game before the game’s unsung hero made his appearance. After Vick hit a follow shot of his own, reserve guard Aaron Ocampo nailed a long distance trey to give CCS their 1st lead at 33-32.
Whitehead answered with a 12 footer but Ocampo again hit from long range to extend the Cyclone lead to 36-34. The Warriors Daniel Oliver then converted on a three point play and Frank Baker’s inside shot put LA up 38-36 but Ocampo then popped his third trifecta of the period to help CCS take a 40-38 lead into the final stanza.
In the final period the Cyclones extended their lead to as much as six points before Lawrence made a comeback of their own tying the game at 49 apiece on a Daniel Oliver baseline move.
Whitehead converted the front end of a one and one to put LA up 50-49 with 41 seconds left but a pair of Vick free throws and an Ocampo charity toss gave CCS a 52-50 advantage.
Whitehead then hit a driving layup with 12 seconds to play to tie the game but Vick was fouled with 2.4 seconds to play and converted both free throws to give Community Christian the win.
Purnell Vick had a double-double for the Cyclones as he had 19 points and 16 rebounds. Caleb Varnell tallied 11 and Aaron Ocampo came off the bench to add 10 for the Cyclones.
Judd Whitehead was the only double figure scorer for Lawrence as he had 24 points. Whitehead also led the rebounding with eight caroms while Daniel Oliver chipped in with seven.