Eagles edge Warriors in OT

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 24, 2007

MERRY HILL – If there was a better game in North Carolina Tuesday night, it must have been a great one.

Northeast Academy used an overtime session to upset Tarheel Independent Conference leader Lawrence Academy 86-85 here Tuesday in a game that featured excellent three-point shooting and tough, gritty play by both teams.

“It was definitely a big win on the road,” said Northeast coach John Brown, whose team now becomes one of the league tri-leaders. “We stressed getting some road wins and we got one last week at Norlina then came back this week to beat Lawrence.

“It was just a fantastic game,” Brown said. “It was a big win for us. I thought Lawrence played extremely well.”

The win looked very much in doubt for the Eagles with 25 seconds to play in overtime. With the score deadlocked at 85, Lawrence had the ball and appeared to be holding for the last shot.

Despite a couple of chances to get what would likely have been the game-winner, the Warriors couldn’t get a shot to fall and Hunter Deloatch grabbed a rebound for Northeast and streaked to the other end, getting fouled with 2.8 seconds to play.

After hitting 1-of-2 from the line, Deloatch sealed the Northeast victory by stealing the ensuing inbounds pass.

“I knew we had to get a stop,” Brown said of the final 25 seconds. “We were lucky because they got several point blank shots and the ball wouldn’t roll in. We got the chance to get it and we were finally able to make a free throw.”

The contest was explosive offensively throughout the mathcup with the two teams combining to put nine players in double figures.

Northeast senior Drew Pinnix was outstanding for the Eagles, pouring in 35 points, including a three-pointer from just a few feet across the midcourt stripe. In all, Pinnix hit six three-pointers.

Ryan Davis was also a sharp-shooter, hitting three triples on his way to 11 points on the night.

“We started out a little cold from the floor and they were doing a good job working the ball inside,” Brown said. “We had to get something going and Drew and Ryan were able to do that.”

Lawrence senior Marshall Ellis was nearly as good, hitting seven triples and wracking up 25 points on the evening.

Despite being singled out much of the night by the Northeast defense, Judd Whitehead put up 16 points for the Warriors.

Lawrence jumped out to an early 13-3 lead behind the performance of Michael Cseko.

Northeast battled back with Davis hitting three consecutive three-pointers that got the Eagles within 21-17 at the end of one quarter.

The second quarter saw the teams combine for 39 points including two free throws with no time on the clock after Pinnix drew a foul shooting at the buzzer, giving Northeast a 39-38 halftime lead.

Ellis started the third quarter with a triple for the Warriors and closed the period with back-to-back three-pointers, giving Lawrence a 62-59 lead heading into the final regulation period.

In the fourth quarter, Northeast pushed out to a 78-74 lead with less than a minute to play, but Gray Harrell’s three-pointer with 40 seconds to play put the Warriors right back in the game.

Northeast led 79-77 with 31 seconds to play after a Pinnix free throw, but Whitehead found a wide open Cseko under the basket and the sophomore converted to deadlock the score at 79-all with nine seconds to go.

In the overtime session it was Josh Jenkins who kept the Eagles in the game, scoring four points and grabbing a pair of key rebounds. Despite his effort, the game was tied again at 85 when Whitehead scored at the 1:06 mark of overtime setting up the final sequence.

Northeast improved to 4-2 in the TIC and 6-11 overall while Lawrence dropped to 4-3 in the league.

Northeast (86): Drew Pinnix n 35, Hunter Deloatch n 15, Ryan Davis n 11, Josh Jenkins n 11, J. Parker n 9, J. Pope n 5

Lawrence (85): Marshall Ellis n 25, Judd Whitehead n 16, Alex Hodges n 15, Michael Cseko n 12, Chad Oliver n 10, G. Harrell – 7