Lawrence wins boy#8217;s title

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 26, 2007

AHOSKIE – No one could say this one wasn’t interesting.

In Friday night’s championship game of the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament, the varsity boys teams from Lawrence Academy and Bethel Christian Academy were pretty evenly matched.

Lawrence came out ahead in the end, defeating Bethel 73-63, but there were a few scares along the way.

The Warriors led 54-47 with five minutes left in the game when Zack Walter of Bethel made 1-of-2 free throws followed by a basket to get his team within four (54-50).

Lawrence’s Joe Harrell put up a bucket to increase his team’s lead to six, but Walter sank another shot with 3:44 on the clock to get the score to 56-52.

Bethel’s Stephen Miller made a bucket on a smooth assist by Michael Cseko to get their team within two at 56-54.

That was as close as they got, though, because Lawrence scored an amazing eight points in just the next 18 seconds to put them back ahead by 10 (64-54) with two minutes left to play.

Daniel Oliver of the Warriors contributed six of those points, while R.J. Deppisch had two.

Bethel scored the next four points to get back within six, then the two teams exchanged baskets to make it 66-60 with 1:03 on the clock.

Lawrence’s Shane Stevens added the next basket and teammate Joe Harrell had the next to give their team a safe 10-point lead with 37 seconds left to play.

Cseko put in a three-pointer to get Bethel back within seven, but Harrell made two foul shots to put Lawrence back up by nine (72-63).

Stevens contributed the last point by making 1-of-2 foul shots to finish out the scoring.

&uot;It was the best overall game that we’ve played; we only had nine turnovers which is excellent,&uot; Lawrence Head Coach Tommy Tripp said after the game.

He continued, &uot;We gelled together as a team and helped each other out so that makes for a team victory. We were very pleased with everyone’s performance.&uot;

Stevens was named tournament MVP while Oliver and Holden Ratzlaff from Lawrence made the All-Tournament team. From Bethel, Cseko and Josh Freeman were also named All-Tournament.

Lawrence (73): Daniel Oliver – 21, Holden Ratzlaff – 18, Shane Stevens – 15, Joe Harrell – 13, A.J. Deppisch – 6

Bethel (63): Josh Freeman – 26, Michael Cseko – 18, Stephen Miller – 12, Zack Walter – 5, Josh Caldwell – 2