Lawrence defeats PCA

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 13, 2008

ELIZABETH CITY – Lawrence Academy Head Coach Tommy Tripp arrived at the beginning of the second quarter.

His team arrived shortly after.

Tripp didn’t join his varsity boys’ basketball team until the end of the first quarter because of vehicle problems. When he arrived, it was apparent that while his team may have been there physically, they hadn’t arrived ready to play.

Pungo Christian Academy scored the first four points of the game and led 14-9 after one quarter, but Tripp and his team rallied back to claim a 64-49 victory in the first round of the Tarheel Independent Conference tournament.

“When we practiced Monday I told them we couldn’t expect another game like the last time we played Pungo,” Tripp said, referring to the Raiders scoring just four points in the first half against Lawrence. “We just didn’t have the intensity we needed until late in the second quarter.”

In the first period, PCA led 14-5 after Dustin Latham hit back-to-back buckets.

Lawrence got a hoop from Holden Ratzlaff and one from Daniel Oliver to close the gap to 14-9 by the end of the quarter.

The Raiders kept pushing their lead when the second period opened, but Oliver started asserting his dominance with a hoop and two free throws that trimmed the Lawrence deficit to 18-13.

After the Raiders went on a 6-0 run that pushed their lead to 24-13 with 4:24 to play, Oliver took over the contest. He scored eight straight points for Lawrence, interrupted by a single hoop from Latham, to get the Warriors within 26-21.

Holden Ratzlaff and Oliver then combined for four consecutive free throws to leave Pungo ahead by one. Oliver erased that lead with a hoop 43 seconds before the half that helped Lawrence lead 27-26 at the intermission.

Shane Stevens hit the opening two hoops of the second half to push Lawrence’s lead to 31-26 before PCA got their first hoop of the quarter from Chris Smith.

From there, the third period was dominated by the Warriors, who scored 14 unanswered points to take control of the contest. Stevens had five of those points while the Warriors also got scores from Oliver, Joe Harrell and Chad Oliver.

The Warriors built a 48-31 lead late in the quarter when Stevens put up a three-quarters court shot as time expired and the basket went in to extend Lawrence’s lead to 51-31.

The Raiders scored the first hoop of the fourth quarter and chipped away at the lead, but could never get closer than 14.

Daniel Oliver led the Warriors with 32 points for the evening.

“Daniel seems to save some of his best performances for tournament games,” Tripp mused. “He was awesome. I fully expect the same kind of game from him Friday night.”

The Warriors, now 14-9, will meet second-seeded Hobgood Academy in Friday night’s semi-final contest.

Lawrence (64): Daniel Oliver n 32, Shane Stevens n 15, Joe Harrell n 8, Holden Ratzlaff n 8, Chad Oliver n 1

Pungo (49): Daniel Vann n 15, Dustin Latham n 15, Justin Allen n 7, Drew Bell n 6, K.J. Armstrong n 2, Chris Smith n 2, Zack Fortescue – 2