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Lawrence tops PCA, earns finals

AHOSKIE – Lawrence Academy has a new varsity boys basketball coach, but their destination in the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament is the same.

On Wednesday evening, the Warriors downed Pungo Christian Academy 63-24 to earn their second consecutive appearance in the three-year-old tournament’s final game.

“After coming out flat in the last two games, the Lawrence squad jumped on their opponent from the opening tip,” said Warriors’ coach Jon Powell.

Lawrence got out of the gate quickly with Dylan Ralph scoring the first basket of the game followed by a hoop and foul shot from Chad Whitehead. Daniel Oliver then buried a pair of free throws before he and Whitehead hit back-to-back shots to make it 11-0.

After PCA hit the next two shots, Lawrence got hoops from Ralph and Shane Stevens to hold a 15-4 lead after one quarter.

The Warriors continued to play aggressive basketball in the second period, racing out to a 36-10 lead by the intermission. Part of that domination came when the Warriors went on a 15-2 spurt to close out the period. It was capped by consecutive hoops from Chase Stevens.

Holden Ratzlaff started the second half with a hoop for the Warriors to pace them on a 17-9 period after which they led 53-19.

Lawrence outscored Pungo 10-5 in the final period to secure the victory.

It was Ratzlaff that led three players in double digits for the Warriors. His 16 points went along with Oliver’s 11 and Whitehead’s 10. Shane Stevens and Ralph had nine points each while Chase Stevens and Nick Morris had four each.

PCA was paced by J. Braddy with 14 points.

Lawrence upped their record to 5-3 heading into last night’s (Friday) championship contest.