Lawrence downs Bethel again

Published 4:03 pm Wednesday, December 1, 2010

ASKEWVILLE – The venue was different, but the outcome was the same.

The two teams that met in the championship game of the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament squared off again Tuesday night. This time the game was played at Bethel Christian Academy, but it was again the Lawrence Academy Warriors that came out on top, winning 67-55.

Unlike the first meeting between the two, Lawrence got off to a quick start Tuesday night, outscoring the home-standing Eagles 16-8 in the first period and never trailing in the contest.

Travis Whitehead got things started for the Warriors with an early hoop and a free throw. Bethel responded with a  hoop from senior Marky Palmer, but Whitehead’s three-point play pushed the Bethel lead to 6-2.

Kyle Freeman answered again for the Eagles, but the Warriors scored 10 of the next 16 points to take a comfortable 16-8 lead into the second quarter.

Bethel tried to get back into the game when Freeman opened the second quarter with a bucket, but again the Warriors had an answer.

Lawrence scored the next eight points in a row – two each from Jesse White, Whitehead, Trace Larabee and Darren Armstrong – and secured a 24-10 advantage.

Bethel’s Kevin Johnson, however, buried a three-pointer to start a spurt for the Eagles. He was followed by scores from Shane Tripp and Freeman as Bethel closed the gap to 24-19.

Lawrence, as they seemed to all night, responded with a burst of their own, closing the quarter on a 7-3 spurt and taking a seven-point cushion (29-22) into the halftime locker room.

The Warriors emerged from the locker room and got quick scores from Whitehead and Larabee to push their advantage to 33-22, but Bethel used a 6-2 run midway through the period to close back within 35-29.

White, however, hit a three-pointer that sparked an 11-4 spurt to help Lawrence take a 46-33 lead by the end of the quarter. Whitehead did much of the damage during the spurt with the final six points of the quarter and Willie Bass also added a bucket.

Bass then started the fourth quarter by sandwiching a free throw and a field goal around a Tripp free throw for Bethel as Lawrence pushed out to a 49-34 lead. The lead eventually reached 17 on a couple of occasions before the Warriors  rolled off six straight  thanks to buckets by Larabee and Armstrong to take a 61-40 lead late in the contest.

The Eagles were able to put on a solid late run, outscoring Lawrence 15-6 over the final few minutes. Freeman led the way on that spurt with seven points while Tripp, and Palmer also scored for Bethel.

Lawrence, however, sealed the game with a late bucket by White as they knocked off the Eagles for the second time this season.

The Warriors were led by Whitehead’s 21 points while Larabee chipped in 19 and White had nine. Armstrong added eight while Bass had five.

Tripp led Bethel’s offensive attack with 21 points while Freeman chipped in 16. Palmer added seven and Daniel Feher contributed six. Johnson rounded out the scoring with five.

Bethel (4-2) will now host their annual Eric Baggett Tip-off Tournament on Friday and Saturday. The Eagles are scheduled to clash with Epiphany School at 7 p.m. in the semifinal round of the tournament Friday evening.

Lawrence (3-1) will be on the road Saturday when they travel to the Forsyth Country Day Holiday Showcase where they will meet Flora McDonald.