LA lads complete Bethel sweep
MERRY HILL – Lawrence Academy swept the season series from Bethel Christian Academy here Thursday night.
The Warriors got off to a slow start, but finished strong as they pulled away for a 72-52 non-conference victory over their Bertie County rival.
Shane Tripp started things for Bethel with a bucket at the 7:20 mark of the first quarter, but Travis Whitehead answered with a triple on the other end.
Tripp got an assist from Marky Palmer to put Bethel back ahead, but Willie Bass scored underneath for the Warriors to have the lead change again.
Tripp’s two free throws, a bucket by Kyle Freeman and a Daniel Feher free throw allowed the Eagles to pull ahead 9-5 with 5:37 to play in the first quarter, but again the Warriors came back.
Cade Larabee and Chase Stevens hit consecutive hoops to tie the game with 4:44 still to play in the opening quarter. Feher and Darren Armstrong then exchanged hoops before Larabee and Tripp had alternating scores as the score remained tied – now at 13-all.
Larabee put the Eagles ahead 15-13 with 1:34 to play in the quarter and then Freeman hit one free throw to close the gap to one.
Trace Larabee then buried a triple for the Warriors to push the lead to four, but Tripp responded with a three-pointer just as time expired in the first quarter, leaving Lawrence ahead 18-17.
Bass, however, dominated the opening minutes of the second quarter, rolling off three straight to push Lawrence’s lead to 24-17 before Freeman converted on a three-point play to close the gap to four (24-20) with 5:06 to play.
The teams again exchanged hoops before Trace Larabee hit another triple to push the Warrior lead to 29-22 with just over four minutes to play in the first half.
Bethel got an answer from Tripp, who had a three-point play to close the gap back to four, and then Palmer hit 1-of-2 from the line to make it 29-26 with 3:35 to play.
The Larabee brothers, however, scored nine points for Lawrence over the final three minutes, answered only by scores from Feher and Freeman as the Warriors went into the locker room with a 38-31 lead.
Trace Larabee pushed the lead to double figures when he hit a three-pointer barely a minute into the second half, but the Eagles responded with a 9-0 run that closed the gap to one.
Tripp had a pair of hoops and added an assist on a Palmer score as the two accounted for all nine points to close the gap to 41-40 with 3:51 remaining in the third period.
The teams exchanged scores until Bass had a free throw and a hoop on back-to-back trips down the floor and Trace Larabee added a three-pointer to give Lawrence a 49-42 edge with 50 ticks left on the third quarter clock.
Cade Larabee added a hoop over the final 26 seconds and Lawrence took a 51-42 edge into the final period of play.
The score remained at about that level with the teams exchanging baskets over the first minute of play, but then the Warriors took over the contest.
Jesse White hit a bucket with 6:44 to play that started a 17-2 run that took most of the quarter.
Cade Larabee had six points during the spurt while Trace Larabee had two and Whitehead did as well.
The Warriors improved to 5-1 overall with the win. They’ll be back in action Monday when they host Rocky Mount Academy. Bethel dropped to 7-3 overall with all three losses coming to Lawrence. They will be back in action Monday when they travel to Ridgecroft School.