Warriors bow out

Published 9:56 pm Thursday, February 24, 2011

MERRY HILL – A strong finish wasn’t enough.

Lawrence Academy’s varsity basketball season drew to a close here Tuesday night, but not before the Warriors gave an all-out effort in the second half.

Playing in the first round of the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association 1-A playoffs, the eighth-seeded Warriors rallied from a 12-point deficit to get within one before falling 59-54 to Community Christian School.

Lawrence trailed 33-22 at the intermission, but made a strong statement defensively in the third period.

Travis Whitehead started the quarter with a bucket for Lawrence, but was answered by five straight points from Community Christian as they dropped behind 38-26.

Willie Bass – who led the Warriors with a double-double, 23 points and 10 rebounds – then converted a three-point play to pull back within 10. Whitehead got an offensive rebound and put it back in to keep the streak going for Lawrence.

Whitehead then hit 2-of-2 from the line and Lawrence had closed the gap to 38-32 with 4:30 remaining in the quarter.

Community finally got another field goal, but Trace Larabee hit a free throw and Bass scored again to get the Warriors within five (40-35) with 2:38 to play in the period.

A late Bass field goal, which came after a Community Christian free throw, got Lawrence within 41-37 heading into the final quarter.

Community pulled away in the early going of the fourth period, however, with a 6-2 run as they took a 46-40 lead at the 5:15 mark of the period.

Bass, however, answered with a bucket that made it a four-point contest with just under five minutes to play.

Community scored the next four points, however, as Lawrence fell behind 50-42.

The Warriors weren’t done, however, as Larabee hit a three-pointer to close the gap to five and then, after Larabee fouled out on the ensuing possession, Bass scored to close the gap to 51-47.

Lawrence chose to foul intentionally from that point and, despite some makes by Community, got a field goal from Bass and a three-pointer off the hands of Chase Stevens to close the gap to 54-52.

Following another purposeful foul, which saw Community hit 1-of-2 from the line, Cade Larabee hit a bucket that got Lawrence within one (55-54) with 19 seconds left.

The Cyclones hit both free throws to take a three-point lead and the Lawrence shot to tie missed, forcing them to foul again. The final two free throws by Community sealed their victory as they advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

In addition to Bass having a double-double, the Warriors got 12 points from Whitehead. Trace Larabee added six points and seven rebounds while Cade Larabee had seven points and five assists. Stevens had six points.

The Warriors finished the season with an 18-9 overall record.