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Twice as nice

MERRY HILL – Facing each other for the second time in three days, Northeast Academy couldn’t quite pull off the sweep two times in a row over rival Lawrence Academy here Friday night.

A 20-point combined scoring effort from Lindsey Smith and Lauren Baker helped the Lady Warriors varsity girls salvage a win in their game, avoiding LAW going ‘o-fer’ against the Eagles in the two-game regular season series. The win also upped the Lawrence girls to within a game-and-a-half of front-runner, Pungo, while Northeast dipped to 2-2 in Tarheel Independent Conference play.

Northeast claimed the other three wins here Friday night.

As she’d done in the first game played Wednesday in Lasker, Emalee Jones led the junior varsity Lady Eagle girls in their 26-17 win over the young Lady Warriors. Jones finished with 12 points, the only NEA player in double-figures. Jessie Martin added eight points with five for Allie Liverman and one point for Hannah Storey. Joyner Rascoe was leading scorer for Lawrence with a dozen points.

A 37-12 lead at halftime made it easy for the Northeast jayvee boys in their 52-33 win over the Warrior j.v. Brandyn Polson came through with 13 big points for the Eagles in the romp. Lawrence did manage to win the second half, 21-15, but had much too much ground to make up. Minzelle Sawyer led the LAW effort with 15 points that topped all scorers. Other scoring for Northeast came with 11 points each from Josh Simmons and Alex Galloway. Jon Stephenson tallied six points, five for Kendall Timberlake, four for Kaleb Bradley, and three for Trent Wheeler.

In the varsity girls’ contest, Northeast just couldn’t get it on track. Lawrence coach Lee Hoffman opened his team in a tight zone defense and that denial, plus crisp Warrior scoring helped LAW to a 25-11 lead at the mid-break that became a nine-point win at the final horn, 42-33. Northeast managed to shave a couple of points off that big Lawrence lead in the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough. Olivia Wheeler was the only Northeast player in double figures, but she led the contest with 14 points on the board. Carly Stephenson added nine, seven for Addie Piper, and Summer Warmack – held in check most of the night – only scored one point.

The Lawrence varsity boys continue to be gamers, but they also still have yet to scratch in the win column, falling to 0-13 on the year. Brian Hughson scored a career-high 14 points to lead Lawrence, but they still came up short, 59-36, in the end. The Warriors managed 21 points in the second half, while Northeast scored that many in the third quarter alone. Still, LAW kept the contest competitive. Balanced scoring ruled in the end with 13 points from Noah Lassiter and 10 for L.J. Barnes. Dylan Edwards and Ryan Rowe scored nine points each, and a trio of Eagles – Justin Jones, J.T. Simmons, and Michael Smith scored five apiece. Brandyn Polson added three points off the bench.

Northeast played Hobgood on Tuesday and The Albemarle School on Wednesday. Weather permitting; they will close the week hosting Ridgecroft in Lasker on Friday. Lawrence’s home stand continued with Albemarle on Tuesday, Pungo tonight (Thursday), and they’ll close the week hosting Hobgood.