Lawrence County wins, loses in Mendenhall tournament

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 30, 2009

MENDENHALL-Lawrence County split varsity basketballdoubleheaders with Warren Central and Florence over the last twodays in the Mendenhall Basketball Tournament. The Cougars and LadyCougars each have one win and one loss in the tournament, whichconcludes tonight with Lawrence County taking on host Mendenhall inthe late games.

On Monday, the LCHS Lady Cougars suffered just their second lossof the season, falling 65-53 to Warren Central. The Lady Cougarsrebounded with a 76-59 win over Florence in Tuesday afternoonaction. Vicki Rutland’s LCHS girls enter tonight’s tournamentfinale with a 13-2 record.

The Lawrence County boys beat Warren Central 76-71 in overtimeon Monday. On Tuesday, however, the Cougars dropped a 64-61decision to Florence, a loss that kept the Cougars from eclipsingthe elusive .500 mark. Pat Bridges’ upstart crew stands at 7-8entering tonight’s Mendenhall game.

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Warren Central 65, Lawrence 53

The Class 6A Warren Central girls dominated the Lady Cougars inthe second and third quarters, to send Lawrence County to just itssecond loss in 14 games. Deshaundra Eatmon led the Lady Vikingswith 21 points, 15 of them coming in the second half. Ricille Davisadded 16 points, and Michelle Jones netted 12.

Tiaria Griffin led Lawrence County with 19 points, and MaryMargaret McLaurin added 13. McLaurin shared rebounding honors withAlli Harris as each had 5. Harris also had 3 steals.

Lawrence 76, Warren Central 71, OT

Lawrence County jumped to a 17-1 lead against the Vikings, butWarren Central came right back and dominated the second quarter asthoroughly as Lawrence County had dominated the first. It came downto overtime, and Cougar senior Matthew Wells exploded for 10 of his17 points, hitting 5 of 6 clutch free throws. Wells pulled down awhopping 15 rebounds to complete a double-double.

J.J. Evans had a career night for Lawrence County, scoring 20points and spurring a fourth-quarter rally that sent the game intoovertime. Antonio Batiste had 12 points.

Lawrence 76, Florence 59

The Lady Cougars rebounded from their second defeat with anexcellent game Tuesday against Florence. Lawrence County led 38-34at the half, then steadily pulled away in the second half, much tothe pleasure of fifth-year Lady Cougar coach Vicki Rutland.

“We put it together and had an all-around good effort today,”Rutland said. “We blocked out and rebounded so much better, and wewere more focused and ready to play. Rebounding, a lack of it, wasthe key to our loss on Monday.”

Lawrence County shot a sizzling 56 percent on 2-point field goalattempts, and placed four Lady Cougars in double figures. TiariaGriffin led with 21. Mary Margaret McLaurin added 17. KahataraTaylor netted 16, and Taylor Brister, 13. Alli Harris led the LadyCougars in rebounding with 7 caroms. Griffin and Brister each had 4steals.

Florence was carried almost entirely by two players. JalesaHobson scored 27 points and Amanda Robinson netted 17, as theyaccounted for 44 of the Lady Eagles’ 59 points.

Florence 64, Lawrence 61

Florence’s Carlo McDonald scored 19 first half points en routeto a 30-point night, as the Eagles edged the Cougars in a game thatwas close throughout. Ivan Mims added 16 for Florence, and JoshJones scored all 11 of his points in the first half.

Matthew Wells led Lawrence County with 14 points and 8 rebounds.Antonio Batiste added 11 points and dealt out 8 assists. DeKembeCollins added 10 points and 5 rebounds.