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Lawrence Co. splits Prentiss

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Lawrence County's Gabe Lewis (14) drives up the court Friday night against Prentiss.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Lawrence County’s Gabe Lewis (14) drives up the court Friday night against Prentiss.

MONTICELLO – Old rivals Lawrence County and Prentiss split a basketball double-header Friday night at Lawrence County High School. In girls’ action, Prentiss rallied late for a heart-stopping 47-43 win. In the boys’ game, it was tight for most of the night with the host Cougars pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 63-53 win.

The girls’ game was ridiculously close, with neither team leading by more than three points until midway through the third quarter. At that point, it was Lawrence County that pulled ahead. Buoyed by speedy guard DeNeisha Dickson and the inside play of Jazmine Moore and Kametrius Leggett, the Lady Cougars grabbed a 38-32 lead early in the fourth quarter.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Lawrence County's Zipporah Baylis denies Prentiss denfender Diamond Herrion (23) the ball in Friday night basketball action in Monticello.

DAILY LEADER / JONATHON ALFORD / Lawrence County’s Zipporah Baylis denies Prentiss denfender Diamond Herrion (23) the ball in Friday night basketball action in Monticello.

After that, however, Wanda Ard’s Lady Bulldogs went on a 15-6 run to end the game. Late in the game, Prentiss’s Alexus Williams nailed a three-pointer to put the Lady Bulldogs up 44-42. Moore tied it at 44-44 with 50 seconds left in the game. Prentiss guard Toni Collins then hit another three-pointer -the Lady Bulldogs’ ninth of the game – with 22 seconds left. The Prentiss victory wasn’t secure until Dickson’s three-point attempt clanked off the rim as time expired.

Prentiss improved to 4-0 with the win. Williams led with 17 points, hitting five three-pointers. Collins added 11 points and rangy center Myyah West had 10.

Dickson led Lawrence County with 13 points, and Zipporah Baylis added nine. The Lady Cougars got their best inside play of the season from Moore and Leggett. Moore had eight points, 10 rebounds and six steals. Leggett had seven points and nine rebounds. Despite falling to 1-2 on the season, Lady Cougar mentor Vicki Rutland liked what she saw.

“We played pretty well,” said Rutland, “and our girls are playing so hard. I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort, even in the games we’ve lost. Give credit to Prentiss. They shot the lights out in the fourth quarter to earn this win.

“As much as I hate to lose,” Rutland said, “this was a good growing night for our team.”

Rutland’s team is still without sophomore play-maker Haven Johnson, who went down with a knee injury in the Lady Cougars’ first game. Johnson, a key returning starter, should get a definitive diagnosis early this week.

Like the girls’ action, the boys’ game was a good one. Lawrence County carved out a 38-34 lead through three quarters and then pulled out in the fourth for a fairly comfortable 63-53 win.

LCHS employed a balanced scoring attack. Senior Keith Davis, still shaking off the rust from having played football, had a big fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 16 points and hitting six straight free throws. Gabriel Lewis added 12 points, while Phillip Moore and Shacorey Pittman each had 11.

Keyshawn Feazell, the Cougars’ 6’8″ sophomore center, had a dandy battle with Prentiss big man James Hawthorne. Feazell had nine points, 11 rebounds, four assists and five blocked shots. Hawthorne led all scorers with 20 points. Donta Ford added 15 points for the Bulldogs.

“We had a good night,” said Lawrence County Coach Pat Bridges. “I thought this was an improvement over our previous game. I thought our guys played with great effort, as did Prentiss. This was a quality win over a quality team.”

Lawrence County will next be in action this Friday hosting West Jones.