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LCHS boys defeat Gautier; Lady Cougars fall

BAY ST. LOUIS – The Lawrence County High School basketball teams were in action Tuesday in the second and final day of the Bay High Holiday Invitational. The Lady Cougars fell to powerhouse St. Martin by a score of 70-53. The LCHS boys edged Gautier 27-23. Both teams were victorious in the initial tournament games on Monday.

In girls’ action, the Lady Cougars ran into a 6A buzz-saw. St. Martin, led by Dandy Dozen senior Savannah Jones, entered Tuesday’s game with a record of 14-2. After a close first half, which saw St. Martin carve out a 33-29 lead, Jones took over. She scored 16 of her game-high 21 points after the intermission. Center Daphne White, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, scored 20 points and dominated the inside play.

“You’re never happy to lose,” said Lady Cougar coach Vicki Rutland, “but I thought our girls competed well today. They are a head taller than us at every position, so this was a tough test for us. I was pleased with the way we battled.”

Haven Johnson led the Lady Cougars with 12 points, five steals and two assists. Zipporah Baylis had nine points, four rebounds and four steals. Camryn Davis and Bailey Baylis added eight points each. Jada McDuffey had seven points, a team-high nine rebounds and six steals. McDuffey was named to the all-tournament team.

The boys’ game was a slow-paced, half-court, defensive affair, with both teams showing extreme patience on the offensive end. Lawrence County trailed Gautier 13-9 at the half, but the Cougars’ strong third quarter proved decisive.

The Cougars’ 6-foot-8 junior center Keyshawn Feazell pulled Lawrence County through in the second half. He scored seven of his 11 points in the decisive third quarter, converting two “plus-one” three-point plays in a two-minute span. Feazell received all-tourney honors.

Gabriel Lewis added seven points and handed out four assists. Vernell Garner had six points and a team-high six rebounds. Phillip Moore tallied the Cougars’ other three points.

It was a bit of a strange game in that only seven players scored. Neither team ever got into a one-and-one situation, and neither team made a three-pointer. Lawrence County was 0-for-9 from beyond the arc.

“It wasn’t a pretty game,” said LCHS coach Pat Bridges, “but it was a good win. You have to learn to win all types of games. This tournament was a good experience for us.”

Mike McWilliams scored 13 of Gautier’s 23 points.

Lawrence County will return to action on Saturday, when the Lady Cougars and Cougars visit Brookhaven.