LC Cougars edge North Pike; girls fall

Published 10:45 pm Saturday, January 23, 2016

SUMMIT – North Pike and Lawrence County split a Region 6-4A basketball double-header Friday night at North Pike High School. In girls’ play, North Pike surged back from a 13-point deficit to win 36-30. The boys’ game went down to the wire, with LCHS pulling out a 50-47 victory.

The girls’ game was a strange one. North Pike led 11-4 after one quarter, only to see Lawrence County go on a 20-0 run in the second quarter to grab a 24-11 lead. North Pike’s Rachel Thompson scored the final three points of the first half – the Lady Jaguars only three points of the second period – to make it a 24-14 game at halftime.

In the second half, Lawrence County went stone cold. The Lady Cougars scored six points in the entire second half. It wasn’t that the Lady Cougars turned the ball over an extraordinary number of times, or that they were physically dominated. They just couldn’t make a shot. Lawrence County’s shooting woes carried over to the free throw line, where LCHS made just one of seven.

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After scoring just four points in the third quarter, the Lady Cougars very nearly went scoreless in the fourth, with Camryn Davis’ basket in the waning second being Lawrence County’s only basket of that period. Meanwhile, North Pike’s Rachel Thompson and Amber Legg heated up after the intermission. Thompson scored seven of her 12 points in the second half, and Legg tallied six of her eight after the intermission.

Davis led the Lady Cougars with a game-high 17 points, but 13 of those came in the first half. Vicki Rutland’s girls fell to 11-9 overall, and an uncharacteristic 0-4 in Region 6-4A play. The North Pike girls, coached by Laura Holman, improved to 9-8 overall, and 2-2 in region play.

In boys’ play, Pat Bridges’ Cougars led for most of the night, but the homestanding Jaguars kept it close. LCHS had a seemingly comfortable seven-point lead in the final minute, when a Javian Jackson basket got North Pike to within five points, at 49-44. In the waning moments, Jaguar sharpshooter Justin Griffin nailed a three-pointer to cut Lawrence County’s lead to 49-47.

Lawrence County’s Phillip Moore was fouled with five seconds left to play. He made the first of two free throws to give the Cougars a three-point lead. North Pike still had a shot, but the Jaguars threw the ball away, clinching the win for Lawrence County.

Keyshawn Feazell led Lawrence County with 15 points, and Gabriel Lewis added 13. The Cougars improved to 12-7 overall, and 3-1 in the region.

Griffin led Keith Russ’ Jags with 11 points. Letrevion Bankham added 10, and Jackson had nine, all in the second half.

On Saturday, the Lawrence County boys made the 250-mile trip to New Albany to play the host school in the annual “Hotbed Classic.” LCHS defeated New Albany 54-45 on Saturday night. Game details were not available at press time.

Lawrence County will return home to host Richland on Tuesday. North Pike will travel to South Pike.