December 29, 2012

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL: Lawrence runs away from Cony

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- There's no big secret to the Lawrence basketball team's success. The Bulldogs pressure the ball and overplay the passing lanes in hopes of forcing turnovers or bad shots.

click image to enlarge

TOUGH D: Lawrence’s Xavier Lewis knocks the ball away from Cony’s Chandler Shostak during the Bulldogs’ 53-39 win Friday at Capital City Hoop Classic at the Augusta Civic Center.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

click image to enlarge

MAKE A PASS: Cony’s Dayshawn Roberts, left, looks for a teammate to pass to as Lawrence’s Xavier Lewis plays tight defense during the Bulldogs’ 53-39 win Friday at the Capital City Hoop Classic at the Augusta Civic Center.

Staff photo by Joe Phelan

That pressure eventually got to Cony on Friday afternoon as the Rams managed just six points in the fourth quarter and lost 53-39 at the Augusta Civic Center.

The game was part of the Capital City Hoop Classic but also counted as a regular-season game, replacing the scheduled meeting between the teams at Cony on Jan. 8. Lawrence is 5-1 in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A play while Cony is 2-4.

For three quarters it was close. The teams were tied at the half and Bulldogs led 35-33 entering the fourth quarter. Lawrence pushed the lead to seven as Nick Noiles opened the fourth quarter with his third 3-pointer of the game and Matt Saunders followed with a layup. Things were never quite the same after that as the Rams struggled against the Bulldogs' three-quarter-court trap.

"Coach (Mike McGee) definitely emphasizes defense," Saunders said. "We just needed to work harder. We got in the passing lanes and really put more pressure on them which helped a lot."

All five starters scored in the fourth quarter for the Bulldogs, Noiles and Xavier Lewis each finished with 11 points while Spencer Carey scored 10, Saunders eight and Mason Travers seven.

"We're definitely not at our best," Saunders said. "We've had one loss against Hampden so we know we have a ways to go."

The Bulldogs did a good job denying the ball to Cony's big men, Ben Lucas and Alex Neill, in the second half. Lucas scored 11 of his game-high 15 points in the first half while Neill scored six of his eight.

"We were able to force their offense out more," McGee said. "We said if the ball goes to the wing and Lucas and Neill are able to get the ball inside we're in trouble."

Lucas scored eight of Cony's 10 points in the first quarter while Neill scored the other hoop as the Rams trailed 12-10. The Bulldogs were a little more balanced and were able to get layups from Lewis and Aaron LaFrance and later in the half from Carey and Saunders.

"We just put in a new offense," Saunders said. "It's working better, we just need to execute more. Our last offense didn't emphasize our athleticism."

Lucas, who hauled down 12 rebounds, finished the half with a three-point play to pull the Rams into a 21-all tie. They stayed close in the third quarter and took a two-point lead on Ben Leet's 3-pointer, but Lawrence's defensive pressure eventually took its toll.

"We had 25 turnovers," Cony coach Tim Bonsant said. "My guards haven't played that bad all year. They did play good defensively but we were just picking the ball up in the corner of the court. It was just basic basketball."

Gary Hawkins -- 621-5638

ghawkins@centralmaine.com

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at OnlineSentinel.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


High School Football 2013

Fall Sports 2012

Purchase Photos

Find more photos >>