by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
After a couple of close calls last week and a come-from-behind late-game win over Northumberland last Tuesday, the varsity Red Devils decided not to play around with last year’s nemesis Essex on Friday. Lancaster took an early lead and never let the visiting Trojans get closer than seven in a 71-54 Northern Neck District win.
Lancaster is now 11-3 overall and 3-0 in the district.
The Devils held Essex to a lone bucket and forced five turnovers in the first five minutes and took a 21-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. The two teams traded shots in the second and Essex got as close as seven, 37-30, early in the third before the Devils went on a 13-8 run to finish the quarter up 50-38.
Lancaster opened the fourth with five quick points, including a three-pointer from Martez Davis, that put the Devils in front, 55-38. Davis, who had a game-high 21 points, scored 13 points in the second half and led three double digit scorers on the night for LHS. Darius Reed added 13 points and Christian Sutton, who is back from an injury, added 10.
Along with hitting six times from the cheap seats in the game, the Devils were nearly perfect from the foul line, sinking 17-of-21 or 80 percent.
Tamaje Jones had a 20-point effort for the Trojans.
Northumberland couldn’t find the basket in the fourth as Lancaster chipped away at a 14-point lead and went on an 18-5 run to beat the Indians, 63-56, last Tuesday. It was Northumberland’s first loss of the season.
Northumberland led for the first seven minutes of the outing before Reed’s hook-shot put the Devils up 10-8 with a minute to play in the first. The two teams traded shots before Arik Clayton hit nothing but net on a three-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer to give LHS a 13-12 lead to end a frenzied first-quarter of play.
After answering each other in the first six minutes of the second, Northumberland pulled away after a pair of three-pointers from Kyjuan Thomas and Collin Saunders put the Indians out front, 36-28, at the half.
Northumberland opened the third with a 9-2 run for a 45-30 lead and was up 51-37 with 2:33 to play in the quarter when Lancaster put up an 8-0 run complete with three steals for lay-ins by Terrance Frisby and a couple of foul shots by Sutton.
Lancaster continued to chop away at the lead early in the fourth with a pair of free throws by Reed to start and a Reed steal and lay-up. Frisby sank two at the line to tie the game at 51-51 with 6:29 to play and the Devils took the lead for good at the line with two Reed foul shots. He followed that with a break away and bank shot to lift Lancaster 55-51 and the Indians were held to five fourth-quarter points, including a basket each by Joseth Tarleton and Christian Rich. Lancaster sank five free throws in the waning seconds to open up a two-point, 58-56, lead.
Frisby and Sutton scored 11 each for LHS and Tarleton scored 19 to lead the Indians, who are 8-1 overall.
The Devils got 12 points from Davis and 11 from Henderson in a losing effort last Saturday at Christchurch when the Seahorses edged the Devils, 51-46.
The two were tied at 26-26 at halftime and Lancaster held a 41-32 lead at the end of three before Christchurch went on a 19-5 run, holding the Devils scoreless from the field in the fourth.
Lancaster got three free throws from Davis and two from Henderson for all of its scoring in the final eight minutes. In fact, Davis did most of his scoring from the charity line, scoring nine of his 12 points on foul shots.
Lancaster will host Colonial Beach tomorrow, January 26, and begin their second round of district play Tuesday, January 30, at Northumberland.