The Laurence Manning basketball team has had a long week. The Swampcats were playing in their fifth game in eight days when they traveled to Clarendon Hall on Saturday and they were dealt …
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The Laurence Manning Academy varsity boys basketball team had a long week. The Swampcats were playing in their fifth game in eight days when they traveled to Clarendon Hall on Saturday, and they were dealt another blow as their top scorers Umar Lawson, was sent to the hospital following Friday’s loss to Trinity-Byrnes.
That didn't stop LMA though as it managed to grind out a 48-47 win at the CH gymnasium in the first meeting between the schools in at least a quarter of a century.
Laurence Manning head coach Will Epps was thrilled to see his team step up at the end of a long week with all of the adversity It had faced to improve to 11-5 on the season.
"In order to become a good team, you have to beat good teams, " said Epps. "We played Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and if you're going to make it in the state playoffs, you're going to have to play Saturday, then Tuesday, then Friday and Saturday. That's what we're trying to do. We're trying to prepare ourselves for the playoffs."
Scoring was hard to come by all night long, with both teams trading off narrow leads most of the game. Clarendon Hall was able to stay afloat in the second quarter on the back of Traveon Davis, who scored seven of the Saint's 16 points in the first half. His most emphatic basket came on a breakaway dunk late in the first quarter after coming off the bench.
The game remained neck and neck until midway through the second quarter, where LMA took control. Chase Lee buried a 3-point basket to spark Laurence Manning on a 7-0 stretch to end the half, giving it a 23-16 lead.
LMA managed to maintain a lead for most of the second half. The Swampcats seemed to find just enough offense to respond to every Clarendon Hall basket. Davis continued his excellent performance for the Saints in the third quarter, scoring 11 points in the frame, but LMA got some solid scoring from Gabe Harris and DeRon Medley, as well as a huge corner 3 from Bryce Accord, to carry a 37-32 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Swampcats led 44-39 when Clarendon Hall started to chip away. Davis stayed hot with another seven points in the quarter, as he and Zyan Gilmore cut into the LMA lead. Davis knocked down a pair of 3s, and Gilmore hit a deep 3, his first of the game, to tie the game at 47-47 with just 41 seconds left.
Medley, who had already scored six points in the quarter, was fouled with 24 seconds lef. After missing the first free throw, he knocked down the second to put the Swampcats ahead by one.
Gilmore tried to find a shot for Clarendon Hall, but he was fouled with two seconds left on the clock. Confusion with the officials and the scorer's table delayed the free throws, before LMA elected to call a timeout. Gilmore missed the front end of a one-and-one as LMA grabbed the rebound and the win.
While Clarendon Hall, which fell to 5-4, was disappointed to not come away with the win, head coach Anthony Reitenour doesn't it will affect his team.
"We're fine. We're focused and we're ready to keep playing ball," said Reitenour. "This game ended as soon as that clock hit zero and we're on to the next one."
Medley led the Swampcats with 13 points, as LMA saw pretty balanced scoring across the board. Lee added nine points, while Harris and Brandon King each chipped in eight.
Davis did the heavy lifting for the Saints with 26 points. Gilmore and Kylic Horton scored 11 and eight points, respectively.
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