John Phillip Duncan drives to the hoop against Lawrence County Tuesday night in the District 8-3A opener. (Staff photo by Derek Harryman)
The games were vastly different but the outcome the same Tuesday night at Joe Frank Patch Memorial Gymnasium in Manchester.
The Central High School Lady Raiders were blown out and the Red Raiders dropped a one-point contest to the Lawrence County Wildcats in the season’s District 8-AAA opener.
The Lady Raiders were outmatched from the tip, losing 81-38 to the Lady Wildcats. Tyger Fenton led CHS with 11 points.
The nightcap was a fight from the tip.
“I knew this game was going to be tough,” said Red Raider head coach J.D. Douglas. “They always play extremely hard but I could not be more proud of the way we fought.”
Trailing by 11 points in the second quarter, the Red Raiders closed out the period with a 15-3 run to take a 34-33 lead into the half.
Lawrence County controlled the third quarter much like it had the first and led 52-45 heading into the fourth. Anthony Jackson scored the first four points of the final stanza to pull the Raiders within three, 52-49 with 6:16 left in the game.
“I knew we had to get back into the game,” said Jackson. “We played a sloppy third quarter and we needed to pick it up in the fourth.”
The Raiders did pick it up, outscoring the Wildcats 11-2 to start the period and take a 56-54 lead with 3:25 left in the game. But Lawrence County hit clutch free throws down the stretch and held off the Raiders just enough to steal a 63-62 win.
Jackson and Lucas Crismond each netted 16 points to lead CHS in scoring.
The teams will be back at home Friday night to take on Stewarts Creek in non-district action.
Read more in next week’s (Dec. 11) print edition of the Manchester Times. Click here to subscribe to the print and/or online edition of the paper.