Red Devils sweep Lawrence tourney
By Paul Stackhouse
MOULTON — The Lawrence County Tournament trophies are gold, but organizers easily could’ve painted them Lawrence County red Saturday night.
The Red Devils swept the two championships in front of a packed house at A.W. Todd Coliseum. The Lawrence County boys beat Hazlewood in overtime 81-76, while the Lawrence County girls rolled to a 54-45 win over rival East Lawrence.
The Red Devils took the two most valuable player awards, too — Myles King won the boys award, while Nakia McDaniel won it on the girls side.
In the girls championship, Lawrence County gave head coach Kenny Coffey his eight tournament title in his 15-year tenure.
McDaniel led the Lady Red Devils (22-4) with 22 points, while Shea Mason finished with 21.
“I’m a senior and to win this tournament makes it 10 times better to me than knowing I’m going out a champion,” Mason said.
“We gave our coaches, families, our entire town something to be proud about.”
For McDaniel, the tournament meant plenty, too, even though she’s a sophomore and has two more chances to play in the event.
“Bragging rights,” McDaniel said.
“This gives me bragging rights for a year. Both of our teams just went out and played with everything we had, and it paid off.”
Lawrence County jumped out to an 18-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and appeared to have the game well under control. East Lawrence, in its quest to win the tournament two years in a row, attempted a comeback but the Lawrence County defense didn’t allow it.
The Lady Devils led 25-19 at the half and 44-34 at the end of the third quarter.
“We really came out and played a good first quarter,” Coffey said. “Then we just had a lull there in the second. Even though we had a few lulls, I thought our overall defense played fairly well. East Lawrence has a good team that has improved greatly since the beginning of the year.”
LaKendra Wright led East Lawrence (13-10) in scoring with 19 points. Paige Hood finished the game with 13 points.
Lawerence County boys 81, Hazlewood 76, OT: The game was close from start to finish. Lawrence County led 17-16 at the end of the first quarter with both teams tied at 37 going into intermission.
The Red Devils pulled out to a 59-51 lead going into the final period before the Golden Bears came roaring back. The game finished at 72-72 at the end of regulation.
King led Lawrence County (19-7) with 33 points and 10 rebounds, while Matthew Pugh finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
D.J. Jones and Keginald Harris led Hazlewood (14-9) in scoring with 16 points each. Kerry Jones added 12 points.
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