Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.|
Lawrence County junior guard Myles King drives for two of his 20 points against Madison County on Saturday. Madison County won 63-57.
Lawrence County can’t overcome fouls
Red Devils fall 1 win short of state tourney
By Brooke Milam
HANCEVILLE — Battling from behind through most of the Class 4A Northwest Regional finals Saturday, the Lawrence County Red Devils found a final surge in the second half, but the push wasn’t enough to hold off second-ranked Madison County.
“I thought it was two teams that wanted to win real bad,” Madison County coach Stuart Allen said. “You’ve got to give those guys credit — they came back and made some great shot at the end that made it tough.”
Madison County beat Lawrence County 63-57, ending the Red Devils’ season at 24-10.
In his first year as the Tigers head coach, Allen has guided Madison County to its first Final Four since the state began using the concept in 1995. A former head coach at Austin High, Allen took the Black Bears to the Final Four in 2002.
Madison County (24-5) will play Central-Tuscaloosa in the state semifinals Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.|
Lawrence County head coach Stanley Johnson tells the official what he thinks about a call that sent guard Myles King out of the game in the fourth quarter against Madison County on Saturday. The Tigers won the regional finals 63-57 at Wallace State- Hanceville.
“We played hard,” Lawrence County coach Stanley Johnson said. “We just sort of ran out of steam at the end.”
When Lawrence County’s top scorer, Myles King, was called for his third foul with a minute to play in the first quarter, it threw the Red Devils off schedule.
“Foul trouble killed us,” King said.
The lead changed hands three times in the first quarter as teams battled for control.
“It hurt when Myles picked up his third foul in the first quarter. We weren’t prepared for that,” Johnson said.
Madison County led 18-13 at the end of the first quarter, but the Tigers’ lead increased to double digits in the second amid spotty shooting from the Red Devils, who were 35.7 percent from the field in the first half.
“When we have a bad half shooting, we try to counteract with our running game, but Madison County shut that down,” Johnson said.
The Tigers were ahead 31-22 at halftime, but Lawrence County began the second half on a surge.
Durman Cunningham’s basket with 6:24 left in the second quarter pulled Lawrence County within four at 31-27.
Cunningham later cut Madison County’s lead to three points at 34-31 before Chasten Echols brought the Red Devils within one at 44-43 heading into the fourth quarter, as Lawrence County outscored Madison County 21-13 in the third period.
“(Lawrence County) was being physical and playing hard. They weren’t going away,” Madison County’s Robert Thomas said.
The score was tied at 47 and 49 early in the fourth before Madison County broke to a 57-49 lead after four straight scoreless possessions by the Red Devils.
A layup by King with a minute to play had Lawrence County within 57-55, but that was as close as the Red Devils came.
King was the game’s high scorer with 20 points, while Matthew Pugh added 14 points and nine rebounds for Lawrence County. Cunningham had 13 points and six boards.
King and Pugh both landed to the all-tournament team, as was Madison County’s Ryan Cross, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds in the finals.
“(Cross) was one of the best post players, if not the best post player, we’ve faced all year,” Johnson said.
Madison County’s Terrance Nance was selected the tournament’s most valuable player after getting 16 points, six
rebounds, seven assists and
four steals against Lawrence County.
The girls 4A all-tournament team was also named Saturday and included Lawrence County’s Sallie Burch and East Lawrence’s Paige Hood.
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