(Byfield) A rousing second half by the visiting Lawrence Academy Spartans sent them past Governor’s Academy, 71-47, on Monday evening.
LA (5-6) had an 18-2 run over six minutes late in the second half and turned a competitive game (53-41) into a blowout (71-43) with 2:15 left. GA (3-4) scored the last four points of the game but this one, by then, was in the bag for the Spartans.
The last time I saw Lawrence Academy was on March 7th at Endicott College when they, led by Shabazz Napier (now at Uconn), completed a 29-0 season with a win over St. Mark’s in the Class C New England championships. I learned before today’s game that the stars from that team had moved on.
In this game, the visitors from Groton allowed GA to hang around in the first half (38-32) by being long-range happy (fifteen 3-point attempts). The Spartans had the slashers and inside presence to do better and they did in the second half. Their inside game earned them a steady flow of high percentage shots or free throws. On the other end, the Spartans forced GA into low percentage shots and dominated the boards.
GA had no more easy shots after halftime warm-ups. They were defensed into a lot of one-and-done’s and were a dismal 6-for-35 on shots attempted (17%) in the second half.
In thirty-four second half possessions the home team had only five second chances. LA was obviously great on the glass.
Senior James Gomes paced the Govs, as he usually does, with eighteen points. It is no mystery that he is their main scoring threat. The 5-11 senior creates his own offense. He appeared to have some sort of thigh problem in the second half. He was the only Gov to reach double figures.
The Spartans were led by Johnnie Vassar and Clay Horne. Both had fifteen points. Johnnie was a fearless slasher despite his guard size. Clay was a finisher near the basket.
Clay had consecutive highlight dunks late in the second half. The first was a one-stepper when a teammate penetrating found him alone in close. The second was a putback on a missed shot. I had my camera. If I’d only known!
This game was a far cry from the no-students, Hebron game I last saw at Governor‘s. Plenty of students around this time.
On-the-scene tidbits: Before the game started a GA authority figure moved a collection of male students from behind the Lawrence bench probably to prevent some unkind verbal exchanges. Later a collection of female GA students sat behind the Lawrence bench and, doing my eavesdropping best, I heard that one of the Gov players had lost his girlfriend!
(I keep my own stats and take my own pictures. I avoid interviewing participants. All conclusions and statistics are subject to unintentional error as a result on my part.)