Third-Ranked Laneville Hangs On to Knock Off No. 1 Oakwood in Class A Division II Showdown
LANEVILLE -- After eight quarters and one overtime period, there appears to be very little separation between Class A Division II powers Oakwood and Laneville. And now, each has beaten the other.
Tra Alexander, Kendrick Anderson and Donta Harris all had at least 20 points in third-ranked Laneville's 80-79 win over District 25-A rival and No. 1 Oakwood on Friday night at Laneville High School.
The Yellow Jackets (22-6, 6-1) win avenged an 87-84 overtime loss at Oakwood (19-3, 7-1) on Dec. 20, and may have set the stage for a rubber match which wouldn't come until the Region IV championship game on March 1 in New Braunfels. Douglass defeated fellow 25-A member Oakwood in last season's regional final.
"We just have to make sure we take care of the rest of the bunch," said Laneville coach Hosea Lee. "We knew it was going to be a dogfight between both of us. So the thing we can't do is slip up. We've got to stay focused and take this game for what it's worth and go back to work."
Laneville's trio of Alexander, Anderson and Harris combined for 68 of the team's 80 points. Alexander had a team-high 26 points to go with five rebounds, Anderson finished with 22 points and nine boards and Harris added 20 points and nine rebounds.
"You never know who's going to step up for us," Lee said. "On any given night, one of our kids can give you 20, 25, 30 points. Our kids are so unselfish. We like the ball in Kendrick's hands a lot of the time because he does so much with it. If you collapse, he's going to find Donta, or he's going to find Tra for open shots. I think we have a unique team and I love this bunch of kids. They do a great job finding each other and looking for each other."
Ty Johnson also had a big night defensively for Laneville. He scored just four points, but had a team-high 12 rebounds, five blocks and four assists.
"I think the fans helped us out a whole lot; they kept us in the game," Johnson said. "On the defensive end, it gave me the extra boost to go in there and block shots."
Oakwood star Damiyne Durham, who has committed to Baylor, registered a game-high 32 points and knocked down five 3-pointers on the night. The 6-4 combo guard added eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.
Jacquez Anderson scored 20 points -- all in the second half -- and had seven boards and four steals in the losing effort. He stole Laneville's inbounds pass with two seconds remaining and nailed a 3-pointer as time expired to account for the one-point margin of defeat after Oakwood trailed by as many 18 points in the second half.
"I'm proud of my guys for not giving up," said Oakwood coach Ronnie Dunn. "We were down by (18) at one point, and we got back in it. We got it under 10 at the end of the third, and we got within four with a few seconds left. I'm real proud of them for their defensive effort and the way we stayed in it. But we've got to play four quarters of team basketball, and tonight we didn't do that. I thought we played two quarters of team basketball and two quarters of individual basketball, and that's not going to win you basketball games."
Durham's third 3-pointer of the opening period gave Oakwood a 16-6 lead with 3:04 remaining in the first quarter, but Laneville used the 3-point shot to its advantage and quickly began chipping away. A Harris 3-ball cut the deficit to seven points, and an Alexander field goal from lone range trimmed the Oakwood lead to 16-14 with 1:10 to go in the quarter.
Another 3-pointer by Alexander gave Laneville its first lead -- 24-21 -- at the 5:11 mark of the second, and the Yellow Jackets never trailed again. Laneville closed the half on a 6-0 run with baskets from Anderson, Johnson and Alexander to go into halftime with a 40-30 lead.
"When we went into halftime we told them that the score was 0-0," Lee said. "We knew that Durham was going to come out and keep shooting. He comes at you so quick and on a few occasions, we're celebrating because we're scoring with the adrenaline and then here he comes."
Laneville began the second half on fire, building a 52-34 lead on Anderson's putback off an offensive rebound with 4:06 showing on the third-quarter clock. But Oakwood clawed back into it by ending the third on a 12-3 run, which trimmed Laneville's lead to 55-46.
Oakwood kept the deficit within single digits for the first half of the fourth quarter, but Anderson's 3-point play, followed by consecutive baskets from Alexander gave Laneville a 71-58 lead with 3:16 remaining. The Panthers remained within striking distance the rest of the way, but never got any closer than five points until the final two seconds of the game.
"We got into man and started playing a little defense," Dunn said. "We had dug ourselves such a hole that it was just really difficult to get back in it. They played smart and kinda wasted some clock on us, and they hit a couple of key free throws."
Despite letting Oakwood hang around late, Lee was generally upbeat about the way his team performed Friday night.
"I like the fact that we got out on them, got almost a 20-point lead," Lee said. "The thing I was disappointed in is we kinda let them get back in it, but what can you do when Durham shoots that thing the way he does? We pick him up at halfcourt and he's still letting it go and just knocking them down -- nothing but the bottom of the net. Our whole goal was to try and contain him and we did for the most part. I was a little disappointed because they got a lot of offensive rebounds, but we'll take the 'W.'"
Oakwood is off Tuesday before resuming district play next Friday night at Apple Springs, while Laneville is at Apple Springs on Tuesday.
No. 3 Laneville 80, No. 1 Oakwood 79
District 25-A Division II Boys Basketball
Oakwood 17 13 16 33 -- 79
Laneville 18 22 15 25 -- 80
OAKWOOD (19-3, 7-1) -- Damiyne Durham, 32; Jacquez Anderson, 20; Dominique Johnson, 12; David Allen, 11; Jordan Hawkins, 4.
LANEVILLE (22-6, 6-1) -- Tra Alexander, 26; Kendrick Anderson, 22; Donta Harris, 20; Ty Johnson, 9; Tiarel Franklin, 3.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Oakwood: Durham (5), Anderson (3), Hawkins. Laneville: Harris (4), Alexander (3), Franklin.