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Boys basketball: Lawrence North blasts Lawrence Central

Wildcats' 32-2 run decides township rivalry


12:00 AM, Dec. 13, 2012 EST

The Lawrence North team celebrates their victory with the Lawrence Township Traveling Trophy after the game. Lawrence North High School hosted Lawrence Central High School Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. Lawrence North defeated Lawrence Central 83-70. / Doug McSchooler / For The Star

Lawrence North's Basil Smotherman and Daechon Francis hit shots when they were needed most to help lead the Wildcats past rival Lawrence Central 83-70 on Wednesday night.

Francis scored a game-high 21 points and Smotherman had 15 for the Wildcats (5-0).

"They are two jumpers, aren't they," Lawrence North coach Jack Keefer said. "They're our motor. Francis has a motor that won't quit. They're our guys that everybody spins off of."

Alan Willis had 19 points and DeVonte Harris and Devin Heath-Granger each scored 12 to lead the Bears (0-3).

The Wildcats went on a 32-2 run that lasted the entire second quarter and into the third.

"Any time you score two points in a quarter, I don't care who you're playing, you're going to dig yourselves into a hole," Lawrence Central coach J.R. Shelt said. "And we did."

The Bears turned the ball over three times and missed a shot at the start of the second period, and Francis scored twice while Howard scored two free throws and the Wildcats took a 27-22 lead.

"I felt like our kids just kept going," Keefer said. "That's unbelievable that we only held them to two points."

The Wildcats led 41-24 at halftime.

"It was us," Shelt said. "It was all us. If we could take away their transition buckets, we knew we'd have a chance and we weren't doing it."

The second half was much of the same. The Wildcats scored 24 points in the third quarter and another 18 in the fourth to maintain nearly a 15-point lead the rest of the game.

"They don't shoot as well as we do and they were putting up one heck of a fight," Keefer said. "One thing that (Lawrence Central) does is they play hard. I told our kids that it's going to be like a heavyweight fight."

Abdul McGraw scored on the first two trips down the floor to give the Bears a 4-0 lead.

The Wildcats didn't take their first lead until Smotherman drove to the basket to make it 13-12.

The Bears led 22-21 at the end of the first quarter.

 

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