LUMBERTON — Paul R. Brown survived a 13-point run in the second quarter, but couldn’t pull off the upset of undefeated Antioch Christian Academy on Friday after three starters fouled out in the fourth quarter. And yet, two long-range chances in the final 15 seconds could have changed everything — but came up short and Paul R. Brown fell, 52-50.
It was the second, two-point loss to Antioch in the last 10 days and dropped the Bulldogs to 4-2. The Gators improved to 10-0.
“It’s tough when three players foul out like that,” Paul R. Brown coach Ken Cross said. “But we still almost did it.”
The Bulldogs scored the first basket seven seconds into the game on a layup by Marvin Lacewell — and neither team could score for the next 2:28, when Lacewell dropped in another bucket to give the Dawgs a 4-0 lead. The Gators finally got their first points on a basket at the 3:56 mark and added two free throws 1:30 later to knot things up at 4-4. But over the final 1:20 of the first quarter, Paul R. Brown got a basket by MyKell McKoy along with a free throw from Zarian Brown to take a 7-4 advantage into the second stanza.
The Bulldogs increased the lead to 12-4 when Lacewell drained a three-pointer and then added a basket, but the Gators went on a 5-0 spurt to cut the gap to 12-9 before Brown dropped in a bucket and Marquise Robinson added a basket to give the visitors a 16-9 edge.
After an Antioch basket, Robinson canned another basket to keep the Dawgs up 18-11 midway through the quarter.
And then the Gators exploded for 13 unanswered points to open a 24-18 lead. T.J. Smith stopped the bleeding with a free throw and Brown hit a basket to end the half with Paul R.Brown trailing, 24-20.
Antioch hit the first basket of the second half to go up 26-20, but Lacewell drained a three-pointer to draw the Bulldogs within three. After a Gators bucket, Brown hit a basket before Antioch went on a small 4-0 burst to open a 32-25 lead. But the Bulldogs finished the third quarter with a 9-6 advantage on three baskets by Brown and a put-back by McKoy that kept the visitors with four at 38-34.
Turnovers by Antioch early in the fourth quarter helped Paul R. Brown make a charge. Brown hit a basket to open the period before the Gators got a free throw and basket. But the Bulldogs went on a 8-0 run — on a three-pointer by Micah McKoy, a basket by Brown and a bucket and free throw by Robinson — that gave the visitors a 44-41 lead.
Antioch hit two quick baskets to regain the lead, but the Dawgs went on a 6-4 spurt on a basket by Smith and two free throws each by Micah McKoy and Smith to carry a 50-49 into the final 20 seconds.
The Gators quickly got the ball inside for a layup and the lead, and the final 12 seconds saw two long shots by the visitors go awry and Antioch sealed the win with a free throw with less than two seconds left.
Brown led Paul R. Brown with 17 points, while Lacewell followed with 12 points on a pair of three-pointers.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.