Lacewell leads PRBLA past Oak Ridge, 71-69

OAK RIDGE — Everything pointed to another overtime experience for Paul R. Brown, but this time the Bulldogs managed to ovoid the extra period by knocking off Oak Ridge Military Academy on Thursday in a non-conference game, 71-69.

The victory came when Marvin Lacewell and Darius Willis each cleanly blocked a shot within the final 9 seconds of the game.

“They were good blocks, not just swiped at,” Bulldogs coach Ken Cross said.

Paul R. Brown improved to 6-4 with the win.

Oak Ridge opened the game on an 11-2 run against the Bulldogs’ zone defense, so Cross switched to a man defense and Paul R. Brown reversed course for a 13-4 burst to finish the first quarter in a 15-15 knot. Brandon Strange drained a three-pointer for the Bulldogs in the period.

In the second stanza, Lacewell canned six points for the Dawgs but the two teams traded 15 points to finish the half still tied at 30-30.

Each team lit up the scoreboard in the third quarter — Micha McKoy and Lacewell each canned a three-pointer for Paul R. Brown — and the teams stayed knotted at 50-50 going into the fourth frame.

Lacewell put the Dawgs on his back down the stretch, draining a three-pointer, hitting two baskets and going 4-for-4 at the line as the Bulldogs outscored Oak Ridge 21-19 to escape with the win.

“It was a long trip, but we played hard,” Cross said. “We’re in pretty good shape and I think that helped.”

Lacewell led Paul R. Brown with 24 points that included two three-pointers and 7-for-9 at the line; Zarian Brown scored 15 points that included 5-for-8 at the line; and Strange added 11 points with a three-pointer.

Paul R. Brown will travel to Lake Waccamaw on Saturday for a 3 p.m. conference game against Thomas Academy. A win would give the Bulldogs a tie for the conference crown.