|Lancaster’s Rasu Henderson is triple-teamed under the basket by Northumberland’s Wesley Jackson (11), Blake Walker (30) and Sebastian Tarleton (34). Photo by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
Essex downed Lancaster, 51-42, in a makeup Saturday to cap regular season play for both teams. The defeat marked Lancaster’s third in a row. Player suspensions and injuries contributed to the first two losses against Washington & Lee and Northumberland, but coach Tim Rice had his full roster back for Saturday’s loss at Essex.
“We started out man-to-man, which turned out to be a mistake,” said Rice. “I think if we had played a zone, we’d have had a better chance.”
Last week’s losses dropped Lancaster from a first-place tie to sixth place in the rankings. Instead of hosting a first-round conference game, the Devils headed to third-place Northumberland for a quarterfinal contest on Tuesday, February 18. Lancaster finished at 8-10 overall.
Essex opened strong in Saturday’s makeup, taking a seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter. The host Trojans and Devils traded shots in the second for an even 13-13 quarter to give Essex a 29-22 lead at the half.
The Trojans scored another four unanswered in the third to help put the contest out of reach.
Tyrell Henderson, who had been out for two games with an ankle injury, came back to lead the Devils’ offense with 11 points. Darrin Doggett added eight. Lancaster did have an impressive day at the line, shooting 68% or 15-of-22 free throws.
The Trojans had three players finish in double digits with Sterling Hammond scoring the game-high 16 points. Malik Martin finished with 11 and D.J. Ashlock 10.
Northumberland had more stamina and took advantage of Lancaster’s tired legs last Tuesday in a 48-35 win over the Devils.
Coach Michael Stevenson got scoring from 11 different shooters and brought twice as many players as Lancaster had on its roster. Rice dressed out only seven with RayQuawn Ball scoring the game high 19 points. Devante Stewart added 11.
Northumberland had only one double-digit scorer in Malik Brown, who finished with 12 points. Elvin Cottrell scored nine.
The Indians took an 11-6 lead in the first quarter and maintained the five-point advantage until late in the second quarter when Stewart stole the ball at half court with three seconds to play and made a long shot just beyond the foul line at the buzzer to pull the Devils within three, 22-19, at the half.
Lancaster’s Devonte Haskins opened the scoring in the third as the Devils got as close as one, 22-21, before the Indians went on a 14-5 run to take a 10-point lead, 36-26, into the final quarter.