Boys Basketball: Northwood-Lena pulls away in final quarter to down St. Martin’s in semifinals

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LAKE CHARLES – St. Martin’s Episcopal has made a huge splash in athletics this season.

The Saints football team reached the state semifinals for the first time in school history.

Head Coach Mike Odom wanted that momentum passed to the Saints boys basketball team on the hardwood. The Saints responded with a breakout season clinching their first trip to the LHSAA semifinals in school history.

Top seeded Northwood-Lena on Wednesday afternoon spoiled the party, pulling away in a 62-47 victory in the Division IV semifinals at the Burton Complex.

St. Martins (21-10) had a good start with an 11-9 lead as Matthew Weaver knocked down a three-pointer and converted a driving layup before Peyton Raines scored a driving layup of his own to give the Saints a 13-11 lead.

Northwood-Lena (28-7) finished the first quarter strong with buckets by Jonathan Barron and Randarius Morris to lead 15-13.

The Gators capped a 10-0 run with a basket by Omarion Layssard and a three-pointer by Jeigh Lee, extending the lead to 21-13.

The Saints bounced back with a pair of driving layups by Cooper Odom and Harlem Berry, drawing with six. Then Odom knocked down a three-pointer and scored in the lane to make it 23-22. The Gators answered with a layup by Morris to make it 25-22 at the half.

Weaver opened the second half for the Saints with a jumper but Northwood bumped the lead back to six. Odom kept the Saints in striking distance with a pair driving layups, cutting the lead to 34-31. Northwood-Lena answered with an ally-opp dunk by Layssard and jumper by Lee to make it 38-33.

“I thought we played well enough to win but we let it get away at the end,” said Weaver. “I thought we played good defense until we slipped and made all those fouls.”

St. Martin’s made a big push starting the fourth quarter as Weaver and Raines converted in the deep pain, dressing back close at 38-37.

Morris and Lee helped the Gators craft a 6-0 spurt to lead 44-37. It was part of a convincing finish where the the Saints were outscored 24-14.

Layssard put the game out of reach with a reverse layup, 50-39.

Northwood-Lena had three players scoring in double figures. Layssard led the Gators with 21 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists. Morris finished with 18 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks. Lee added 12 points, four rebounds and three assists.

“We settled to a defensive rhythm in the second half. We had some guys watching and waiting for the game to be over. Then we decided maybe we should go win it,” said Northwood-Lena Head Coach Samuel Tinsley. “If you’re going to win a state championship, it takes luck, skill, and a team that comes together at the right time.”

St. Martin’s was led by Weaver with 19 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Odom finished with 11 points and two steals.

“We have a great group of kids and I feel hurt for these guys. I thought we could beat them but hats off to them. They played a hell of a game,” said St. Martins Head Coach Mike Odom. “Their rebounding was really tough. They are physically gifted and hard to block out. I had a lot of butterflies and I know they did. This was a great season and I’m very proud of them.”

Northwood-Lena will face the winner of Thursday’s Crescent City-Lincoln Preparatory School semifinal in the Division IV Select title game Saturday at noon at Burton Complex.

Division V select: No. 1 Avoyelles Charter 54, No. 4 JS Clark 36
Division V select: No. 2 Family Christian 46, No. 3 Rapides 38
Division III select: No. 3 Calvary Baptist 62, No. 10 Catholic-New Iberia 57
Division V non-select: No. 1 Zwolle 81, Gibsland-Coleman 72
Division V non-select: No. 2 Anacoco 63, No. 3 Fairview 49

Division III select: No. 1 Newman 63, No. 4 Dunham 41
Division IV non-select: No. 4 North Central 73, No. 1 East Feliciana 66
Division II non-select: No. 4 Bossier 48, No. 1 Wossman 42
Division IV non-select: No. 3 Franklin 42, No. 2 White Castle 38
Division II non-select: No. 3 Carroll 63, No. 2 Iowa 57

Division IV select: No. 1 Northwood-Lena 62, No. 4 St. Martin’s Episcopal 47
Division I select: No. 1 Scotlandville 63, No. 4 Huntington 43
Division III non-select: No. 1 Port Allen 77, No. 4 Patterson 75 (3 OT)
Division III non-select: No. 3 Winnfield 57, No. 2 French Settlement 52
Division I select: No. 3 Catholic-BR 68, No. 2 St. Thomas More 59

Division IV select: No. 2 Lincoln Prep (23-4) vs. No. 3 Crescent City Christian (22-4), 1:15 p.m.
Division II select: No. 1 Madison Prep (31-2) vs. No. Archbishop Shaw (22-5), 3 p.m.
Division II select: No. 2 Peabody (25-6) vs. No. 6 G.W. Carver (22-10), 4:45 p.m.
Division I non-select: No. 2 Ruston (29-3) vs. No. 3 Ponchatoula (27-7), 6:15 p.m.
Division I non-select: No. 1 New Iberia (29-3) vs. No, 4 Walker (29-5), 8 p.m.

Division V select–Noon, No. 1 Avoyelles Charter vs. No. 2 Family Christian
Division III select: 2 p.m.—No. 1 Newman vs. No. 3 Calvary Baptist
Division IV non-select: 4 p.m.—No. 3 Franklin vs. No. 4 North Central
Division II non-select: 6 p.m.—No. 3 Carroll vs. No. 4 Bossier
Division V non-select: 8 p.m.—No. 1 Zwolle vs. No. 2 Anacoco

Saturday (UPDATED)
Division IV select: noon—No. 1 Northwood-Lena vs. No. 2 Lincoln Prep
Division II select: 2 p.m.-No. 1 Madison Prep vs. No. 6 G.W. Carver
Division III non-select: 4 p.m.—No. 1 Port Allen vs. No. 3 Winnfield
Division I select: 6 p.m.—No. 1 Scotlandville vs. No. 3 Catholic-BR
Division I non-select: 8 p.m.—No. 3 Ponchatoula vs. TBD

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