WOODLAWN — Despite having to play without their head coach, Woodlawn was able to hold off a scrappy Rison on Friday night as the Bears defeated the Wildcats 46-33.
“We hit some big shots and stepped up on defense,” said Woodlawn’s fill-in coach Roy Ray. ”We keyed in on their best player and we were able to shut him down.”
Rison got within one point with 5:07 left in the game but Woodlawn knocked down some crucial free throws to secure the win.
“We kind of got a little rattled,” Ray said. “But then got back into our game plan and took it back to them again.
“It was a huge win.”
Woodlawn senior Josh Conner knocked down to free throws with 3:58 left to extend the Bears lead to 33-30. Junior Chandler Mercer knocked down two more with 3:20 left to give Woodlawn a five-point edge.
“When you stop them on defense and then you come down on offense and don’t get any points, it is hard to catch up,” Rison head coach Fred Hauk said.
Rison (1-5, 1-3 in 7-2A East) got within two points with 2:41 to go but Mercer answered for Woodlawn with a three-point play to push the lead to 38-33 with 2:31 left..
“It was a good game,” Hauk said. “I like those kind of games, but I want to win them.
“I’ve had two close games this week, but I’m looking forward to winning one like that.”
Conner was sent to the line twice, making two of four, to give Woodlawn a 40-33 lead with 1:36 left. He then scored a bucket to give the Bears a 42-33 lead with less than a minute to play.
Mercer led Woodlawn with 16 points and Conner chipped in with 12.
“They play smart and keep everybody calm,” Ray said. “They are just the heart of the team.”
Woodlawn senior Jeremy Shumake contributed with seven points.
Woodlawn took a 10-point lead with 4:08 to play in the first half. But following a timeout by Rison, sophomore Chris Leaks scored seven straight points to get the Wildcats within three with 3:01 left.
Leaks hit a layup and then completed a three-point play to make the score 29-24. He then made two free throws to make it 29-24.
Leaks finished the game with 16 points.
“We are really expecting big things out of him,” Hauk said. “Once he figures out what he is doing, he is going to be a good one.”
Jaylon Mitchum scored six points for Rison.
“I started four sophomores tonight and one senior,” Hauk said. “I’m looking forward to the future.
“…I’m hoping one day we are going to figure things out and we will be good to go.”
Rison 50, Woodlawn 37
WOODLAWN – Porsha Davis came off the bench and scored seven crucial points as she helped Rison defeat cross-town rival Woodlawn Friday night at home.
Rison’s Antionette Wells scored 18 points and Aaliyah Chavis scored 11 as the Lady Wildcats moved to 4-5 overall and 4-1 in the 7-2A East conference.
Katelyn Mason chipped in with seven points as well for Rison.
Jordan Wylie led Woodlawn (7-13, 3-3) with a game-high 20 points including 8 of 12 from the free throw line.
Allie Richardson contributed with eight points for the Lady Bears.