BLAIRSTOWN, N.J. -- Blair Academy used strong early first and early second half performances to outdistance the Lawrenceville School, 84-69, on Saturday night.
Charlie Villanueva and Luol Deng (right) combined to score 20 of Blair 22 first quarter points as the Buccaneers built a 22-11 lead after eight minutes of play.
Lawrenceville opened the second half with a basket by forward Aaron Washington to pull within 39-31. The rest of the third quarter belonged to Blair, with the Bucs using a 21-5 run to open up a 60-36 lead with :54 remaining in the period.
Blair led by as many as 26 points in the fourth quarter before both coaches emptied their benches.
Simply put, Lawrenceville had no answer for either Villanueva or Deng. Villanueva finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Deng played his usual terrific all-around game, collecting 30 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Deng was especially productive in the third quarter run that clinched the game for the Bucs.
David Whitehurst, Lawrenceville's talented 6-2 junior off guard, recovered to lead the Big Red with 17 points. He encountered early foul trouble trying to guard Deng, and scored 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter with the game's outcome already in the balance.
Whitehurst also played well for Lawrenceville on Wednesday in a loss at St. Benedict's.
The Big Red also got double figures from 6-7 senior forward John Chuisano, who tallied 12. Ivy League and Patriot League target Aaron Washington, a 6-8 senior forward, was limited to eight points by Blair.
The Bucs got another fine performance from swingman Roberto Felipe, who pitched in 15 points and four rebounds for the victors. Guard Patrick Davidson added seven points and three assists for Blair.
Blair has a big week ahead, with matchups against New Jersey prep foes Peddie (Jan. 22) and St. Benedict's (Jan. 23). Both games will be on the road.