WORCESTER, Mass. -- Alvin Reed and Antoine Wright combined for 52 points to lead Lawrence Academy (MA) past the St. Andrew's School, 61-52, on Sunday afternoon at the NEPSAC Class C Championship.
The two California natives were especially clutch down the stretch. Reed scored six of the Spartans' last nine points over the final 2:45 of the contest.
Clinging to a 52-48 lead following a three pointer by the Saints' Abdi Lidonde, Reed hit a tough runner in the lane to fan the lead to six with 2:45 to play.
After a miss by Lidonde, Reed drove hard to the basket on the other end and was fouled. He swished a pair of free throws to boost the lead to eight.
A Demetris Nichols' basket cut St. Andrew's deficit to six, but a silky smooth jumper off the glass by Wright pushed the lead back to eight with 1:13 to play. Sophomore big man Sylvester Seay hit one of two free throws and Reed canned a pair in the final 45 seconds to cap the scoring.
Wright, who was named Class C Tournament MVP, finished with 24 points. Reed led all scorers with 28 points. He is now open in his recruitment after initially committing to Yale University of the Ivy League (admissions snafu).
Lidonde and Nichols scored 14 points each for St. Andrew's, which was appearing in its second straight Class C final.
"Antoine and Alvin are seniors and they wanted it a little bit more than our younger guys," said Saints Head Coach Mike Hart. "I am proud of our kids -- we can walk out of here with our heads up because we lost to a very strong program."
St. Andrew's has every key player returning next year, so the Saints will be a force to be reckoned with once again on the Class C circuit.
As for Sunday's game, it seemed as though every loose ball and key rebound was grabbed by Lawrence Academy late in the second half.
"In the first half, we would get a hand on the loose balls, but they were the ones who were picking it up and finishing it," said Spartans' Head Coach Kevin R. "In the second half, it seemed as though it turned into our corner, whether it was a little extra effort or a little good bounce or a little energy."