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Alanna Ampil l Lawrence North

The top-ranked team in the state remains undefeated after Lawrence North (9-0) triumphed over Warren Central, 59-55. The win ended a four-game losing streak to Warren Central, while the Warriors (8-1) suffered their first setback of the year.  


This was one of the best games of the year, not just because of the two teams involved. The atmosphere was incredible from the start, with the student section getting rowdy as early as the closing minutes of the JV game. Fans representing Warren Central and Lawrence North packed the gymnasium on Friday night. Purdue WR and Warren Central alum David Bell even made the trip to take in the experience.


What were the biggest takeaways from Friday’s thriller?



Down by double digits at halftime, the Wildcats did not flinch.


Lawrence North faced a similar scenario in December against rival Lawrence Central. After Lawrence Central landed the first punch, Lawrence North answered back and took the lead and wound up winning by 10, 83-73.


“I just kept telling our team, we’ve been here before. We just came out with more hustle,” senior G Tony Perkins said after the game.


After trailing by 11, Lawrence North opened the second half with a 10-2 run to cut the deficit down to 37-34. Warren Central answered back with a few points of their own until Perkins nailed a three at the buzzer to tie the game at 41.


Lawrence North was pushed to the brink again when Warren Central led by three with just over a minute to go in the fourth quarter. On one of the final possessions of regulation, Perkins dribbled inside and dished a pass to teammate Shamar Avance in the left corner. The junior guard calmly nailed a game-tying three-pointer to tie things up at 51.


“These guys are gonna fight, they’re not gonna back down. They’re gonna play until the scoreboard shows 0:00. That’s the best thing about us,” Avance said after the game.



Perkins nearly willed Lawrence North’s comeback on his own accord. He drilled a pair of threes at the end of the second and third quarters, the latter tied the game at 41. When the final buzzer sounded, Perkins finished with a game-high 24 points.


The Iowa commit has also embraced the role of being a senior leader. Late in overtime, Avance was fouled by a Warren Central defender and earned a pair of free throws. Knowing Avance missed a pair of free throws only minutes earlier, Perkins ran towards his teammate and whispered some words of encouragement before heading to the free throw line.


“Stay focused, take a deep breath, just don’t worry about the last two (misses). He just told me to keep moving on,” Perkins said to Avance.


Avance nailed both free throws moments later, capping off the 59-55 final score.


Through nine games, Perkins has been the heart and soul of this Lawrence North team. As he goes, the team follows.



Less than a year removed from losing nearly all of their starters and their head coach, Warren Central still has an impressive 8-1 record. The Warriors already have significant wins over Cathedral and Ben Davis.


First-year head coach Garrett Winegar also has some reliable scorers he can rely on. Malik Stanley was scalding hot in the first half, shooting 4/5 from distance. The senior guard would finish with a team-high 18. Senior G Cortland Jackson had a coming out party in the first half, scoring a pair of three-pointers in the first half. Jackson finished with 15 and demonstrated he can be a reliable scoring option on offense.


The Warriors not only led for the majority of game, but they had a commanding lead over the top-ranked team in the state for the majority of the first half. Even with the game’s fate hanging in the balance in the fourth quarter, Warren Central had plenty of chances to win in regulation. That was the most discouraging aspect that will not make Winegar happy.


If there is a silver lining to Friday’s game, it’s that Winegar has the pieces to put together another memorable season for the Warren Central’s boys’ basketball team.

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