Antwan Hatten

Laurel guard Antwan Hatten goes for a layup against South Jones Tuesday night.

Laurel never gained the momentum they wanted, but several six-point leads, including one late was enough to hold off rival South Jones 51-47 Tuesday night at home. 

Laurel improves its overall record to 10-6 and 1-0 in Region 5-5A.

"We'll take a win any way we can get it at this point," said head coach Marcus Price. "But that was possibly the worst games we've played all season. We couldn't get any momentum going. 

“Our guys couldn’t get their shots to fall, and South Jones played well. Coach [Brian] Butler had his guys prepared to play. They knew the weak spots in our presses and traps. They were moving the ball well, and at times we got the deflections but couldn’t grab it.”

Laurel trailed 11-6 after the first period. The Tornadoes used an 8-1 run in the first four minutes of the second period to gain its first lead, 14-12. 

After South Jones tied the game at 16 apiece midway through the second period, Laurel outscored the Braves 8-4 in the final four minutes to take a 24-20 lead into the locker room. 

Laurel jumped out in front by six on the opening basket of the second half, only to see it’s lead taken away on a three-point basket by South Jones junior guard Brave Bayne Perry late in the third period, 35-34. 

Late in the final period, Laurel pushed it’s lead to six points again and held on to grab the four-point victory, 51-47. 

"It was just one of those nights," added Price. "Hopefully, we can come to practice tomorrow, watch some film and do what we need to do to get better."

Senior guard Antwan Hatten was the only Tornado to finish in double-digits with 18 points. Eight of Hatten’s teammates finished with single-digits.

"Ideally, we want to have every guy with five to ten points," said Price. "Hatten always carries us when we have scoring droughts. I've taught him how and when to take over a game. We want him to facilitate the ball and get everyone involved, but when we're struggling, he knows to take over the game when we're struggling because we need the buckets. He can pretty much score at any time."

Jamari Dease and B.J. Hawthorne led South Jones with 16 and 13 points.

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