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Austin drops 34 in loss to Andrews

Stephanie King

Semifinal number two of the boys’ PAC-6 Conference Tournament was a meeting between the top seeded High Point Andrews Red Raiders and the fifth seeded Eastern Randolph Wildcats. Eastern Randolph (4-6, 11-13) defeated the Trinity Bulldogs in the first round of the tournament on Monday. Andrews came into the semifinals with a 9-1 PAC-6 record and a 16-7 overall record.

Eastern Randolph was the first on the board after a bucket from Keishawn Ledwell. Andrews answered on the other end to tie things at two, but the Wildcats push ahead for the lead. Ledwell and Dezmin Austin scored back to back buckets in the paint for a 6-2 Wildcats’ lead. The Red Raiders cut the lead to two moments later, but the Wildcats once again pushed the lead back out. Austin scored to give the Wildcats an 8-4 lead midway through the quarter. Andrews rattled off six straight to take their first lead of the night, but the Wildcats scored the last five points of the quarter. Austin knocked down a pair of free throws and drained a three to put the Wildcats ahead 13-10 after one quarter.

High Point Andrews took over in the second quarter and put some separation in between themselves and the Wildcats. The Red Raiders scored seven straight for a 17-13 lead during the early part of the quarter. The Wildcats picked up a bucket from Logan Smith and a pair of free throws from Ledwell to tie this one at 17 all. Those would be the last points for the Wildcats for several minutes. The Red Raiders used a 10-0 run to break open the game and get a little breathing room. Malik Herbert knocked down a pair of free throws to cut the lead to eight, but Andrews closed out the quarter with three points for a 30-19 lead at the half.

While the Red Raiders continued to extend their lead in the third quarter, Eastern Randolph would not go away quietly. High Point Andrews led 39-24 when the Wildcats went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to six midway through the quarter. The Red Raiders ended the run to take an eight-point lead, but they fouled Austin on a three-point attempt sending him to the line. Austin made all three free throws to cut the lead to five. High Point Andrews scored to extend the lead to eight. Austin would drain a three to cut the lead to 44-39 by the end of the third quarter.

High Point Andrews opened the fourth quarter with a three, but Austin responded with a three of his own for the Wildcats to keep the lead at five. Five would be as close as the Wildcats could get the rest of the way. Midway through the quarter Andrews took a ten-point lead and held off the Wildcats. Eastern Randolph was outscored 15-13 the rest of the way. The Wildcats put up a good fight, but High Points won the game 74-60. Andrews will face the Wheatmore Warriors in the championship game on Friday.

Leading the way for the Wildcats was Dezmin Austin who finished with 34 points. Keishawn Ledwell added 9, while Malik Herbert chipped in 7.

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