FAIRFIELD — It wasn’t a spark that set off Lawrence’s second half rally against Bangor. It was more of a thud.
With one second left in the first half, Bangor forward Ellis Throckmorton and Lawrence guard Tim Dudley collided going for a lobbed inbounds pass. Dudley hit the court hard, and was down for a minute before shakily leaving on his own power.
“I hurt a little, but it’s all right. It rallied the team a little, I think,” Dudley said.
Dudley returned in the second half and helped the Bulldogs overcome an eight-point halftime deficit to take a 45-41 win over the Rams in a packed Folsom Gym.
The come-from-behind win was the result of going back to basic, hard-nosed man-to-man defense, Lawrence coach Mike McGee said, something he didn’t see from the Bulldogs in last week’s 62-50 loss at Mt. Blue.
“We just don’t play defense anymore. For 30 years, that’s been our signature, playing defense. We haven’t been able to stop anybody. We haven’t played with any heart and passion. That’s all we’ve talked about since the Mt. Blue game,” McGee said.
Trailing 25-17 at the half, Lawrence (5-2) held Bangor (6-2) scoreless for the first three minutes, 50 seconds of the second half, taking a 26-25 lead on a Spencer Carey layup.
“We missed a lot of easy shots and made a lot of bad passes. We let the pressure get to us a little bit,” Bangor coach Roger Reed said. “Instead of us slowing the tempo down, we played with the speed and tempo they like.”
The Bulldogs took the lead for good when Alex Leathers converted an old fashioned three-point play with 1:23 left in the third quarter, giving Lawrence a 31-29 lead.
In the first half, Bangor’s Ellis Throckmorton helped the Rams dominate inside the paint, scoring eight of his 13 points. In the second half, Lawrence’s low post defense stiffened.
“We just had to communicate better on the cross screens,” Leathers, who scored 10 of his team-high 12 points in the second half, said. “Once we did that, we took them out of their game.”
Added Reed: “We had eight turnovers in our last 24 possessions, which in this game is critical. They’re just too good a team, in this place, to do that.”
Playing patient on offense was a key, too, McGee said, and that was evident on Lawrence’s last field goal. Ahead 41-39 with just over a minute to play, the Bulldogs worked the ball around the perimeter until Leathers opened up for a backdoor layup.
“Tonight, we got that two-point lead, two weeks ago we would’ve thrown the ball all over the place. Tonight, we were patient,” McGee said.
Patrick Stewart had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Bangor, while Carey had 11 points for Lawrence.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.