Luverne advances to regional finale

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2006

TROY - Luverne came into Tuesday's match-up with Wicksburg as the clear favorite and for the better part of a half, they played just like they were.

After one half of play, the Tigers had pushed ahead to a 32-20 lead with baskets from Fred Hawkins and Jesse Dixon. Luverne toyed with Wicksburg down to the final few minutes before pulling away en route to the 64-46 victory.

The Tigers continued their intensity in the third period. Wicksburg, however continued to battle back, albeit a fruitless effort. The Wicksburg Panthers were able to force turnovers and actually brought the game to within 10, 32-22. The Panthers continued their attack, posted a 6-2 run, cutting the Tiger lead to eight, 34-26 before Luverne's Richard Dorsey was forced to call a timeout.

Through a handful of turnovers, the Tigers were able to push the lead back to 10 before Wicksburg cut it down to nine with a pair of free throws.

With 4:01 left in the third period, the Tigers were in control 37-28.

Hawkins sank the second of a pair of free throws, pushing the lead back to 10, 38-28. The Panthers wouldn't go away despite only shooting 21 percent from the floor.

Hawkins added another field goal once again moving the Tigers to a 10-point lead, 40-30.After running the clock down, Blake Wallace drives the lane and dishes to Robert Anderson for the basket, bringing the score to within 10-points, 42-32.

The 6-foot-6 Anderson stepped out and opened the final frame with a triple from left of the key to bring the Panthers to within seven of the lead, 42-35.

Brezman Lowery added another basket for the Tigers, pushing them back up by 11, 55-44 with 1:44 left in regulation.

Hawkins added a triple, giving him 19 points with 1:11 to go, to push Luverne to a 12-point lead, their largest since the intermission. Lowery took the feed from Mike Kilpatrick for the inside basket, pushing the Tiger lead to 14.