Northwestern fended off a furious second half rally and held on late to escape with a 71-68 upset over Lancaster.
The fifth-ranked Bruins were on the other end of an upset last Saturday when they upset previously unbeaten and No.1-ranked Gaffney on the road.
"We've been trying to concentrate and go for 32 minutes. Tonight, I think we were almost there. We're getting better and I just can't say enough about these guys--to play the way they did and come out," said Northwestern coach Mike Gossett.
"Lancaster's a heck of a basketball team. They're one of the favorites to win the state championship. I'm proud of (my guys), I just can't say enough about them."
Tuesday night it took every bit of 32 minutes for Northwestern to pull out the win. The Trojans seemed poised to pull away with the game in the second quarter after going up 11, at 31-20, with 1:12 to go after a Jontae McMillian putback.
Lancaster, led by Ron Trapps' 17 points, answered quickly to narrow its deficit to just five at the half. Nate Bush drilled a 3-pointer and was fouled with 1:07 left. After converting the free throw, the Bruins forced a Trojans turnover and Brien Clyburn drove to the hoop and was fouled. He connected on both of his attempts and then Forrest Woodard's layin at the buzzer closed the gap to 33-28 at the half.
The Bruins picked up steam during the intermission and came out firing on all cylinders to start the third. Trapps capped a 9-1 run with a deep 3 along the baseline with 6:05 on the clock. The bucket gave Lancaster its first lead since the Bruins led 8-7 early in the first quarter.
Northwestern coach Mike Gossett quickly called a timeout to settle his troops. Out of the timeout, Montrece Kennedy powered the Trojans to a 10-0 run to go ahead 44-37 with 3:18 left in the quarter. Kennedy, who finished with 18 points, scored 8 in the run. Rontavius McClure added the other 2.
Thornwell answered with a 3 and then hit the free throw to narrow the Bruins deficit to 3, at 44-41 with 2:53 to go. Kennedy countered with two quick layups to extend the lead back to 7.
Lancaster trailed by 5 entering the fourth and methodically chipped away at the gap. Trapps' put back on the Bruins first possession jumpstarted Lancaster's fourth quarter comeback attempt. Alan Robinson drew a foul against Kennedy on the next possession--it was Kennedy's fifth foul and the Trojans had to go the next 7:17 without its sparkplug.
Northwestern's LaThomas Long played very well in place of Kennedy down the stretch.
"LT stepped up, Jontae stepped up, Julius came on the floor and gave us some good minutes," Gossett said. "Everybody came on the floor and did what they were suppose to do and that's what we've been telling them, telling them that we have to play as one."
There were 5 ties and 4 lead changes in the fourth. Each time Northwestern needed points, Long or McClure were there. The pair combined to score 11 of the final 12 points for the Trojans.
Lancaster refused to go away and tied the game at 68 with 1:18 left on a Thornwell driving layup.
The final 16 action-packed seconds setup the victory for the Trojans. Trapps had the ball stolen at midcourt by McClure, who passed the ball ahead to a wideopen Long who laid it up off the glass for the 70-68 lead. Keith Bell hit one of two free throws with 5.8 seconds on the clock to seal the win.
Lancaster -- Alan Robinson 6, Sindarius Thornwell 14, Nate Bush 12, Keanthony Foster 6, Forrest Woodard 8, Brien Clybrun 2, Ron Trapps 17, CD Pelham 3
Northwestern -- Jontae McMillian 4, LaThomas Long 20, Jalen Orr 7, Montrece Kennedy 18, Keith Bell 10, Julius Durham 3, Rontavius McClure 9
3-pointers -- Lancaster 9 (Bush 3, Foster 2, Trapps 2, Woodard, Thornwell), Northwestern 2 (Long, Durham). Team fouls -- Lancaster 15, Northwestern 20. Fouled out -- Long
Records: Lancaster 12-4; Northwestern 9-7