Block beats Northwood-Lena for third time

Published 12:11 am Saturday, February 27, 2010

JONESVILLE — The Block Bears took on a familiar opponent in the bi-district round of the LHSAA Class 1A playoffs Friday night as they hosted District 3-1A rival Northwood-Lena.

Even though Block had double-digit wins over the Gators in their two district games during the regular season, head coach K.G. Watkins had to be concerned about playing the same team for the third time.

And at one point during the second half of the game that concern almost became reality as Northwood-Lena got close, but Block’s defense in the fourth quarter wore the Gators down and the Bears pulled out a hard-fought 69-58 win.

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“We’re really a very good defensive squad. We live off fast-break turnovers. It worked out for us tonight,” Watkins said.

So does having all five starters score in double figures. Javan Dunbar and Fred Green each led No. 13 seed Block with 14 points apiece. Preston Bowman finished with 12 points while Jerome Jefferson and Antoine Bowie had 11 points each.

But even that could have been all for naught after No. 20 seed Northwood-Lena rallied from a 23-14 deficit after one quarter of play and cut Block’s lead to a mere one point at the end of the third quarter.

Jonathan Turner and Tanner Grigg were key in keeping the Gators in the game after their slow start. Turner led all scorers with 23 points and Grigg added 11 points.

“The third quarter, they came out real aggressive and got back in the game,” Watkins said. “We came out a little laxidaisical. We turned it up defensively in the fourth quarter. We’re fortunate it didn’t come down to the end because we didn’t shoot the ball well.”

Block (14-13) put the Gators away with a 19-9 advantage in the final eight minutes. The Bears will take on the winner of the Vermillion Catholic-North Central game next Monday or Tuesday.