BY LINDA JACOBS, Enterprise staff
LIVINGSTON—A crucial third quarter proved to be the difference in the Livingston Lions 60-57 win over the visiting Huffman-Hargrave Falcons Tuesday night at Lion gym.
The two teams traded quarters in the first half. The Lions jumped out 17-11 in the first frame behind an eight point performance by Jaquavious Nickson who finished with 12 in the game. Teammate Jermichael Harrell, who finished with a game high 20 points, deposited five in the opening frame for a solid start by the Lions.
The Falcons, who entered the game with a 12-3 record, recorded the same margin in the second frame and the two teams went in at the break dead even at 28-all.
The Lions managed to top the Falcons in the third quarter by pitching in three of their four treys during the game, including a pair of back-to-back treys from Noah Ortiz which put the Lions in the lead 40-35 with 3:40 left in the third and 43-37 with 3:05 on the clock.
Jermichael Harrell finished the third by scoring a couple of jumpshots to give the Lions a 47-44 lead entering the fourth quarter.
An assist from Jay Cooper to Harrell who was open under the basket extended Livingston's lead to 49-45 with 6:52 left in the fourth quarter.
The Falcons quickly answered with a 5-0 run to take the lead 50-49 with 5:37 left. A free throw by Jordan Rains, who tallied nine points in the victory, knotted the score at 50-all with 4:46 left.
Following a Falcon free throw (51-50), the Lions took the lead 52-51 on a Jordan Rains toss to Dillon Welsh at the 3:52 mark. Welsh would later toss to Nickson for a jumper in the paint to extend the lead to 54-51 with 3:28 left.
The Falcons clawed their way back in the game scoring on a layup after a Lion turnover plus an inside basket at the 1:50 mark for a 55-55 tie. The Falcons took the lead 57-55 on a layup with 1:18 left. The Lions knotted the game again when Nickson drove half the court to score a layup with :48 seconds left, 57-57.
Brandon Miller, who finished with six points, grabbed a key rebound late in the game. Miller was later fouled and went to the line and hit a crucial free throw to give the Lions a 58-57 lead with only 1.8 seconds left in the game. His second shot was intentionally missed and Harrell capped a super performance by scoring as the game clock expired to give the Lions a 60-57 win over the Falcons.