SOUTH JAMAICA, N.Y. --
For the first three quarters of play, it appeared the big frontline of the Unique All Stars would wear down the Panthers Junior team in quarterfinal action at IS8 this morning.
However, a key two-minute span in the fourth quarter, sparked by several dazzling drives to the basket by Omari Lawrence, lifted the Panthers past the Unique All Stars, 85-71.
With 5:15 left in the fourth quarter, Lawrence had just hit for his fourth straight basket, giving the Panthers a 60-57 advantage. The strength of his play and some key free throws by Kevin Parrom held off any Unique All Star rally.
"We knew they had the size so we had to be quicker," Lawrence said after the game.
And quick they were. Unique did not have the services of Taran Buie, the talented lead guard who competed in yesterday's playoff round for Torrel Harris' AAU team.
So the size of Tobias Harris (6-foot-7), Markieff Morris (6-foot-10) and Marcus Morris (6-foot-9) was negated by the speed and quickness of the Panthers, especially around the basket.
The game was tied 16-16 after the first eight minutes of play. Unique led 36-33 at the half and 52-47 heading into the final quarter of play.
Lawrence finished the game with 22 points while Parrom scored 27 important points, including the final six from the free throw line late in the game.
Harris led Unique with 25 points while Marcus Morris added 23 points.
The Panthers Jrs. advanced to next Saturday's semifinals at IS8.
Reporter Mike Sullivan was at IS8 today to watch the quarterfinals ...
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