By JOSH RIZZO
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
James Lane didn't jump for the opening tip, but he walked through the midcourt circle to deliver a message.
The 6-foot-5 John Wood Community College sophomore forward walked up to Danville Area Community College 6-9 Ronnie White and offered a few words before stepping back and clapping his hands.
"I told him I was coming after him, and I hope you're ready big fella," said Lane, who scored 12 points and had 10 rebounds. "It's not like an angry thing, I'm good friends with him. He told me to â€˜Come on with it,' and we did."
Lane and his teammates did go after White, getting him in foul trouble early during JWCC's 66-58 victory Saturday in the semifinals of the Region 24 Tournament at the Student Activities Center. White picked up his second foul with 16 minutes, 27 seconds left before halftime, and he didn't play for the remainder of the first half.
"We needed to get him into foul trouble," Trail Blazers coach Brad Hoyt said. "That was the goal going into it. We try to get it down there as much as we could, use A'Darius and our bigs to get him in foul trouble. They are a different team without him."
JWCC took advantage and pounded the glass, outrebounding the Jaguars 45-31, helping John Wood (22-9) upset Danville, the No. 2 ranked team in NJCAA Division II,
JWCC 6-6 sophomore forward A'Darius Porter, who finished with seven points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, wanted to be aggressive around the rim.
"If I got the ball, just take it to him," Porter said. "I knew he was going to try and make me score over top of him. If I bring the contact to him, I was sure he was going to foul me."
Working the ball inside in White's absence, the Trail Blazers scored 16 points in the paint in the first half and eight second-chance points. JWCC led 30-22 at halftime.
"He's our best rebounder and best basket protector," Danville coach Mike Carpenter said. "We were severely outmatched inside whenever he was out. ... Other guys had the opportunity to step up, and they didn't do that. The last time we played John Wood a week ago, A'Darius Porter got in early foul trouble, so they could say the same thing last week. We had an opportunity to take the lead, we didn't, they capitalized, and our season is over."
Porter put White in more foul trouble early midway trough the second half. Porter's pump fake got White in the air, and Porter leaned into him, giving White his fourth foul. White didn't re-enter until there was 8:09 remaining, with the Trail Blazers leading 51-39. He fouled out with 1:36 remaining and JWCC leading 58-55.
Lane said the Trail Blazers weren't afraid and wanted to get the ball in the low post and force White to have to foul.
"Get around the rim," Lane said. "We knew he was a shot blocker, and he was going to alter shots and block shots. Coach said get to the rim."