It was a memorable night in more ways than one as Lakewood hosted cross-county challenger Hobbton on Friday. Not only were the Leopards victorious in all three games, but two Lady Leopards were recognized as having scored more than 1,000 points in 3 ½ seasons of high school basketball.
Brittney Boykin and Tiesha Rich were presented with signed basketballs detailing their accomplishments. Boykin plays point guard and Rich plays power forward or center.
The presentation was held just before the girls game and the Lady Leopards came out on fire. In the first seven minutes, Lakewood scored 23 points while keeping the Wildcats away from the basket. Hobbton’s first 2 points came with 30 seconds left in the first quarter.
Lakewood was able to dominate underneath the goal and transfer fast breaks into points.
The final score was 76-33.
As befitting the night, +1000 scorers Rich and Boykin were the top Lakewood scorers on the night, with Tiesha sinking 18 and Brittney 17 points. Not far behind was Brittney Moore, 11; Tiesha’s sister, Tasha Rich, 10 points; Kiara Rich, 6; Swazay Marable, 4; Brianna Evans and Jada Moore, each with 3 points; and Daja Owens, 2 points.
The leading overall scorer in the game was Sasha Martin with 21 points: two 3-pointers, 11 of 12 free throws, and 2 2-pointers. Martin was a starter on last year’s Lakewood team until she transferred to Hobbton this year.
Other scorers for the Wildcats were Michaela Wilson, 7 points; Casey Hobbs and Sharonic Bell, each with 2 points; and Benedy Cerde, 1 point.
The Lady Leopards remain undefeated at 13-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference. The Lady Wildcats are 7-7 overall and 2-3 in the conference.
In the junior varsity game, Lakewood’s boys took control early on and by mid- second quarter, the Leopards had more than doubled the score, 35-16.
The Wildcats picked up the intensity and pulled to within 10 points, 39-29 by halftime.
Neither team let up in the third quarter, going goal-for-goal, but Hobbton could not get any closer than 10 points.
Near the end of the third quarter, the Wildcats shooting turned off and Lakewood was able to drill the 3 pointers, making the score at the end of the third quarter, 69-41.
In the final quarter, the Leopards scored 13 to Hobbton’s 6 points, making the final score 82-47.
“This was a great team win coming off a tough loss at James Kenan. They played well and I’m proud of this team,“ Lakewood head coach Sylvester Pittman said after the game.
Hobbbton head coach Alfonza Hooper said he had some young starters on his team and he expects them to get better as the season progresses.
“Lakewood is a well-coached team and they are very athletic. I think we played good at times. We were able to cut it to 10 at one point, but they got tired. Some of my guys are young and we missed a lot of shots inside. Their effort was good, but we‘ve got to be able to get back on defense. We‘re gong to get better,” he declared.
Lakewood‘s Deshaun Wilson scored more than anyone on either team with 19 points. Other Leopard scorers were Maurice Boone, with 15 points; Michael Graham, 12; Nasiem Devane and D.J. Rich, each with 8 points; Pate Holland and Griffin Faircloth, each with 6 points. Wilson and Boone each had three 3-pointers and Faircloth sank two 3-pointers.
For the Wildcats, Hunter Britt scored 16 points; Taja Gray, 8; Greg Herring and Eli Parker, each scored 4 points.
This brings Lakewood’s record to 3-2 in the conference. The Wildcats have yet to gain their first conference win this season.
In the boys’ varsity game, Hobbton came out strong and quickly took the lead. They held on to it until about 2 minutes left in the first quarter when the Leopards tied it up 12-all and then managed to squeeze ahead by 1 point, 17-16, at the end of the first quarter.
The Leopards took that lead and ran with it. By midway the second quarter, the Wildcats were down 10 points, 31-21.
A few seconds before intermission, Leopard Ryan Emfinger stole away on a fast break to end the half on a crowd cheering dunk. The score was 42-23.
Hobbton came out ready to play and managed to go basket for basket with the Leopards in the third quarter, but the Wildcats could never push ahead.
Early in the fourth quarter Wildcat Charles Chestnutt fouled out of the game.
The Leopards went into a holding pattern and tried to play keep-away until time ran out. By the end of the game, Hobbton had scored 11 to Lakewood’s 6 points, for a final score of 63-49.
Hobbton’s head coach Jeff Byrd was disappointed at the loss. “Our defense and intensity just wasn’t there. This was the most points we’ve given up all year,” he said, pointing at the scoreboard.
“We struggled with our shooting and missed about 15 free throws,” he added.
Lakewood’s head coach Sylvester Pittman was happy with the win. “Hat’s off to Hobbton. They played us tough. Our guys played hard to win and I’m proud of the team effort they put forth,” he said.
Leading all scorers was Leopard Ryan Emfinger with 24 points that included three 3 pointers. Lakewood’s Mike Smith scored 15 points; Nikin Henry, 7; Kevin Murphy, 6; Jabriel Cooper, Jayden Herring, and Deontre Newkirk all scored 3 points each.
For the Wildcats, Johnathan Faison scored 14 points; Arell Owens scored 11; JoDu Terry, 7; Kyle Newsome, 6; and Rashad Davis, 5 points. The Wildcats record moves to 2-3 in the conference.
Next Friday, the Leopards travel to Pender and the Wildcats host Wallace-Rose Hill. There are no Tuesday games due to exams next week.