The Leopards won three of the four games they hosted against Pender County rival Trask on Tuesday. Two were blow-outs and two were shoot-outs.
The black and gold Lady Leps easily took down their competition, while both boys teams battled almost to the end.
The junior varsity Lady Leps initiated the charge with a 37-12 win over the Lady Titans. Lakewood’s defense was spectacular and held Trask to just one point in the first quarter and a total of 4 points for the whole first half to Lakewood’s 22.
The second half was much of the same, but Trask never gave up hustling for the ball. The score by quarters: 9-1; 22-4; 31-9; 37-12.
“I was pleased with how well we played on defense. Our press bothered them a lot. This was the best game that I’ve seen Alexus Williams and Chanel McLellan play,” Lakewood head girls coach Lofton Kerr said.
Williams scored a game high 10 points to McLellan’s 9. Briana Evans scored 8; Jada Moore and Justina Henry each scored 4; and Aja Stevens added 2 points to the score.
Just like the girls varsity team, Lakewood’s JV is still undefeated in the conference. “We set out to win the conference and it’s looking good right now,” Coach Kerr added.
The Lakewood junior varsity boys game was a barn-burner, but the young Leps just couldn’t get the ball to fall when it counted..
The Titans started the game ice cold and didn’t put the ball in the basket the first five minutes of the game while Lakewood managed to score 12 points - 8 of which were off the hot hands of Leopard Maurice Boone. By the start of the 2nd quarter the score was 17-7.
Trask thawed out during the next 7 minutes and scored 8 points to the Leopards’ 4. It was during this time that Boone was called for his 4th foul.
By intermission the Titans had pulled to within 2 points for a score of 24-22.
Trask came out just as fired up after the half as they went into the locker room and tied the score at 26-all after just 2 minutes of third quarter play.
By the end of the third, the Leopards had moved up by 5, 35-30, but it didn’t last long.
Three minutes into the 4th quarter, the Titans took the lead at 37-38 and the score was back and forth right up until the buzzer.
Lakewood was ahead by 1, 46-45, with one minute to go. They had the shot and the rebound, but couldn’t’t get the ball to fall. With about 20 seconds left, Trask got the ball and held it for the very last shot to put them up by one when the buzzer sounded.
If it hadn’t been for D.J Rich’s strong defensive effort, the Leopards would have been down by more than one. He was all over the court breaking up passes and creating Leopard fast breaks.
Top scorer in the game was Titan J. London. He had 19 points and made 11 out of his 12 free throws. D. Faison scored 10; and K. Lee had 8 points.
For the Leopards, Mike Graham was leading scorer with 16 points. He was followed close behind by Maurice Boone, with 11 points - scoring 2 three-pointers. Rich scored 8 points; and DeShawn Wilson had 6.
Lakewood boys head coach Sylvester Pittman was disappointed with the loss, but said his team just couldn’t’t get the ball into the basket.
“We missed too many opportunities around the goal. I congratulate Trask on a good game. We just couldn’t’t finish it. My boys fought hard, but we made some key mistakes,” he explained.
Lakewood’s JV record moves to 9-7 overall and 4-5 in the conference.
The varsity girls game was another blow-out for the Lady Leopards with a final score of 66-17.
The only three points the Titans scored in the first half were from free throws.
Both teams played hard and Trask never gave up going for the basket.
Score by quarters: 23-2; 49-3; 55-13; 66-18.
Head Coach Lofton Kerr was pleased with the win, but said his team is still struggling when it comes to man-to-man defense. “It’s always good to get a win and the whole team gets to play. Our man-to-man is still shaky and we’re trying to perfect everything to get ready for the playoffs,” he added.
Top scorer in the game was Leopard Brittney Boykin with 19 points, including two 3-pointers. Bianca Moore scored 14 and she also sank two 3-pointers. Other Lakewood scorers included Rashyda Parker and Kiara Rich, each with 8 points; Swazay Marable, 7 points; Jakyra Braxton and Tasha Rich, each with 3 points; and Jache’ Servance and Shaquendra Lilly, both with 2 points.
The Lady Leopards are still undefeated in the conference.
The Leopard varsity played a fast-paced game against Trask and never took the lead until the fourth quarter.
It started out as a low scoring game and by the end of the first quarter Trask was leading 9-13. With 2 minutes left before the half, Jayden Herring hit a 3-pointer to tie the game for the first time at 19-all.
After intermission, the Leopards continued fighting hard on defense and they never got down by more than about six points.
A 3-pointer at the buzzer by Nikin Henry finally put the Leopards up by 1 point to start the fourth quarter. As Lakewood gained momentum, the Titans seemed to lose it. The Leopards were leading by 14 points when the clock counted down to 00.
Score by quarters: 9-13; 19-23; 36-35; 49-35.
An elated Leopard head coach Sylvester Pittman said, “It’s a great win. The kids did everything they had to do to win. I’m proud of the way they came from behind and never gave up,” he said.
The varsity record moves to 4-5 in the conference.
Lakewood travels down the road to face rival Midway on Friday. The junior varsity girls game begins at 4 p.m.