The Lakewood Lady Leopards and the Rosewood Lady Eagles squared off in a big conference game on Tuesday evening. These two teams are projected to battle it out for the top spot in the conference. On Tuesday, it was the Lady Eagles getting the upper hand, as they downed the Lady Leps in Salemburg, by a score of 73-61.
It was all Rosewood early, as they jumped out to a 22-6 first quarter lead and then a 40-24 halftime lead. In the second half, Lakewood was able to close the gap momentarily in the third quarter, but Rosewood pulled back away late in the third, as they extended their lead to 56-37.
In the final frame, thanks to sharp-shooting from Jada Moore, the Lady Leopards were able to cut the deficit all the way down to 6. Moore made four third quarter 3-pointers to help Lakewood make a late run.
However, the Lady Eagles’ star guard, Lexie Mercer caught fire. Mercer lit up for 38 points, including 3 third quarter 3-pointers of her own. Mercer showed why she is first-team All-State in her performance at Lakewood, as she seemingly had an answer to every Lady Lep basket.
Moore led Lakewood in scoring with 16. Justina Henry scored 11 for the Lady Leopards in a game in which she did not play her best.
“I thought we were so slow early, it was like we were in slow-motion,” said Lakewood’s head coach, Vonnie McNeil. “I really loved the way we fought back in the second half, and I am so proud of that. I thought our girls really responded well in the fourth quarter, but Rosewood played very well and stuck to their game plan. We had nothing to contain Lexie Mercer, either.”
McNeil went on to speak on the way they planned on defending Mercer, but admitted that it didn’t work out too well.
“We planned on switching on every screen,” said McNiel, “but our girls were just too slow. The next time we play Rosewood we will definitely go about defending her a different way. She is a great player and made a lot of big plays, which is exactly what great players do.”
Lakewood is now 8-4 overall, and 2-1 in conference play. They are set to get back into action on Friday evening when they are set to travel to James Kenan.
Reach Adam Capps at 910-214-9585