The Lakewood Leopards got a hard-fought road win on Thursday night when they took down the Gators of Spring Creek, 68-66.
Lakewood jumped out to a 14-8 lead after the first quarter, before the home five fought back to cut the lead to 29-28 before the break.
Lakewood extended their lead to 51-46 after the third quarter, before making enough plays and free throws down the stretch to close out the Gators.
Lakewood’s Jirah Cooper had his best outing of the year, as he racked up 25 big points for the Leopards. Nasiem Devane had a big game for Lakewood, scoring 19 points on the evening.
Johnnie Owens added 14 points for Lakewood, Kobe Jackson scored 6, and Nyquan Murphy scored 4 points.
The Leopards, a much better team on paper, had trouble distancing themselves from the 3-win Gators. Every time it felt like they would pull away, the home team seemed to have a response.
The loss dropped Spring Creek to 2-6 in conference play and 3-14 overall.
For Lakewood, it was a big win, improving them to 6-2 in conference play, still very much in contention for the Carolina 1A Conference. They are now 8-7 overall.
Next up for the Leopards is a home game against North Duplin. The game is set for a 7:30 p.m. start. The Rebels are currently 3-10 on the year, and 1-6 in conference play.
Reach Adam Capps at 910-214-9585