In a game that saw the score tied 6 times and numerous lead changes at 1 point each way, the Lakewood Leopards came up a little short against league leading Neuse Charter Wednesday night. The final score was 68-65, Neuse Charter.
Lakewood jumped out to a 5-3 lead early in the game; however, Neuse kept coming back. At the end of the first quarter, Neuse had a 12-10 advantage. In the second quarter, the score was tied at 12-12, 15-15,18-18, and 21-21. Later in the quarter it was the battle of the 3’s as the teams were trading 3-point shots. At the half, Lakewood had a 31-30 advantage.
The third quarter was more of the same. With 2 minutes left in the third, the score was knotted at 44 before Neuse jumped out to a 51-44 lead at the end of the quarter. Neuse Charter got their biggest lead at 8 points late in the game. With just under 4 minutes left, Lakewood tied it again at 55. It was a 3-point game65-62, with 14 seconds left. Lakewood got 1 end of a foul shot to pull within 2. However Neuse prevailed for the win.
Johnnie Owens led the Leopard effort with 21 points. Jirah Cooper had 13, Kobe Jackson had 12 and Nyseim Devane had 10.
For the Neuse Charter Cougars, Conner Pulley led all scorers with 27 points. Montrell Harris had 20 and D. Stevens had 13.
“It was a heck of a ball game,” stated Lakewood coach Sylvester Pittman. “We played pretty competitive the first half. The second half we lost a little intensity. There at the end, we fought hard and had a chance to tie it or win it but couldn’t do it. I’m proud of my kids. We are looking forward to the state playoffs,” he concluded.