Cavaliers tame Wildcats, 71-64

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 15, 2002

Alecia Harris scored 23 points (nine of which came in the final 2:09) as Lakeland held off visiting Great Bridge 71-64 on Friday night. After a pair of free throws by Kelsey Shannon gave the Lady Wildcats a 62-59 lead with three minutes to play, the Lady Cavaliers (2-2, 1-1) went on a 12-2 surge to end the game.

After ending the first quarter behind 24-11, the Lady Cavaliers charged through the second to finish the half ahead 36-33. They carried that momentum into the third quarter, as two jumpers by Jamaica Mack gave Lakeland a 44-36 lead with 5:11 left in the third quarter.

Shawnie Didan’s long shots got Great Bridge back in the game, as she swished two three-pointers and a pair of free throws to get within a point, and Tina Morgan completed a three-point play to give the Lady Wildcats a 49-47 lead. Shadonna Cox sank a three-pointer with 11 seconds left to put Lakeland back on top, but Kelsey Shannon hit a jumper from just inside the three-point line as the buzzer sounded as the Lady Wildcats took a 51-50 lead.

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Harris brought the Lady Cavaliers back to the lead with a jumper 20 seconds into the final period, and Mack extended it to two with a free throw. After each team scored four quick points, Mackensie Williams banked home a jumper and Chanel Hines a three-pointer as Great Bridge retook the lead, 60-57. King knocked it back down to one with 3:13 left, but Shannon extended the advantage to three with her free throws.

Mack brought the ball downcourt, and fired a pass into the middle to Alecia Copeland. Copeland attempted to drive the lane, but found herself blocked by Lady Wildcat center Cassie Gray. Copeland passed to the corner to Harris, who swished a three-pointer to tie the score.

&uot;I was never nervous, because this team always bounces back,&uot; Harris said.

After Williams missed a three-pointer from the center, Harris grabbed the rebound, and sank another three-pointer with 1:41 on the clock. Lakeland quickly got the ball back, and stalled until Harris was fouled with 46 seconds left. She sank one free throw, upping the lead to 66-62. Whitney Lassiter stole the ball from Great Bridge, drew a foul, and sank a free throw with :36 to go.

Didan hit a jumper with 20 seconds left, and Harris was fouled again at the 13-second mark.

At this point, the Lady Cavaliers had made only three of nine free throws in the final quarter. But Harris swished both, and King dropped in two more with four seconds left for Lakeland’s final points.

The Lady Cavaliers will attempt to continue their winning ways when they host Bayside at 6 p.m. tonight.