Last-second layup brings Lakeland back to 50-48 win

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 12, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Jaleel Nelson put back a rebound at the buzzer as Lakeland erased a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat visiting Great Bridge (GB) on Friday. After accumulating just 29 points in the first three quarters, the Cavaliers exploded for 21 in the fourth to grab the win.

&uot;In every game we’re in,&uot; said coach James Jones, &uot;the kids battle their way back. It’s just the M.O. of the program we’re trying to build.&uot;

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Aston Williams led the Cavaliers in scoring with a whopping six points as Great Bridge took a 31-21 halftime advantage. The Cavaliers’ hard luck continued in the third, making just three of 11 shots as the Wildcats maintained a 43-29 lead.

A minute into the final period, things finally changed for Lakeland. Tyrone Parker hit a jumper, then stole a GB pass and sent it to Steve Morean, who hit a layup at 6:52. Voyland Cooke swished a jumper at the 5:13 mark, and Parker again stole the ball and took it back for a layup to get within 43-37 with five minutes left.

GB called timeout and went up by eight, but Nelson completed a four-point play and Parker sank a free throw to get to 48-42 with three minutes on the clock. Parker made a jumper 30 seconds later, and Lakeland quickly regained possession. It took them a pair of timeouts, but Parker outjumped a pair of Wildcats and sent the ball to Cooke for a jumper from the right side with 1:15 to go.

After another timeout, GB took the clock down to 36 seconds before Lakeland was called for a foul. An inbounds pass got stuck in a mess of players, and the Cavaliers were given a jump ball.

Parker brought the ball down, and called timeout with 26 seconds to go. Williams passed in to Nelson, who passed to Parker. Parker found Williams in the corner with 16 seconds left, and Williams swished his first bucket of the half to tie the score.

The Wildcats hurried the ball downcourt, but a pass went too high and struck the left side of the backboard. Parker grabbed it and sent it to Williams on the right side. Williams charged inside the three-point line and put a jumper.

It hit the rim and backboard and fell into Nelson’s hands. Falling backward, he put up a short jumper, which hit the backboard, then the front of the rim. As Nelson landed on his back, the ball settled through the net, and the gym exploded into frenzy.

&uot;I saw how much time was left,&uot; Nelson said, &uot;and I knew that if I could put it back in, we’d win the game. So much was going through my mind at that time, but I had to focus.&uot; The Cavaliers will head to Western Branch on Tuesday.

Nansemond River’s game against King’s Fork was postponed until Jan. 22.

Adam Gillette and Kyle Jett scored 17 points each as Nansemond-Suffolk Academy charged past visiting Beach 65-50 on Friday. Bryan Breedlove scored 16 points and Ryland Gwaltney 10 for the Saints, who will head to Collegiate on Tuesday.