Late rush leads Cavaliers to win

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 30, 2004

It’s tough to believe that they’re doing it on purpose.

Is it possible that Lakeland intentionally lulls its opponents into a sense of security and a sizable margin, knowing all along that they’ll have enough left to rally to a late victory?

Maybe, maybe not. But whether or not it’s a plan, it’s working. Just as they did during buzzer-beating wins over Great Bridge and Churchland, the Cavaliers used a volatile attack to rack up a 25-11 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter of their 56-48 victory over Norview in the opening round of the Pepsi Christmas Classic at Lakeland.


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Jaleel Nelson swished a three-pointer 40 seconds into the contest, but Norview grabbed the lead and didn’t let go for three quarters. The Pilots charged to a 16-7 lead before Nelson and Corey Davis scored eight straight to cut to 20-18 a minute into the third period.

The rest of the quarter was even, with Tyrone Parker, Aston Williams, Voyland Cooke and Nelson all scoring. The Pilots scored four quick points in the last two minutes, but Jeffrey Cook swished his first two free throws of the night to close the third and nailed two more to open the fourth. Nelson broke away for a layup to reach 37-35 with 6:21 left.

Norview hit a free throw, but Cook snuck through for a layup at the six-minute mark. A Pilot shot went out of bounds, and Parker took the inbound pass.

Finding himself trapped in the corner by a pair of defenders, he leaped up and looped a pass to Cooke in the center. Cooke hurled a bullet to Cook on the right, and Cook raced into the paint. With a defender approaching, he suddenly shot a pass to a streaking Nelson, who banged home a layup to give the Cavaliers their first lead in more than three quarters. Davis made it past for another layup with 4:45 to go, and Lakeland was ahead, 41-38.

Norview retook the lead with a pair of free throws and a layup, but Davis put Lakeland back ahead with another two-pointers with 3:47 remaining. Seven seconds later, Norview sank another two freebies, but Cook was fouled before the ball could even be inbounded, sending him to the line.

He missed both shots, but Nelson was quickly fouled, and tied the score at 3:40. Davis bounced home another layup with three-minutes left, and Cooke blocked a shot and sent an assist to Nelson on the left corner for his second three-pointer of the contest.

Another two one-pointers got Norview back within 49-46, but Lakeland wasn’t giving up control. Parker hit a free throw, and Nelson stole a pass and raced in for another layup. He missed, but Davis grabbed the rebound and was fouled sinking a followup. His one-pointer gave the Cavaliers a 53-46 lead, and Cooke and Parker scored three points in the final minute.

Davis led the Cavaliers with 19 points, one ahead of Nelson. Cooke pulled down eight rebounds, one more than Williams, who led the squad in steals with five.

In earlier action, Wilson defeated King’s Fork 59-32. Fork battled Norview early Wednesday, while Lakeland played Wilson for the tournament title. Neither game was completed at press time.