Cavaliers cruise through Christmas Classic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

Lakeland won the Pepsi Christmas Classic with a 59-51 win over Wilson.

The Cavaliers got a balanced scoring effort as three players reached double figures.

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Aston Williams led Lakeland with 13 points while Jaleel Nelson and Corey Davis each had 12 points.

Williams and Nelson led the Cavs out of the gates as they combined to score Lakeland’s first 15 points of the game, putting Lakeland up 15-4 in the first six minutes. Lakeland’s pressure defense and good transition offense led to most of the early points.

Nelson’s hot three point shooting (3-for-4) throughout the first half led the offensive attack, and Lakeland led 31-19 at the break.

But Nelson, who was named Tournament MVP, said, &uot;It was getting out and playing defense early instead of waiting and then having to comeback.&uot;

The Cavalier defense held the Presidents to 8-of-30 field goal shooting and forced 14 turnovers.

Davis became the main threat in the third quarter as Lakeland maintained a healthy lead.

Davis tallied nine of his 12 points in the third, including a follow-up two-handed dunk about three minutes into the half.

Davis, who was also part of the all-tournament team, also totaled 10 boards for a double-double.

The Presidents cut the lead to 47-37 in the first minute of the fourth period, but Lakeland’s full court defense responded, forcing another quick cluster of Wilson turnovers, as a quick 9-0 run in the span of roughly 90 seconds pushed the Cavalier lead to its largest of the night at 56-37 with six minutes left.

In addition to the three Cavaliers in double figures, Eric Oliphant and Tyrone Parker each added eight points.

In the consolation game earlier in the evening, King’s Fork fell to Norview 66-24.

The spectacular play of the night came from the Bulldogs however as on their first possession of the fourth quarter, Deon Gaines through a high alley-oop from the top of the key to a skying Trevino Rodgers.

Rodgers caught the ball high above the rim with his right hand and threw it down all in one motion.

Rodgers led the Bulldogs with seven points and eight rebounds, and Gaines was also a member of the all-tournament team.