Cavaliers wait until last second to win – again

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 20, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

In its game at home against Western Branch (WB) on Tuesday evening, the Lakeland defense allowed the Bruins to jump out to a 7-0 lead in the first four minutes. Had they not done so, the Cavaliers would have had a much easier time of things.

As it stood, Lakeland had to settle for its trademark warp-speed-comeback, buzzer-beating, gym-rocking style of winning, this one culminating in a 52-50 overtime victory. Back 44-37 with a minute left, the Cavaliers scored seven points in 29 seconds for the extra chance.

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Following the Bruins’ first burst, the first period went nip-and-tuck for the last four minutes, ending with WB in front, 13-8. Voyland Cooke and Corey Davis scored six points in 30 seconds for the Cavaliers to get to 15-14, but Lemar Ricks dropped in three for WB.

With 2:01 to go in the half, Jaleel Nelson snuck through for two layups, and Davis pulled down a rebound and laid it back in at the buzzer to close the half knotted at 20.

A Cooke free throw with 3:46 left in the third period gave the Cavaliers their first lead, but WB went on an 11-4 run to end the quarter ahead 33-28, and Cordarrius Neal swished four free throws in the first 66 seconds of the fourth. Nelson and Tyrone Parker scored for Lakeland, but WB matched them, and Neal hit a layup for the aforementioned seven-point advantage.

Nelson drained his first three-pointer of the night with 50 seconds left, and Aston Williams stole the inbounds pass. He drove toward the basket, and was fouled at the :46 mark. Williams swished both freebies, then dove into a mass of players near the left sideline and came out with the ball, sending it to Parker for the tying layup.

WB went into a stall, but couldn’t get off a shot, and Cooke’s last-second lob went far to the left, sending the game to overtime.

Davis made it in for a layup a minute in, but Ed Roberts swished a pair of free throws at the 2:27 mark. Davis was trapped in the right corner at the two-minute mark, but sent a pass out to Nelson who sank another three-pointer.

Anthony Herney banked home a layup for WB with 1:34 left, leaving Lakeland just up, 49-48.

Williams upped the lead a pair with a jumper, but Neal hit two more free throws to get within one with 33 seconds to go. Cooke was fouled on the ensuing inbound, and missed both free throws. WB took possession, but a pass went out of bounds at the :16 mark.

Nelson lobbed a high pass past midcourt to Cooke, who went up for it with a WB player. The ball bounced up and to the right, where a streaking Parker picked it up. He went in for another layup, but was fouled with 13 seconds left.

He missed the first shot, but swished the second to go up by two.

&uot;I just wanted to make one,&uot; he said. &uot;I knew I had to make the second one to win the game. I knew we had the game in the bag after I made the second.&uot;

WB went into a stall that went too long, as an off-balance Neal was forced to put up a three-pointer with seconds to go. He missed, and Davis went up with Danny Horne for the rebound. Davis was called for a foul at the buzzer, and the celebration had to wait.

Horne’s shot went up, hit the front of the rim, bounced to the backboard, and rolled around the rim. Then it fell off to the left, and Lakeland had won.

&uot;We had to hustle, because we needed this game after we lost the last two,&uot; said Davis, whose team fell to Great Bridge and Oscar Smith in the past few weeks. &uot;We have to keep working hard for the rest of the season.&uot;

Lakeland will visit Hickory

Friday. Wednesday’s game against Churchland was cancelled and a makeup date was not announced.