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Cavs charge past Fork

Jaleel Nelson scored 31 points and yanked down 12 rebounds as Lakeland roared to its second big victory in three days Friday evening, denying host King’s Fork its first-ever Southeastern District win with a 86-69 victory.

Nelson, Durrell Skeeter, Voyland Cooke and Lamont Skeeter all scored in the first 1:40 as the Cavaliers opened a 7-2 lead. Shaka Miller and Jamar Wertz brought Fork back up 8-7, and the game went back and forth until a jumper by Marcus Evans cut Lakeland’s advantage to 17-16 at the two-minute mark.

That’s when Nelson took over. While the Cavalier defense held Fork without a field goal in the remainder, Nelson scored 11 points as his team closed out the quarter up 32-19.

As would become a recurring incident throughout the night, Fork briefly grabbed the momentum back, as Wertz drained a three-pointer to start the second quarter and Miller and Thomas Scott swished four free throws to get to 34-25.

Then Cooke, Nelson and Durrell pushed in eight straight to get to 41-25.

Then Wertz, Scott, Evans and Loren Farris led Fork on an 11-3 run to cut things to 44-37.

Then Darren Copeland, Kris Brown and Nelson ended the half with a 6-0 run and a 50-37 lead.

The momentum kept swinging back and forth for the rest of the game, and Lakeland always stayed far enough away to secure the win. Durrell ended the game with 12 points, two more than Jeffrey Cook. Wertz led Fork with 21 points.

The Cavaliers, who took a 17-point victory from Churchland Wednesday, hope their reign of solidity continues later this week; they’ll close out the first half of the season Tuesday at home against cross-town rival Nansemond River Tuesday. The Warriors are still unbeaten in district play, and last fell to Lakeland in 2002-03. Fork goes to Hickory Tuesday.

jason.norman@suffolknewsherald.com