Lakeland rolls past Bruins with 19-0 run

Published 9:50 pm Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A big run by the Cavaliers gave Lakeland a dominant lead over Western Branch early on and the Cavaliers went on to a 61-45 victory at home on Tuesday night. Led by sharpshooting wing Justin Watson canning four three-pointers and scoring 22 points, Lakeland goes to a 3-0 record in the Southeastern District.

In a span stretching about nine minutes of play in the first and second periods, the Cavaliers took an early 5-4 advantage and built it into a 24-4 score.

With the Cavaliers scoring in the 80s in their two district wins last week, a slow pace was what Western Branch wanted. Even though Lakeland’s offense didn’t find its best rhythm for most of the night, the Bruins made only 2 of 13 shots in the first quarter, so even with a slow pace the Cavaliers built a big lead.

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David Barnes, Lakeland’s leading scorer through its first three contests, created shots for his teammates for most of the night. Barnes, a 5-foot-8 guard, penetrated against the Bruin defense and found teammates for open lay-ups three times as Lakeland scored the last 11 points of the first period.

Opening the second period, Winston Sellers scored on an offensive rebound and short jumper. Pressing the Bruins full court, Barnes got a steal and a lay-up, making it 20-4 Cavs 26 seconds into the quarter. Lakeland kept going to a 24-4 lead with 5:01 left in the half. Lakeland led 36-19 at the break.

Lakeland had a varied attack in the first half. Watson led the way with 11 points. Subs off the bench contributed as Ben Hunter made two jump shots for five points and reserve point guard C.J. Grissom added three points, four rebounds and three assists.

Barnes’ playmaking ability stretched Lakeland’s margin early in the second half. Neither team scored for the first 2:30, then Barnes drove into the paint and made an off-balance jumper. On Lakeland’s next possession, Barnes drove the middle, then kicked a pass out to Watson open in the left corner. Watson nailed his third trey of the game, giving Lakeland a 41-19 lead.

Lakeland led 50-27 going to the final quarter. Western Branch managed to cut the lead to 15, 57-42, with 2:26 remaining, but never truly threatened.

Lakeland held the Bruins to 29.6 percent shooting from the floor (16 of 54). The Bruins were 9 of 22 (40.9 percent) from the foul line. Miles Martin led the Bruins with nine points.

Adding to Watson’s 22 points, Lakeland got 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists from Barnes. Dekese Cowling had seven points and five rebounds. Sellers added six points and six boards.

Lakeland (3-1, 3-0) goes to Grassfield on Friday night.