Board work pays for Cavs

Published 7:20 pm Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lakeland forward Marichal Walden had a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds as the Cavaliers won 69-61 at Cox Thursday. Lakeland (2-6, 1-4) hosts Grassfield Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

VIRGINIA BEACH — Marichal Walden’s 24 points and 10 rebounds led Lakeland to its second boys basketball win of the season, a 69-61 victory over Cox, Thursday as the Cavaliers finished with a split of their two out-of-district, Christmas break games.

First Colonial edged Lakeland 60-55 Wednesday night in Virginia Beach.

Less than 24 hours later Lakeland had to work hard to put the Falcons away but “work” was the key for the Cavs. Lakeland claimed a 42-22 rebounding margin over Cox and took 15 more field goal attempts than the Falcons.

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Walden teamed with fellow starting forward Rodney Goodman and reserve forward Marche Everett to do most of the damage in the lane. Goodman added 16 points and seven rebounds. Everett sparked Lakeland out of a slow start and finished with four points and nine rebounds.

Both squads opened slowly. Goodman and Everett scored buckets off of offensive boards to boost the Cavs to a 14-7 lead after one period.

Even Lakeland’s guards crashed the boards. Samson Worrell, usually a three-point specialist, turned a rebound into a three-point play on the inside for a 20-14 lead. Worrell was fouled trying a shot from beyond the arc a couple minutes later. He went 3-for-3 at the line to put Lakeland up 27-20. The Cavs led 29-23 at the half.

Walden and Goodman got the ball more in the flow of Lakeland’s offense, in addition to still hitting the boards, through the second half. Walden scored nine of Lakeland’s 15 third-period points, driving along the baseline for tough shots for two hoops and making good post-up moves for two baskets.

With a pair of three-pointers followed by a free throw, Cox scored the first seven points of the fourth period to take a 45-44 lead, the first Falcon lead since 5-3.

Lakeland moved back in front with Walden getting a defensive rebound, driving coast to coast and pulling up for a six-foot bank shot. Goodman made a lay-up off an offensive board to make it 49-45 Cavs with 4:50 to play.

Lakeland steadily built its margin and kept its lead thanks to good free throw shooting.

Josh Beck scored only two points in the first three quarters. Beck finished two fast breaks with lay-ups and went 6-for-6 at the line in the last three minutes. Walden and Goodman also converted 2-for-2 trips to the line to keep Cox from closing in. Lakeland outscored the Falcons 25-16 in the last 6:26.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Cavaliers. The Cavs (2-6, 1-4) host Grassfield Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.