Cavs adjust for big win

Published 9:01 pm Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lakeland High School’s boys’ basketball team adapted to Oscar Smith High School’s zone defense and broke the game open in the second half for a 68-51 home win on Tuesday night.

“I’m feeling real great about this ball club,” Cavaliers head coach Clint Wright said of his team.

Lakeland High School sophomore Qurante Budd pulls up for two of his 13 points in Tuesday night's 68-51 victory over Oscar Smith High School.

Lakeland High School sophomore Qurante Budd pulls up for two of his 13 points in Tuesday night’s 68-51 victory over Oscar Smith High School.

The Tigers forced Lakeland to take mid-range shots, something it struggled with in the first half. The Cavs led 17-8 after the first quarter, but the Tigers’ matched the home team’s 14-point second quarter, preventing Lakeland from building on the lead.

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“Normally, we’re very flat in the third quarter, but we came out very aggressive,” Wright said.

Selfless play was the key to pulling away. The shots started falling and “the extra pass is what made it happen,” Wright said, as the Cavaliers racked up 22 assists in the game.

The coach was pleased with the number of productive player combinations he could put on the floor.

“It’s almost like being a kid in a candy store with the talent pool that is on this team, and I’m just excited to be the head coach of it,” Wright said.

Junior Kenya Latham was one of four players in double figures, with 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

“Kenya has a gift, and we as coaches — we’ve got to make sure that that gift is displayed,” Wright said.

Latham enjoyed some renewed confidence from the game. “I felt great about the win, especially after the loss on last Friday,” he said.

Sophomore Deonta Knight led the Cavaliers with 15 points and added eight rebounds. He described his transition to the guard position as a smooth one, though still a work in progress. Sophomore Qurante Budd had 13 points and sophomore Jaquan Yulee chipped in 11.

Lakeland (2-1) visits Western Branch High School tonight and ends the week at Nansemond River High School (3-0) on Friday.