Cavs’s defense tops Salem

Published 4:17 pm Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lakeland High School’s boys’ basketball team came up short in its first two games during the King’s Fork Christmas Classic, but grabbed a definitive win over Virginia Beach’s Salem High School on the final day of the event.

“I thought that, defensively, we played to our potential,” Cavaliers head coach Clint Wright said of the third game.

Until the Sundevils hit two free throws with about 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Cavs led 15-0. They never looked back on their way to a 60-49 win on Saturday at King’s Fork High School.

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“The first quarter indicated that we were dialed in, and I think that determined the outcome of the final part of the game,” Wright said. “We were energetic, and we got to our spots, and we played defense the way we were supposed to.”

He said the defense dictated the offense and that his players avoided the poor decisions and mistakes made in the two prior contests, as well as the missed baskets.

Sophomore Jaquan Yulee had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, sophomore Deonta Knight had eight points and 11 boards and senior Marche’ Everette had 10 points and six rebounds. Junior Kenya Latham dished out eight assists.

Wright expressed his gratitude to King’s Fork for putting on a unique tournament allowing teams to play, win or lose, on all three days.

He and his staff had three goals entering the Christmas Classic: win all three games, allow the younger players to gain necessary experience for conference play and find out who would benefit Lakeland in clutch situations.

The Cavaliers did not come away with three wins, but Wright said the last two goals were met.

He highlighted some team members who distinguished themselves as good role players, including sophomore Khallil McGlone, sophomore Daquan Boyette and junior Terry Mitchell.

Lakeland (4-6, 0-2) will play its first game of the new year on Friday, and it will represent a special reunion for Wright. The opponent, Booker T. Washington High School, is coached by Wright’s former Norfolk State University teammate, Darren Sanderlin.

“We often wanted to have the opportunity to coach against each other,” Wright said.

Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Lakeland.