Trojans defeat Lakeland

Published 11:26 pm Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Booker T. Washington High School’s boys’ basketball team brought the impressive 2013-14 season of Lakeland High School to a close on Tuesday night in the first round of the Group 4A South Region playoffs.

The Cavaliers had the crowd in its favor at home against the Trojans, but they fell behind early. They came charging back at various points, but inconsistency helped lead to a 66-56 loss.

Lakeland High School sophomore Daquan Boyette ascends on offense during the Cavaliers’ 66-56 season-ending home loss to Booker T. Washington High School on Tuesday.

Lakeland High School sophomore Daquan Boyette ascends on offense during the Cavaliers’ 66-56 season-ending home loss to Booker T. Washington High School on Tuesday. (Russ Pace/Citadel Photographer)

“Much props and respect to Booker T.,” Lakeland head coach Clint Wright said. “They did everything right tonight.”

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Wright feared that his team would be a bit complacent facing the Bookers again at home, after beating them 58-45 in the same setting on Jan. 3. He also said it was possible the Trojans were complacent themselves in the first meeting.

“This time we didn’t surprise them,” Wright said.

The Cavs trailed 13-6 after the first quarter. The deficit grew worse in the second quarter before they went on a run to make the halftime score 33-22.

The Trojans claimed the third quarter by extending their lead back to 15, and successfully weathered another Lakeland run in the fourth.

Wright said his team was not paying heed to the little things that lead to success. Additionally, fatigue became a factor for his team, prompting liberal substitutions toward the game’s end.

Senior Marche’ Everette ended up with 14 points and 15 rebounds while sophomore Deonta Knight had 16 points and nine boards.

“It was a tough loss, even though it was to one of your better friends indeed,” Wright said, referring to Trojans head coach Darren Sanderlin, his close friend and former college teammate.

Lakeland finished the year at .500, 13-13, largely because of a strong run leading to an Ironclad Conference tournament championship win.

Commenting on the season overall, Wright said, “It was a learning experience.”

He said he is hopeful his players will learn from Tuesday night’s game so it will not have been in vain.

And he had a summary for the 2013-14 campaign with clear implications of a bright future for the Cavaliers.

“I want to say that the foundation has been laid,” he said.