Cavs can’t cage Tigers

Published 6:19 pm Saturday, December 5, 2015

Lakeland High School’s basketball team could not translate the momentum from its dominant season-opening win on Tuesday night into a victory on Friday night against visiting Oscar Smith High School, as the Tigers won 71-55.

Cavaliers coach Clint Wright said the game was closer than the score indicated, noting some errant shots by his team in an effort to get back into the contest were what accounted for the 16-point margin.

Nevertheless, Wright gave high praise to his team’s talented Group 6A opponent when he said, “Oscar Smith was phenomenal in making you defend not only beyond the first option, they made you defend beyond the second option,” he said.

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Wright said the Tigers also capitalized on Lakeland’s mistakes and shot well.

But despite Oscar Smith’s strengths, he was pleased with how his team played through the first three quarters of the game, and the Cavs trailed by only a few points going into the final period.

In past years, Lakeland would have another shot at beating the Tigers, but the Virginia High School League’s realignment has limited the Cavaliers’ meetings with several of their former Southeastern District rivals.

“It’s just a one-and-done situation in this regard, so you’ve got to get it while you can, and we didn’t get it on tonight,” Wright said.

Lakeland senior guard Daquan Boyette led his team with 17 points, while senior forward Deonta Knight contributed 13 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Lakeland (1-1) was back in action on Saturday evening, playing Grafton High School in the Howard White Showcase at Kecoughtan High School.

Wright was happy for the Saturday game, noting that the good thing about playing multiple games in one week is “you can quickly forget about the one you just lost and play another.”