Cavs win showdown with Warriors

Published 11:18 pm Friday, December 23, 2016

A close game was expected Wednesday night between the Lakeland High School Cavaliers and the Nansemond River High School Warriors, but few could have predicted just how close.

Lakeland came out victorious in a one-point game, 47-46.

The Cavs got off to a quick start in the first quarter, but the Warriors did not shy away. At the end of the first quarter, the Cavs led by one. In the second quarter, the back-and-forth remained the same. The Cavs went into halftime with a slight lead over the Warriors.

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In the third quarter, it looked like the Cavs were starting to pull away. Lakeland went up as much as 11 points in the third quarter and carried their momentum into the fourth quarter in what looked like a comfortable lead.

But during the fourth quarter, the Warriors outscored the Cavs 13-6, helping their case for a comeback. However, the effort ultimately fell short. With 1.6 seconds left, the Warriors had the ball for the final shot, but the ball went slightly over the rim.

Free throws were the story of the game for Nansemond River. With 30 attempts but only 11 successful shots, there were plenty of opportunities down the stretch for NRHS to take advantage of from the line, but the shots just didn’t fall.

“We didn’t come out with as much as we needed to,” Warriors coach Ed Young said. “We are better than what we are showing.”

“If we would have made our free throws and been consistent with our intensity, this could have been a different game,” the Warriors’ Jeremiah Lewis said.

The Warriors’ top three scorers for the season combined for only 12 points during the game. Sophomore Jeremiah Lewis led the team in rebounds with seven. Dy’Quan McGhee returned from injury for the Warriors and provided a nice spark with nine points. Jamal Boone came off of the bench for the Warriors and added nine points and four assists. It was the first game this season Nansemond River didn’t have a double-digit scorer.

Lakeland was on their second game this week, as they played Deep Creek the night before. Cavs coach Clint Wright was proud of the effort he got from both games.

“Anytime you get a win, it’s a good thing,” Wright said. “I have the most respect for Ed Young. Anytime you can get a win against one of his teams is a significant accomplishment. It’s not an easy task.”

The Cavs were able to defend well and make Nansemond River take difficult shots. Darius Johnson had nine points and eight rebounds. Deonte Diggs had 13 points. Keontae Boyette had five points, but Wright was confident the system the Cavs run is open to anyone.

“Our system is opportunistic,” Wright said. “At any time a guy can lead us in scoring. Last year we had about nine different players succeed in the system.”

With this win, the Cavs can go into the Christmas break with some momentum. The win gave Lakeland their third of the year. Lakeland will play Churchland at home on Dec. 29.

“This win feels good,” Boyette said. “We set a goal to finish out strong. We have Churchland next Thursday, and we just want to keep playing hard.”

As for the Warriors, they have just one win on the season so far. They will take part in the King’s Fork Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29, taking on Armstrong out of Richmond.