Cavs ready to finish strong

Published 9:28 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Lakeland High School boys’ basketball team is gearing up for a strong finish to the season after a rough season thus far.

The Cavs currently sit at 4-13 on the season. After numerous games against quality competition, the Cavs either made the contests close or were blown out. Last Thursday, the Cavs faced conference opponent Churchland High School. Lakeland took on Churchland for the second time this season, and it ended in another victory for the Truckers.

In the first matchup, the Cavs lost 55-50. Last Thursday, the Cavs lost 60-49.

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“The game didn’t go as well as we would have liked it to go,” Cavs coach Clint Wright said. “We had about 12 unforced turnovers that contributed to the result of the game. They were able to put us away with excellent offensive execution.”

As Lakeland is in exam week, they won’t play again until Feb. 3, and their practice time will be limited. In the meantime, while the players aren’t thinking about academics, their coach wants them to think about hunger.

“When you get away from something that you love so much, there’s got to be some type of anxiety to get back and play,” Wright said. “That’s one of the things I’m looking forward to seeing once we back to practice next week. Is the hunger there; is the sense of urgency there? After this little break, I expect everybody to be back ready to go and spinning on their heads with excitement to play again.”

In the last quarter of the season, Lakeland has five games remaining, including a home matchup against Nansemond River. Wright wants his team to focus on closing out the season well.

“We’ve shown signs of tremendous starts and finished flat and vice-versa,” Wright said. “I think in the last quarter of the season, with the seniors knowing time is winding down, we will start finishing more. The guys will probably be more consistent from start to finish because you never want things to end. The goal now is to finish and to keep that mentality.”

Lakeland still has a relatively young roster, but Wright feels that to this point in the season the team has grown. It is more so about the Cavs applying themselves in the latter part of their season instead of trying to get the experience they so desperately needed at the beginning of the season.

“I think at this point we know that if we stay dialed in, we can play with the best of them,” Wright said.

Lakeland will play Cox High School on the road Feb. 3 at 7:15 p.m. On Feb. 4, the Cavs will be at home against Nansemond River. That game will start at 6 p.m.