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Cavs fall to Hickory

The Lakeland High School boys’ basketball team opened up its season Friday with a tough loss to Hickory High School.

Both teams put in a good effort, but Hickory took the win 88-76. It was the first game for a Lakeland team that returned no varsity experience.

“I felt like we had a good game plan, and for most of the first half we executed it like we wanted to,” Wright said. “There were times during the game where the lack of experience kicked in. The guys got a real live experience out there.”

Hickory had a solid guard tandem that gave the Cavs some problems throughout the night. Lakeland had times during the game where they blew assignments and other situations where it looked like they had built a good lead, just for Hickory to come back. Lakeland also missed their fair share of free throws Friday night as well.

However, the Cavs still were in positions throughout the game to win, which is a positive for this team.

“You can’t ask for anything more out of a group of kids who could have easily been playing JV,” Wright said. “Those guys worked hard, and we will be back at again getting ourselves prepared for a Deep Creek team.”

There was nothing the Cavs did Friday night that Wright sees as cause for concern going forward. He called the Cavs’ position at this moment as a “storm,” and something Lakeland will have to get through rather than going around or trying to avoid it.

“The character of a ball club is how you respond to your adverse moment,” Wright said. “Our goals are still intact, and everything we want to achieve is still right in front of us.”

Kiemari Artis had 23 points to lead the way for the Cavs, while Clint Wright Jr. added 19.

Hickory 88, Lakeland 76

L-Artis 23, Wright Jr. 19, Bellamy 9, Cobb 9, Livingston 8, Trotter 4, Mitchell 2, St. John 1, Hawkins 1

H-Cowling 29, Lockhart 22, James 14, Marshall 8, Clifford 5, Ford 4, Hall 4, Brackley 2