Cavs dominate Southampton

Published 5:31 pm Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Lakeland High School boys’ basketball team won its regional play-in game in dominating fashion.

The Cavs are headed to the Class 3 Region A quarterfinals after the home win Friday night in which they defeated Southampton High School 81-56.

Southampton brought a large crowd on the road to support their team. However, the Cavs were able to tune out the noise and work themselves to a big win.

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Lakeland came out strong in the first half, building a lead that they carried the rest of the game. At halftime, they led 45-25.

“I was very excited about the energy we came out and played with,” Cavs coach Clint Wright Sr. said. “Pregame preparation before the game was very good, and I could tell the guys were ready to play.”

Quentin Livingston had a solid game for Lakeland with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Clint Wright Jr. had a game-high 19 points, while Keimari Artis added 15 points.

“I feel like we have a lot of momentum going into the next game,” Livingston said. “Even though we won by 30, coach Wright has always told us not to take anyone for granted.”

Wright believes that trust is a big part of where his team stands now. After playing a complete season, the trust is peaking at the right time. The Cavs did everything that was asked of them Friday night. They defended well, they had more than 15 assists and they made shots.

Next, Lakeland will go on the road face Hopewell High School. Hopewell is the No. 1 seed in the Class 3 Region A tournament. They are currently on an 11-game winning streak. It will be pivotal for the Cavs to continue to build on what they have done against Southampton.

“We know we are going to a hostile environment and that we are facing the top team in the region,” Wright Sr. said. “I want these guys to take on my characteristics, and we are going to go up there with the intent to win a basketball game.”

Wright Sr. also believes the biggest part of winning on the road in a hostile environment is to weather the storm. Each team is going to make their runs, but for Lakeland it’s how they respond when Hopewell makes its run. The Cavs do believe that playing a tough Southeastern District schedule has prepared them for whatever they may see throughout the playoffs.

“If we do what we do best, we feel we can be very competitive in this next game,” Wright Sr. said.

Lakeland will play at Hopewell at 8 p.m. Monday.

Lakeland 81, Southampton 56

L—Wright Jr. 19, Livingston 16, Artis 15, Bellamy 10, Cobb 9, Reid 5, Trotter 4, Hargraves 3

SH—Banks 12, Carr 11, Bakersfield 8, Reed 8, Taylor 7, Dixon 5, Rawlins 4, Cross 1