Hopewell ends Cavs season

Published 10:19 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Lakeland High School boys’ basketball season ended Monday at Hopewell High School.

The Cavs went on the road Monday evening for the quarterfinals of the Class 3 regional tournament but were unable to come away with the win. Hopewell, the No.1 seed in the region, defeated Lakeland 78-51.

Hopewell has a tough environment to play in, which may have made it a bit difficult for the Cavs. In the first half, Hopewell had control, but Lakeland wasn’t so far out of reach. Hopewell had a 39-24 lead at halftime. In the second half, the home team started to pull away from Lakeland and ultimately advanced to the next round of the Class 3 Region tournament.

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For the young and inexperienced team Lakeland had to start the season, the Cavs felt like their playoff experience will serve them well in the future.

“I think the experience with these two playoff games are valuable and something we can build off of for the future,” Lakeland coach Clint Wright said. “Not even just the playoffs but most games throughout the season, we are going to look at some of the games we were in and build upon those things.”

Wright enjoyed the different things that came with coaching his team this season. Because none of his players had varsity experience prior to the season, he explained that more “X’s and O’s” had to be taught. As the season went on, the coaches were able to reduce their amount of coaching as the players got familiar with the speed of varsity and the different things they saw at that level.

Lakeland will have a solid core returning for next season. Keimari Artis, Clint Wright Jr. and Quentin Livingston provide some promise for what is to come for Lakeland. As a whole, Lakeland will be more experienced and will be looking to take the next step.

“I think everything we have done is going to bring confidence,” Wright Sr. said. “They are going to look at everything done this past season and know their potential going into the offseason. I really believe what we have been through is going to speak volumes going into the offseason and next season.”

“We learned a lot this season and we grew a lot as well,” Artis said. “We all experienced the varsity level for the first time, and we are going to get better.”