Cavs hope strong summer leads to stronger winter

Published 9:52 pm Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Lakeland High School boys’ basketball team has had a solid summer of basketball and is ready to see it translate during the winter.

Last season, Lakeland was one of the younger teams in the Southeastern District, with no player having varsity experience.

As expected with such an inexperienced team, there were some highs and lows. However, Lakeland did make the Class 3 Region A playoffs, winning a home game before being defeated on the road in the second round.

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Lakeland approached the spring and the summer as a mission to get better. They have played in different spring and summer team leagues. Also, most of the team has remained together on the Suffolk United AAU team as well.

The Cavs went 5-2 in the spring league at Menchville High School. In the summer league at Heritage High School, Lakeland went 9-2 after going 0-9 last summer. They have also competed in a team camp at Virginia Wesleyan University, where they went 5-1.

“The needle is pointing in the right direction,” Lakeland coach Clint Wright said. “I am very enthusiastic about our potential. We are a bit stronger, and most importantly we are more mature. I am super excited about what we will be come November.”

While the team can compete informally in these leagues and workout with their coaches, the Virginia High School League dead period doesn’t allow for formal practices.

“We have been lifting and staying in shape,” rising sophomore Quentin Livingston said. “A lot of guys have been able to get time this summer, and it has been helping us. We are all just getting better. We know what we are capable of and what we will be able to do come basketball season.”

Lakeland will also compete in the Norfolk State University team camp this month as well. The team Lakeland has had over the summer won’t look the same come November, with others playing different sports like football. However, Wright is excited about the core that continues to push and get stronger.

“It has been a lot of good basketball with my brothers,” rising junior guard Keimari Artis said. “Summer basketball gives us a chance to mature and bond while we are doing something that we love, which is basketball.”