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Cavs’ season ends in region opener

The Lakeland High School boys’ basketball season ended after a road loss in the Class 3 Region A tournament last Friday.

Lakeland matched up with Petersburg High School to begin the Class 3 Region A tournament last Friday. The Cavs fell 74-71, ending a good season for the Cavs.

Clint Wright Jr. led the way with 26 points for the Cavs, and Raymond Bellamy added 19 points.

The Cavs were down 11 with three minutes left to play in the game, and they were able to fight their way back to keep it within a one-score game. From the beginning, the Cavs felt like Petersburg were the enforcers, which sort of caused the Cavs to play catch up. The name of the game could have been free throws. Petersburg and Lakeland made 30 free throws each, but Lakeland made theirs at a lower rate. A little more success from the line could have made for a different story for Lakeland.

“We didn’t shoot free throws well, which is something we’ll work on over the summer,” Wright Jr. said. “Despite that, we were able to fight back, and I am proud of the team for being able to do that.”

Lakeland finished the season with a 15-8 record. It was a significant jump from last season, where a young Cavs team only had six wins under its belt. During last season, the Cavs had no players with varsity experience. They used the summer to build chemistry, and it showed on the court for the Cavs.

“I think we had a successful season, even though it didn’t end the way we wanted it to,” Coach Clint Wright Sr. said. “I think we became a very relevant ball club. We are excited about getting back to work for the summer and continuing to get better. We have shown our growth from the end of last season to the end of this one.”

Lakeland will have 10 players returning from this season’s 15-man roster. Another year of continued development could send Lakeland over the top. They will likely be one of the teams to watch in the area with the success they had this year. However, Wright Sr. feels that the Cavs will be able to live up to the added pressure.

“We are going to continue to take things one game at a time,” Wright Sr. said. “Anything is possible, and we do look forward to bigger and better things next season. We know more will be expected.”

Petersburg 74, Lakeland 71

L—Wright 26, Bellamy 19, Artis 9, Trotter 6, Saunders 4, Hamlin 4, Livingston 2, Mitchell 1