Cavs ready to take next step

Published 6:36 pm Wednesday, November 27, 2019

After a strong season in 2018-2019, the Lakeland High School boys’ basketball team is looking forward to taking it up another notch.

The Cavs finished with a 15-8 record last season, which also included a first-round, three-point playoff loss to Petersburg High School. It was a big step for Lakeland, which didn’t have any players with varsity experience the year before.

The talent and chemistry the Cavs have built over the past two seasons or so have put them on track for a breakthrough this season. Coach Clint Wright Sr. has believed that everything the Cavs have done since the end of last season has prepared them.

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“We are optimistic about what this season is going to hold,” Wright said. “We are in great shape, and we are healthy, and we are feeling very confident in our schedule. So, everything is aligning very well for us, and we are excited to see how it all unfolds.”

Lakeland will have eight seniors on this team, who as a group possess a lot of chemistry together. They return Clint Wright Jr., Keimari Artis, Raymond Bellamy and Sean Mitchell. They have also added players like Tyshawn Allen. The Lakeland seniors have been battled-tested, and Bellamy, Wright Jr. and Artis have been All-Region selections.

“We have a slew of different guys from solid contributors to role players that can give us anything on any given night,” Wright said. “We practice hard, and we feel good about the different combinations we can put out on the floor.”

The Cavs have a good schedule this season that will prepare them for the playoffs. They won’t play a home game until early January, so the Cavs are hoping to get off to a fast start racking up wins on the road.

“I think the absence of fear will allow us to do some great things this season,” Wright said. “We don’t have a home game at all for the first month, which is something that hasn’t happened in my time here. So, we are going to be looking to be road warriors. We are going to need to be poised and confident. The guys are super amped about the challenge.”

Lakeland will get the season started against Lafayette High School on the road Dec. 2. Lakeland feels they have the talent this year to be among the top teams in the Southeastern District while also taking the next step in the playoffs.