After a four minute overtime, the boys’ varsity basketball team suffered a tough loss to district rival George Jenkins, 65-68.
Lakeland opened the game with four unanswered points, and pressed Jenkins until the Eagles finally got on the board with a lay up. At 4-2, the Jenkins offense knocked down a three-pointer, bringing the tally to 4-5. A few plays later, Ian Bacon caught nothing but net as the scoreboard read 9-5. Lakeland would score again with a steal by Eric Moody, who was then at the free throw line after a blocking foul was called on the Eagles. The scoreboard had Lakeland up 13-6 at 3:20 left in the first quarter. While both teams had good looks at the basket, both would struggle to sink anything, as the quarter ended at 16-11.
With the Eagles in possession of the ball at the start of the second quarter, they immediately landed a lay up, and earned the ball back from a travel call on Trenton Pearson. Christopher Burgess, a senior for George Jenkins, proceeded to put on a show, racking up 11 points in a matter of two minutes. As Lakeland found themselves down by five, 20-25, the team found a way to silence the Eagles for three full minutes, retaking the lead on a shot by Bacon, which he missed and rebounded to put it up again and knock it down.
At 1:37, up 27-25, The ‘Naughts fouled Burgess, who made both of his shots count. In response to the 27-27 tie, Lakeland stalled until there were just :12 left on the board. Burgess fouled Michael Senechek, who landed both his free throws, 29-27, and Lakeland took a time out. With :05 left of the half, Burgess made a hard drive for the basket, had a clear shot, and missed at the buzzer.
In the third quarter, the two teams would never be more than four points away from each other. After a miss on both ends, and a rebound by Moody, he followed with a three-pointer, to bring the score to 35-31. Jenkins then converted for two at the foul line and stole the ball back to land a lay up, making it 35-35. With 3:58 left in the third, and a tie score 38-38, the Jenkins offense would have two opportunities to score, but miss. Bacon followed for the Dreadnaughts with two points, while Jenkins answered back, keeping it at 40-40, with 2:57 left. Bacon, who had been a key to the ‘Naughts floor plan, would see his last action in a battle for a jump ball under the basket, with 2;07 left and a 43-42 lead for Lakeland. Bacon left the court with an injury to his hand and sought medical attention in the locker room.
The fourth quarter started with a lane violation on George Jenkins, but Lakeland would not be able to get on the board with the possession. Burgess then converted for a three-point play, bringing the score to 43-45. Lakeland’s Moody followed up with his own three-pointer, which was answered by the Eagles’ Lakeith Wilson, making it 46-48. Lakeland regained the lead on a three-point play by Pearson. The tension built around the 3:47 mark, with what players and fans thought was a bad call against Lakeland. The score sat at 53-50 and after Jenkin’s missed a foul shot, Kyle Kirby would make a diving save under the basket to give the ‘Naughts control of the ball. Moody then sank it for two on the other end, bringing it to 55-50.
The Eagles answered with four points of their own, driving through three Lakeland defenders for a lay up and then stealing the ball. The steal would end with a dunk by Jerrick Stevenson, bringing the Eagles within one point of the ‘Naughts. At 1:44 left in the game, and a 57-57 board, Lakeland called a timeout after almost turning over the ball. After the timeout, a smooth inbound pass to Jadrian Clark pulled the ‘Naughts ahead, 59-57. A flurry of foul shots would bring the score to 59-59 with :16 left. After timeouts from both teams, the Eagles began to press and fouled Moody with :06 on the clock. With the score 61-59, George Jenkins’ Burgess took a shot in the paint, rebounded his own ball and sank it for two as the buzzer sounded. The score was 61-61.
Overtime would be dominated by a George Jenkins offensive stall, after starting with a three-pointer off the hands of Angel Lopez. At 1:63, and the Eagles still stalling, Lakeland stole the ball back and Pearson landed for two, making it 63-65. After that, the Eagles held on to the ball until there were just :17 left. The game would end 65-68.
Bacon was not able to return after the first half. Also missing in action was Raheeme Dumas, who is out of town on a college visit. A win for Lakeland would have clenched the number one seed in the district tournament. Lakeland will be back in action versus Kathleen High School on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.