The Lakewood Leopards dominated Tuesday in Salemburg, as they brought down the North Duplin Rebels in all three games.
The varsity boys put the pressure on the Rebels and managed to create turnovers. The Leopards went on a 11-4 run at the end of the first quarter to put up a score of 22-15. The Leopards returned to the court and put up 16 unanswered points to move the score to 31-17.
They went on a 3 minute 14-5 run and the halftime score was 53-30.
Lakewood’s team two played much of the game. They were leading 40 points at the end of the third quarter, 77-37, and the final score was 89-50.
Stats for the game showed Patrick Rich with the high score for the Leopards at 19 points, 3 of which were 3 pointers; Ryan Emfinger, 17, with 3-3s; Mike Smith, 9; Nikin Henry, 9, all 3 pointers; Domanick Williamson, 7; Nick Butler, 7; Parcell Murphy and Deontre Newkirk, each with 6 points.
The Leopards move to 2-3 in non-conference play.
For the Rebels, Daron Goodman was top scorer with 19 and Taylor Lewis had 7 points.
“It was a good ballteam effort. We were able to bounce back from our losses last week. I’m proud of their effort and hopefully we’re heading in the right direction,” an elated Leopard head coach Sylvester Pittman said after the game.
The Leopard junior varsity boys started the night’s winning streak with a score of 81-48.
The points stayed close throughout the first half, with Lakewood leading 22-18 at the end of the first quarter and 34-27 at the half.
By the second half, the Leopard press was doing its job and the Leopards were able to grab the rebounds and put the points on the board. The score at the end of the third half was 54-38 and the final was 81-48.
“We were a bit sluggish in the first half, but played hard in the second half and made up for it. It was a really good win. North Duplin came prepared today. They handled our press well in the first half, but I think we wore them down in the second half,” said Pittman, who is also the head junior varsity coach.
Leading all scorers on the night was Leopard Mike Graham with 27 points; Maurice Boone was close behind with 13; D. J. Rich, 12, Nasien Devane, 8; and Jirah Cooper, 6 points.
For the Rebels, Boone McNeil scored 21 points and Kaleb Brock put in 15 baskets.
This moves the Junior Varsity Leopards to 4-1.
The varsity Lady Leopards easily walked away with their game, scoring 32 unanswered points before the Lady Rebels finally made a free throw to make it 32-1 at the beginning of the second quarter.
The Leopards started the game playing man to man coverage but it was obvious that was too much for the Rebels. Lakewood pulled back to zone defense and played their second team for most of the game.
North Duplin scored 10 points in the second quarter, and that would be as many points as they were able to put on the board.
The final score was 72-10.
There was a three-way tie for the game’s leading scorer, with Brittney Boykin, Tiesha Rich, and Rashyda Parker, all with 10 points each. Following close behind was Aja Stevens and Jakyra Braxton, both with 8 points; and Jache’ Servance, Tasha Rich, and Bianca Moore, all with 6 points.
A pleased, but subdued Lakewood head coach Lofton Kerr said, “It is what it is. I’m glad everyone got to play. Now we’ve got to get ready for Whiteville tomorrow night.”
The Lady Leopards are still undefeated.
Lakewood faces 2A Whiteville in Wolf Pack country Wednesday and then travels to the Dog House in Wallace next Tuesday. The Leopards then travel to Trask on Thursday to finish up their pre-Christmas games. The Nathan Gay Holiday Tournament, held at Union this year, begins next weekend.