The Lakewood Lady Leopards clawed their way by the Spring Creek Gators Thursday night in the semi-finals of the Carolina 1-A conference tournament. The game was tied 6 times; however the Leopards finally got a 75-60 win to advance to the championship game Friday night. In the regular season, the 2 teams had a split record.
The Lady Leopards had a 14-11 advantage after the first quarter. However, the game was tied at 9 and 11 in the first quarter. The second quarter went much the same way, trading buckets and the lead; also, tying at 14 and 17. The Lady Leopards had a 30-29 lead at the break.
The 3rd quarter was close as well with a tie at 32 before the Lady Leopards had a 3-point advantage after 3. The first half of the 4th quarter was close with the score tied again at 52, all with 6:21 left in the game. With 4:49 left, the Leopards had an 8-point lead, the largest at the time. The Lady Gators cut that to 3 points with 2:50 left. With just over 2 minutes left, the Lady Leopards had started pulling away leading 68-55. From there, the Lady Leopards pretty much controlled the tempo of the game scoring 7 points to the Lady Gators 5.
“Hard game, hard game, hard game!” commented Lakewood coach Vonnie McNeill after her girls had pulled a win over Spring Creek. “We came and we fought, we fought and we fought. Their was so much good competition going one nobody could ahead of the other. We had to fight to the end and we did. I’m proud of these ladies. I also want to say congratulations to Spring Creek. They were a good team as well.”
Lakewood’s Brianna Evans led the scoring with 27. Justina Henry was right behind with 22 and Jada Moore had 10. Chanel McLellan chipped in 8.
For Spring Creek, Amber Buchan and 20, Destiny Sutton had 15 and Tysha Teachey had 14.
The Lady Leopards will play the Rosewood Eagles Friday night for the crown.