Lakewood High School hosted the Carolina 1A Tournament finals Friday night. The girls match-up featured the top seed Rosewood versus the 2 seed Lakewood. The Lady Eagles, undefeated in conference play, continued their success with a 65-40 win.
The game was all but decided in the opening quarter. Rosewood took off from a 6-6 tie to commanding 29-8 lead at the end of the period.
In the 2nd frame, the Lady Eagles maintained control, but the home team did start to compete. Rosewood won the quarter 17-14, making it 46-22 at intermission.
The Lady Leopards outscored the visitors 10-8 in the 3rd period.
The Rosewood lead was 54-32 with 8 minutes left to play.
In final stanza, Rosewood coach Rick Grantham decided to shorten the game to avoid injury. His delay game kept the late game scoring to a minimum with the Lady Eagles winning by 25.
For the Lady Leopards, Justina Henry scored 16 to lead the way.
Briana Evans added 14, while Jada Moore scored 7. Chanel McLellan had 2, and India Dixon hit a free throw.
Elon signee Lexi Mercer led Rosewood with 20 points. Alyssa Garrison added 17. Tayzle Tripple and Jala Hollomon dropped in 9 each. Payton Lane scored 8. Hannah Daniels had 2.
“We thought we were going to come out and not be nervous,” assessed Lakewood head coach Vonnie McNeil, “but once we hit the court it seems like we lost it. That (Rosewood) is a wonderful team and I love to see them play as well, but at this time I thought my ladies should have stepped up better on the offense and defense. But, we’re going to the playoffs, so we’re going to concentrate on that, and I just congratulate Rosewood.”
“Once it gets rolling, it rolls pretty good down hill,” asserted Grantham, “and they play so hard. I tell them every night go have as much fun as you can and if you need me I’m over here. The last part wasn’t entertaining, but I just wanted to get to the house without anybody getting hurt.” Rosewood has 2 players out due to concussion.
Lakewood falls to 19-8, while Rosewood improves to 23-3. Both teams will be playing next week in the state playoffs, and both will open at home.