In a barnburner of a game, the Hobbton Wildcats managed to get the 54-51 win over cross-county rival Lakewood Tuesday night.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 14-2 margin early in the game. However, by the end of the first quarter, the Leopards had narrowed that lead to 6 at 21-15. Lakewood had tied the game at 21 midway the second half. They managed a 28-26 lead by the break. For all of the third quarter, the game seesawed back and forth with neither team gaining more that a 4 point margin. The third frame ended with Hobbton leading 44-42.
In the final frame, the game was intense with the score very close the whole time. Midway through the final quarter, Hobbton was up 47-44. With 2:49 left, Cameron Sessoms would tie the game at 47 with a free-throw. He missed the front end of a two-shot attempt. With 2:20 left, the game was tied at 47. Lakewood picked up a bucket to go up 49-47. Seconds later another field goal gave Lakewood a 51-47 lead. Jared Gainey cut the margin to 2 at 51-49. With 42 seconds left, Dalyn Owens hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to put the game at 51-50. A couple of fouls and a travel call against Lakewood gave the Wildcats the chance they needed. Omar Farrior hit clutch free throws to put the game out of reach as time expired.
For the Wildcats, Farrior had a game high 29 points. Jusen Bell and Jordan Pearsall chipped in 7 each. For Lakewood, Javon Owens had 17, Jacob Perez had 10 and Melvin Henderson had 7.
“It was a great win tonight over Lakewood, another conference game,” stated Hobbton coach Alphonza Hooper. “The biggest thing I told my guys is they had to come out ready to play. They started a different line up tonight. So, we changed our game play and went to out full court press. We kind of jumped out to a lead on them and then he brought in his starters and we lost focus for a little while.”
Hooper credited Lakewood, noting the rebounding effort of Cameron Sessoms, and saying it was a great win for his team.
“It was tooth and nail the whole second half,” the coach said. “I think what got them was, we made some adjustments in the second half. We went to a box and one and triangle and two on Jake Perez and Javon Owens, both outstanding players. We slowed them down. We wanted Perez to wear him down by making him run all over the court and I think that affected them some. Omar Farrior had a big game with 29 points and Jordan Pearsall has been struggling all year with a back injury. He is finally healthy and it really showed tonight. He made some key blocks and key rebounds and that’s what we needed. We got stops when we needed them and free throws when we needed them.”
He continued, “Even though Lakewood hasn’t won a game, they are going to beat some teams. The coach does a really good job with them and they are athletic. They are going to be a force to reckon with down the road. I would like to thank all the fans for coming out.”
Hobbton faces North Duplin Friday night.