The Lakewood ladies had an intense match against the ladies of Princeton Friday night, and despite only having one win this season, they played an intense final quarter and managed to win 42-38.
Beginning promisingly enough with a five point lead going into the second quarter, the Leopards were out in front early. Holding the lead until the end of the first half, Lakewood was sitting at 19-13 giving them a six-point lead.
There was a crack in their play that showed during the tail end of the first half with Lakewood giving Princeton too many opportunities for free throws. The Bulldogs closed the gap by the third quarter at 26-24 with the Leopards barely holding their lead.
“We got frustrated,” said coach Vonnie McNeil. “When we were up one of our main player got in foul trouble and that frustration them but we worked around it and adjusted, I will say Princeton deserves praise because they gave us one tough fight.”
Within the first 30 seconds of the final quarter the score was tied at 26-26 with Lakewood regaining their lead at 28-26 only to finally have it taken when the score reached 34-32 in the final 1:30 of the game.
Things looked to be going in Princeton’s favor, in the last :30 of the game Lakewood pulled off a three-point shot raising the score to 39-38 followed by some free throws changing the score to 42-38.
“What won it for us was that the girls never gave up,” said McNeil. “We fell behind but we didn’t give up and that’s what won it in the end.”
The Leopards play the Cougars of Neuse Charter on Jan. 22.
While coming into the game with an impressive lead, Lakewood lost their game against the Bulldogs 47-40 at home Friday night.
Starting off with a strong first quarter, the Leopards held a six point lead over the Bulldogs at 8-2 nearly preventing Princeton from scoring in the first quarter.
Raising their lead to 10-3, the Leopards looked good early but the gap closed as the score reached 20-19 with only five seconds left in the first half, but the Bulldogs passed them after a free throw making it 21-20.
They quickly secured their lead in the beginning of the third quarter, with a three point shot, though the Leopards fought hard they were unable to ultimately retake their lead, the score after three periods 29-23.
Lakewood couldn’t earn back the traction they lost in the previous quarter, earning another loss on their record.
“I think they started pressing us and we fell apart,” explained coach Todd Wheeler. “I think we learned that we need to work on our press break and we’ll be doing alright. We executed on our offensive plays and had a good defense, hopefully we can continue that in future games.”
They also prepare to take on Neuse Charter with their girls on Jan. 22 when they look to get the first win of the season.
Reach Chris Froat at email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.