The Leopards swept Hobbton in their final games of the season Thursday night.
The Lady Leopards had their final conference match against the Hobbton Wildcats Thursday night, at home, winning 62-30.
“Comparing our progress from the beginning of the conference to the end I think we picked up on everything we needed to pick up on,” said Lakewood coach Vonnie McNeil. “We gotta be careful because this is where they could get hurt. We have to be hydrated and get ready for Monday.”
The Leopards held a lead near the beginning of the first quarter, the Wildcats tied the game within the first three minutes. While Hobbton pulled ahead it wasn’t long before Lakewood pulled out from behind establishing a lead by the quarter’s end at 16-8.
It wasn’t long before the Leopards grew their lead bringing the score to 24-8 halfway through the quarter. The Wildcats began picked it up by the final three minutes but the quarter came to and end at 32-13.
Going into the third quarter, the Leopards were 19 points ahead of Hobbton. Lakewood further secured their lead, bringing it up to 27 halfway through at 44-17 and ending the quarter at 56-19. Despite a temporary loss to Kiarye Bailey in the fourth due to leg injury, Lakewood still solidified their victory by a 32 point margin.
After an intense match, the Leopards men won their final conference game against the Wildcats 72-53 Thursday night defending the home court.
Following the recognition of the seniors, Lakewood commenced their final game of the regular season. While Lakewood won by 19 points, the game had a full house of eager fans ensuring it was the loudest Leopards’ home game of the season.
Starting out strong, Lakewood led 4-0 though the Wildcats tried to push back, the Leopards had no room to breathe as they held onto a strong lead ending the quarter at 15-6. Now with a nine point advantage, Lakewood seemed to be on fire going into the second quarter. For most of the period, the Leopards held a 19 point lead before the quarters end at 42-20 pushing the gap to 22.
Beginning with two three-point shots the Leopards came out strong as the score reached 48-20 but the Wildcats continued fighting bringing the score to 50-30 with 3:30 left in the third. By the end, the score stood at 56-42 with Hobbton closing the difference to 14 points.
With both sides refusing to call it quits, they hit a dry spell for nearly two minutes of the final quarter with neither team scoring a basket. Tension could be felt in the audience as both sides cheered with each play. Some girls in Hobbton’s audience made high pitch noises every time Lakewood went to shoot and Lakewood’s audience cheered with every achievement.
“Looking from the start of the conference to tonight, I’m glad to see our defense has improved,” said Lakewood coach Todd Wheeler.
With the conference over, the Lady Leopards end the season 8-12 and 8-4 in conference. As for the boys they are 5-15 overall and 5-7 in their conference play they await to see who their conference tournament opponents will be.
Reach Chris Froat at email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.