After the women’s team scored a victory in the first round against Hobbton, the Lakewood Leopards men’s team notched a win of their own Tuesday night against the Union Spartans 60-49.
“We played good defense and rebounded well,” said Lakewood’s coach Todd Wheeler. “I think we might have a good chance in the next round.”
Beginning in the first quarter, Lakewood got off to an early 5-0 lead during the games first three minutes. Union shrank the gap to 5-4 before wrestling the lead from Lakewood at 8-7 with only a minute left in the quarter. The Leopards retook their lead ending the first quarter at 9-8 with the Spartans behind by a single point.
After Lakewood grew its lead to 16-8 in the second quarter’s first 40 seconds, Union began pushing back, bringing it to 16-12 before a sudden burst from the Leopards brought the score to 24-12 halfway through the second. Four minutes before the game’s first half ended, the Spartans tried to close the gap, but the quarter ended at 32-20, Leopards.
Lakewood expanded that lead in the third quarter to 50-32.
In the first four minutes of the final quarter, the Spartans began to push back, slowing Lakewood before injury halted their momentum. Jaevion Vann, a vital player for Union, had to take a quick break due to trouble in his leg.
For much of the final quarter, the two teams had a stalemate at 58-46 with neither allowing the other to score. A push from both sides brought the score to 60-49 with only 30 seconds left on the clock.
“I think having a bad practice yesterday and a few problems within the team affected their focus,” said Union’s coach Colt Pierce. “We underestimated our opponent and they played a heck of a ball game. We learned we gotta stay focused and re-work on some things and hopefully we’ll still have a chance in the playoffs.”
Reach Chris Froat at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.