The Lady Leopards’ playoff run was ended Thursday night, on the road, against Northampton County. They struggled to find their flow offensively all game with the Jaguars taking them down, 51-37.
From the first quarter Lakewood found themselves in a hole early, going down by seven they would never close the gap as the lead grew larger. The Jaguars opened up the game with 14 points establishing their tempo in the first eight. The visiting Leopards were unable to keep up with them getting half that of the home team with only seven.
Things were much closer in the second quarter a point being the only difference, though Lakewood wasn’t able to take the lead before the break. With 12 more points added on by Northampton the Leopards were right behind them going 11. With the first half concluded the Jags remained in front by eight, the score 26-18.
The Lady Leopards didn’t turn things around in the second half, their third quarter performance matching that of the first period. Dropping in offensive production they went for only seven points again as they continued to trail. The Jaguars also had their worse showing of the game in the third with only 10 points but that didn’t hinder their lead.
Both teams had their best quarters on the offensive side of the ball in the fourth and final frame. Three points was the difference this time that was still in favor of Northampton County. The Jags won the quarter 15-12 solidifying their win by 14 points and bringing a close to Lakewood’s season.
Sallena Oates was the leading scorer again she finished with 12 points, Tamia Rich backed her up with 10 points. Season scoring leader Kiarye Bailey was held in check only getting seven and India Dixon rounded out lead scorers with six.
“I’m super, super proud of my girls. We had such a rough start, but all the hard work paid off in the end. We never gave up and had a great opportunity to advance and enter the playoffs,” said head coach Vonnie McNeil on their season. “Even winning a playoff game at home was an honor for us. Great season we will cherish.”
Lakewood ends the year with an appearance in the second round of the 1A state playoffs. They were runners-up in the conference tournament and had an overall record of 11-14.
Reach Michael Hardison at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.