By Marco Clark, exclusive to the Times
The Lakeview Gators were set to face parish rival St. Mary Tigers during Lakeview’s Jamboree Thursday night. The game consisted of two 10-minute halves making it hard for both teams to find their groove. Scoring opportunities on both ends came at a premium, but they made the most of opportunities afforded to them. Starting in the first half, the Tigers Thomas Howell won the opening tip-off giving St. Mary’s control and the first offensive possession. The Tigers spread the Gators out on the perimeter with Howell sinking in the lane. Adam Parker locates Howell in the paint for a two-point lay-up giving the Tigers the early two-point lead of the game. The Gators inbounded the ball to point guard Christopher Small who advanced up the court an found a unguarded Ty Washington for a easy two-point play to tie it up.
The Tigers Tim Lyddy advanced up the court to find Howell for his second shot of the game. Lakeview would inbound the ball for the second possession. This time Small scored on a drive to the basket making the score 4-4. The Tigers take over, but were unable to convert on this possession. The Gators Zarious Lewis gained control of the ball, and drove the length of the court for the open lay-up. Gators lead 6-4. The Tigers take possession of the ball with this trip down the court paying dividends. Ethan Burns would pull up behind the three-point line to give the Tigers a one point lead.
The Gators take over. Small brings the ball up the court and passes to Lewis who finds Washington for his second two-pointer. The Tigers gain possession after inbounding to Adam Parker who finds Josh Moore with 1:32 left on the clock. Moore fakes a two-point attempt getting the defender to leave his feet. Moore then makes a beeline for the goal but gets fouled on the lay-up attempt. He missed the first attempt but hits on the second to tie the game 8-8.
The Gators inbounded to Small who holds the ball to run down the clock. With 15 seconds left, Lewis hits a jumper to take lead into halftime, 10-8. The second half was all Gators. Washington hit a three-pointer to get ball running early in the second half. Gators up 13-8. The Tigers did not and surrender, they inbounded the ball to Parker who located Howell outside the lane. Howell took one dribble with his back towards the goal, turns, shoots and hits the short jumper in the lane.
The Gators would have a stretch run of three consecutive possessions of unanswered points including Jordan Hardy’s big three-pointer that extended the lead 20-10. Howell was fouled on a two-point attempt and hit both free throws. The returning 2A District Player of the Year Zarious Lewis caught fire hitting two three-pointers while going 4-4 at the free throw line giving the Gators the win with the final score of 30-14.