By Marco Clark, exclusive to the Times
It was all thrills for Gator fans Wednesday night as the Lakeview Gators took down their 2A rivals, the Mansfield Wolverines 102-52. Gators head coach Brian Williams used a combination of small players for quickness and pressure. The quickness of the small players translated into fast breaks on the offense and high volume pressure on defense. This caused seven turnovers that Lakeview used to pull away from the Wolverines early on in the first half. In the first quarter Ty Washington and Christopher Small helped set the tone of the game scoring 12 unanswered points giving Lakeview a comfortable lead. Coach Brian Williams did not slow the action down.
He encouraged his players to continue with the full court pressure which resulted in the Wolverines turning the ball over out of bounds. The Gators would close out the first with a 22-8 lead. During the second quarter Coach Williams went to his bench inserting William Brew and Michael Shields. Brew helped provide a strong defensive presence forcing two turnovers while cleaning up on the offensive and defensive boards while Shields contributed on the offensive side of the ball hitting a three-pointer while getting two assists in 2 minutes. Mansfield had a better showing during the second, scoring 20 points. Lakeview outscored Mansfield 27-20 to head into halftime with a 49-28 lead.
Then they picked-up where they left off by at scoring at will while preventing the Wolverines from using their height advantage low in the paint. The majority of the Wolverines shots where forced on the outside of the paint and they were just not falling.
This is what Coach Williams said he wanted, “I knew across the board that Mansfield was taller than our guys so we needed to force them to take shots from the outside. We were able to do this by forcing them to make more passes than they wanted which in turn forced them to shoot from the outside.”
The Gators outscored the Wolverines 27-8 in third to extend their lead to 76-36. Going into the final quarter, the Gators Zarious Lewis, Christopher Small and Ty Washington took no prisoners. They continued to pour on the scoring and defense on both ends of the court. They scored a combined 10 points before Coach Williams took the out of the game. The Gators would go on to win the game, doubling what the Wolverines scored, 102-52.