By Marco Clark, exclusive to the Times
The Lakeview Gators hit the road Tuesday night to face off against Lions of Capitol High school in Baton Rouge. With a standing room only crowd, head coach Brian Williams and the Gators were intent on extending their win streak in the playoffs. Before the start of the game Williams said his team thrives on being in a hostel environment. He said he has tried to instill confidence in his players to feel as comfortable on the road as they do at home. With that mindset they are the home team every game they play.”
The Lions won the tip-off and first possession of the game. They converted that possession into points. The Gators responded quickly on the other end of the court with Nate Braden sinking a jump shot just inside of the free throw line. The Lions inbounded the ball for their second possession but lost the ball from a bad pass that sailed over the head of the intended player. Gator Udonis Jones inbounded to Christopher Small who advanced the court to find Ty Washington who, in turn, forced the Lions defense to collapse on him. He passed to Zarious Lewis for an easy lay-up.
During the first half, the Gators play on the court continually ebbed and flowed. They did not seem to have a stretch of consistency. During three minutes of play their shooting, rebounding and defense worked well together, but later in the same quarter things went awry. That sporadic play left the Gators going into half time down by 9, 32-23.
Coming out of the half Lakeview seemed to have found their groove and went on a upward swing of offensive dominance. Lewis continued his offensive output from every position on the court. Braden, Jones, Washington and Small continued to lead by example. The attitude change improved the urgency of play for Lakeview. The Gators turned things around by outscoring the Lions by 16 points in the second half.
Lakeview claimed the win, 60-53, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the playoffs. They will face No. 4 seed Ville Platte Bulldogs Friday at home.