Before Head Coach Brian Williams made a name for himself at Lakeview, he was the coach of the Pleasant Hill Eagles, where in his final year there, he won the Class C Championship in 2014. This year, he is attempting to lead Lakeview to their first back to back trip to the Top 28 since his first year in Campti.
It only be storybook that he visited his old stomping grounds when his Gators took a trip to Pleasant Hill Thursday, Jan. 7.
The game began with Lakeview’s leading scorer, Javonte Howard, hitting his signature pull up jumper. On the next possession, Gator PG Cameron Holden, who has been playing like a better version of himself the past couple weeks, made a beautiful outlet pass to Andre Sowell down the court for an easy two. Holden knocked down a couple at the line before Pleasant Hill countered with a fast break and their first points of the night. A minute or so later, Dillon Pikes went up and in for his first two of the night.
Pleasant Hill scored five straight before Mike Shields fought his way inside for a tough layup. The following possession for the Gators, Howard looked as if he was driving inside for a layup, but at the last second made a beautiful behind the back dime for a wide open three for Sowell. Pleasant Hill countered with a three of their own, but Howard took things into his own hands with another signature of his, the iso three.
The Eagles knocked down a midrange jumper, followed by a second chance bucket to keep it close at the end of the first, as Lakeview led 17-14. Pleasant hill opened up the second with a 12-9 run, with every Gator point by Javonte Howard, who had 11 in the quarter. A fast break dunk for the Eagles was enough to tie the game up close to the end, and keep it that way come halftime, with a score of 28-28.
The Eagles came out running in the second half, keeping up with the Gators for the majority of the third quarter. Once Lakeview gets it going, its hard to stop. The Gators finished the quarter with a 10-4, enough to give them the lead at 45-41 at the end of the third. Lakeview is a top team in the state for a reason, and it’s almost impossible to stop them if they are putting on the pressure. Pleasant Hill got a one point lead with a few minutes remaining, but Lakeview finished it off with a 9-0 run and walked away as victors with a score of 64-56.
Howard showed he was not to be messed with in this one, dropping a season high 29 points and leading Lakeview to their 13th win of the year, tied for the most in all of Class 2A. It was a nice trip down memory lane for Coach Williams, but he plans on taking back his District Crown this year, and with all four teams in District 3-2A in the top 12, three of which are top eight, no free passes will be handed out.
Every game is a business trip, and don’t expect that to change any time soon for Lakeview.