The Lakeview Gators knew they were going to have to step up their game. The championship this year was up for grabs to anybody. The last team they had to face was Jonesboro before District action began. The Tigers have been a top 10 team in 2A for the majority of the year, so the Gators knew a win would not be easy.
The game started of with Javonte Howard sending a pass through the defense’s heads to find a wide open Dillon Pikes under the goal. The Tigers answers with a basket coming from some post work inside. The Tigers got the ball again, but Pikes read the pass and got an easy steal and fast break. Howard then got his own two of the game on a drive to the goal. Jonesboro countered with a three followed by some second chance points. Lakeview owned the rest of the first quarter. Lonzo Driver got his defender in the air on a pump fake to get him open for a nice midrange jumper.
Andre Sowell sunk his first point from the free throw line, following a spot up three on the next possession. On Jonesboro’s next possession, Driver clamped up his man on defense and forced a five second call. This happened with just enough time left for Howard to come down and hit a three before the quarter ended, pushing Lakeview’s lead to 15-7.
The Tigers made it a one possession game in the second quarter after starting it off on a 6-0 run. This run ended by Mykel Slaughter going to work inside and scoring in the post. Mike Shields scored his first of the game when he pulled up a couple yards behind the three points line and swished it. Sowell knocked down another three for the last points of the half to give Lakeview a 23-13 lead at the half. Jonesboro opened up the second half making back to back threes, but this did not faze the Gators. They controlled the entire tempo of the quarter, slowing the pace and scoring eight straight before the Tigers could knock down another three. Sowell made a free throw with a couple minutes left but those were the last of the third. Lakeview led by double digits at 32-22 at the end of the third.
This is where everything got turned around. Jonesboro open up the fourth with a fast break, followed by a quick three to cut the lead in half. Pikes got inside for the first time since the beginning of the game and sunk a layup. The Tigers countered with some second chance points. Howard made his only field goal of the quarter as he drove inside for two. Jonesboro then went on a 6-0 run to make it a one point game with the clock ticking down. Howard and Pikes both went one for two at the line on the next couple possessions. The Tigers fought all the way back and tie the game with a corner three.
Shields was fouled on a drive to the goal and sunk both free throws, but the Gators weren’t able to box out on defense and let the Tigers get second chance points to tie it right back up. Shields drove to the goal again, this time getting hit and knocking down the shot. He was back at the line and gave his team a three point lead. The Tigers dropped in a layup inside to make it a one point contest again. Shields returned to the line for the third straight possession, but with only a minute left, he only sinks one.
About 40 seconds later, the Tigers worked their way inside and delivered an and-one to tie, plus the free throw to lead, and ultimately win. Lakeview lost their second consecutive heartbreaker, 44-46.