Lakeview 69/Many 58.
The Lakeview Lady Gators have been on a roll lately. Coming into Tuesday, they had won seven consecutive games, as well as an undefeated District record of 3-0. Nothing looked like it was going to change when they went up against the Many Lady Tigers for the second time this season. Last time, these two rivals faced off, Lakeview walked away with a nine point victory, so it was no doubt this was going to be an exciting one to watch.
The game started off very slowly considering two of the best teams in 2A were going head to head. No points were scored until about two minutes had passed, when Jameisha Fisher knocked down both her free throws after being fouled on a shot. Her sister, Janaiya, followed on the next possession with a drive to the goal for a tough layup. Once again Jameisha, Lakeview’s sharpshooter, found herself open on the wing and let the three fly, immediately followed by Janaiya doing the exact same and knocking a three down from the corner. The Fisher sisters opened the game on a 10-0 run and got the crowd on their feet in a packed gym. Many finally scored after calling a timeout when they got bumped and hit 2/2 at the line. Timberly Washington did the same on the next Lady Gator possession.
She had an amazing night at the stripe. Though the momentum was swinging in Lakeview’s direction for the majority of the first quarter, Many finished the quarter with a 9-2 run to turn the double digit Lakeview lead into just three at the buzzer, with a score of 14-11.
It didn’t take long for Many to turn that deficit into a tie game. They scored the first three points of the quarter early. Zenobia Poydras, the next possession, went to work in the post and put up her classic turnaround hook. Many drove to the goal for two after that, but Poydras followed with same thing once the ball hit her hands again. Once again, Many held the momentum on their end to finish off the quarter, ending the first half on a 16-6 run, and holding the lead at halftime, 32-24.
Lakeview came out of the break running, determined to live up to their hype this season. Many struck first, knocking down a free throw area jumper and pushing their lead to double digits. On Lakeview’s first possession, Poydras was once again working in the paint, something Many was unable to stop all night. This was followed by Janaiya Fisher getting a wide open fast break score. The older sister, Jameisha, got a steal, went up for a shot and missed, but come back down with the rebound and put it back up and in for two. Many countered with another jumper, but once again the Lady Gators found Poydras on the block, and fed her for the easy field goal.
The tides turned again in Many’s favor as they hit back to back threes to increase their lead to double digits out of nowhere. Washington made her first field goal of the night, following up with a trip to the line. Many hit the open midrange once again on the next possession, something they did all night long. Lakeview then went on a seven-zip run, highlighted by Saniyah Marshall’s second chance bucket in the paint. Many was fouled and knocked down the shot for an and-1 to end the run. Jameisha Fisher commanded the line on two straight possessions, knocking down three of four shots to make it a one point game. Many drove to the hoop with 30 seconds remaining to make it a three point game.
Coach Dewaski Fuller told his team to take one shot to finish out the third. It came from Janaiya Fisher driving inside, getting fouled and still making her shot, as well the plus one at the line with eight seconds remaining to tie the game 49-49 at the end of the third. This was all Lakeview needed to put the ball in their court for the remainder of the game.
They outscored Many 20-9 in the fourth, and walked away as victors with a score of 69-58. Jameisha Fisher led the way for her team, leading all scorers with 23 points and helping Lakeview secure a District title for the first time since 2005. It’s been a long time coming, but the Lakeview Lady Gators are back on top.