Gators turn the tides with 78-45 victory over Atlanta

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After finally ending their losing streak last week to their undefeated rival, Many, the Lakeview Gators were ready to continue to fight for a top seed in the playoffs. The next bout that showed up on the fight card was the Atlanta Bulldogs Friday, Feb. 5, which also happened to be Senior Night for the Gators.

Atlanta struck first, coming from an and-1 conversion at the line, but it didn’t take long for the Gators to strike back. Javonte Howard hit a three on the following possession. Lonzo Driver then drove in and knocked down a beautiful floater. Atlanta countered with back to back scores in the paint.

CJ Washington, a senior, put up the next four for the Gators, coming from a layup and two free throws. Howard got a layup and second chance point to fall before Washington again went off, scoring three back to back driving layups to give him 10 points in the first quarter alone.

Mike Shields finished the first quarter of his Senior Night with a layup close to the buzzer as the Gators led 24-11 at the end of one. Dillon Pikes got his first points of the night at the start of the second and kicked off a 14-4 run for the Gators.

With about three minutes remaining in the half, Howard threw up a floater that didn’t fall, but Pikes came out of nowhere for the rebound and threw down a monstrous put back dunk. Atlanta’s last nine points in the quarter came from the charity stripe. Still, Lakeview had double the Bulldogs points at the end of the half, 46-23.

Washington continued his exemplary night scoring the first four for Lakeview. It was nothing but back and forth ball for the entirety of the third quarter. Both teams scored 14 points in the third keeping Lakeview up 60-37.

Lakeview seniors scored nine of the team’s 18 points in the fourth. The highlight of the night came within the final 30 seconds as Udonis Jones, the Lakeview Center who had has senior year taken away due to a broken ankle, got inside and scored his first and only points of the season as the crowd erupted. It was a special ending to a special night. Lakeview walked away with one of their biggest wins of the year, 78-45.

The seniors scored a combined 33 points, highlighted by Washington, who scored a career high 17. Lakeview comes off back to back wins and will face cross river foes, the Red River Bulldogs, this Friday.

In Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, print edition