Young Gators blow out opponent in first round

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Shocking everyone who watched them this season, the Lakeview Gators took this young squad and ran up the rankings, clinching a 6-seed for the playoffs. Their first matchup was against 27-seed Northeast Friday, Feb. 26.

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The game started off with Javonte Howard working his defender for a sidestep three. Northeast got inside on their first possession and scored a quick two. Andre Sowell got his first points when he took a drive from the corner for an easy two. The Gators got the ball back but Northeast got a steal for an easy fast break.

Cameron Holden, who has really come into his own the past couple of weeks, got bumped on a shot and still hit it for an and-1, but couldn’t convert the free throw. Sowell got his first steal on the next play for another fast break followed by Northeast throwing a great outlet pass for a score on their end.

Lakeview then turned it on, finishing the first quarter on a 12-4 run to make the score 20-9 at the end of the first.

The two CJ’s for Lakeview, CJ Jones and CJ Washington, controlled the second quarter. Lakeview outscored Northeast 24-8 in the second. The CJ’s combined for 17 of Lakeview’s points. These two young men have shown great ability to come off the bench and play great minutes for Coach Brian Williams, which will be vital to the team’s playoff run.

CJ Jones put the dagger in the game right before halftime, hitting a catch and shoot three to push the lead to 44-17 as the teams headed to the locker rooms. The second half let Williams let his role players get some valuable experience. Lakeview walked away with another blowout victory, 67-46.

Their second round matchup is guaranteed to be a great game as they will play 11-seed Madison, one of the better teams in the state.

In the Thursday, March 4, 2021, print edition