LAKEWOOD – And they’re off.
Alex Jensen scores off the tip-off. After a steal on the full-court press Michael Harris lays one in. After another steal Jensen tallies a three-pointer. And that’s all within the first minute.
Watching Lakewood High School’s boys basketball team is like watching a horserace at Emerald Downs. If they would have kept up that pace, they would have tallied 224 points against Mount Vernon Christian Wednesday night.
Of course that would have been impossible, but they still tallied 90 points, while the Hurricanes only had 47. The Cougar press led to one turnover after another, with Jensen scoring 11 of his team-high 19 points in the early going, mostly after steals. A bucket by Austin Lane put the home team up 13-2 midway through the first period.
Jon Cox came off the bench and quickly added to the lead with six of his seven points, when Alex Coleman zoomed between a number of defenders for a layup Lakewood went up 21-9. But the Cougars took off their press and the Hurricanes came back to within 23-13 at the end of the period. Kaleb Duitsman hit a couple of buckets in the second quarter, but Mount Vernon couldn’t miss on its free throws and hit a couples of 3’s to close within 32-28. During that stretch Lakewood had trouble scoring inside, having a number of shots blocked.
But Lakewood went on a 12-3 run in the final 3:10 of the half to make it 44-31. Another drive by Coleman, a sweet pass from Duitsman to Jensen, two buckets by Adam Duran, and Jensen’s 3 at the buzzer keyed that outburst. In the third leg of the race, Lakewood was unstoppable, putting up 35 to only seven for the visitors. They coasted down the stretch for the win to make them 3-0. Besides Jensen, three others scored in double figures: Duitsman and Coleman with 14 each and Duran with 12. Lane had nine, Machai Harris seven, C.J. McClellan four and Morgan Stacey and Preston Kruse two each.