After a third-quarter offensive explosion that lifted his team third straight region win, Lakeview Academy boys coach Seth Vining didn’t remember how it all started.
The Lions (4-7, 3-1 Region 8-A) missed their first five shots of the second half due to solid defensive pressure by Prince Avenue Christian, but nonetheless managed to score 22 points in the third quarter to secure a 49-38 win against the Wolverines on Saturday in Gainesville.
“I feel defensively, we played well the entire game,” Vining said. “And our press really gave us some opportunities.”
Tied 17-17 at the half, Lakeview’s Ross Biegler scored the Lions’ first basket in the third quarter on a layup with 6:30 left in the period. Austin Pearsom followed with a basket, and a 3-point play by Daniel Olvera kept the run going.
Then Biegler scored again — two minutes after his first basket of the half — with a jump shot that bounced off the rim three times before falling. Biegler finished with a team-high 11 points and six rebounds for the Lions.
“I thought Ross played the best game of his career tonight,” Vining added.
Biegler’s final basket of the third came thanks to good defensive pressure by Lakeview. After a missed Lakeview free throw and rebound by Prince Avenue (6-6, 1-3), the Lions forced a turnover which Biegler eventually converted into points with an easy layup.
“We wanted a low-scoring game early, and we got that,” Prince Avenue coach Danny Howell said. “It was just that four- or five-minute stretch that was the difference in the game.”
In the fourth quarter, Lakeview Academy kept up the defensive pressure, forcing turnovers and poor passes.
Austin Pearsom finished with eight points for the Lions. Olvera, Montgomery and Jackson Wells each finished with seven points for Lakeview Academy.
Daniel Howell scored a game-high 16 points with 11 rebounds for the Wolverines. Hunter Dant had eight points, six steals and three assists for Prince Avenue, and Felipe Howell finished with four blocked shots.
Lakeview Academy visits Social Circle, also 3-1 in the region, on Tuesday. Prince Avenue visits Athens Christian on Tuesday.
PRINCE AVENUE GIRLS 41, LAKEVIEW 36: The Lady Wolverines outscored Lakeview 14-1 in the third quarter and held off a run by the Lady Lions late in the fourth to secure the win Saturday in Gainesville.
Amber Howell (12 points) scored Prince Avenue’s first six points in the third quarter, followed immediately by a 3-pointer from Lydia Campbell that bounced up and in off the front edge of the rim to give the Lady Wolverines a 35-27 lead.
“We played well early,” Lakeview coach Buster Brown said. “But every time we had any missed communication, they got an open look and made the basket.”
Despite a sloppy third quarter, Lakeview rallied back to within 38-34 on one of Maddie Haymore’s five 3-pointers with only 3:05 left to play. Haymore scored a game-high 18 points for the Lady Lions (7-5, 2-2).
Louisa Jacobs finished with five points and eight assists for the Lady Lions, and Jamie Nixon had four points and nine rebounds.
Haley Soles led Prince Avenue (11-1, 3-1 Region 8-A) with 13 points, Campbell added seven points, and Destiny David had six assists and four steals for the Lady Wolverines. Prince Avenue only committed 11 turnovers, down from 24 on Friday night against Tallulah Falls.
Lakeview Academy visits Social Circle at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Prince Avenue visits Athens Christian on Tuesday.