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Region boys basketball: Land O'Lakes waits too late to rally, falls to Winter Haven

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Tue. February 21, 2012 | The Ledger

WINTER HAVEN — Devon Walker scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half and Winter Haven advanced to the region final in Class 6A with a 60-42 victory over Land O’Lakes.

Winter Haven (20-7) confused Land O’Lakes with a variety of presses early, holding the Gators (22-7) to 12 points in the first half. Land O’Lakes fell behind by as many as 28 before rallying.

“From our scouting report, they didn’t play a lot of teams that pressured them,” Winter Haven coach Tyrone Woodside said. “We have a lot of quick and athletic players and we took advantage of that.”

The Gators never shot a free throw until the middle of the third quarter. They were down, 45-17, late in the quarter. Ernest McClendon, who led Land O’Lakes with 16 points, hit a 3-pointer for the first of 13 straight Gator points to close out the frame.

The Gators trimmed Winter Haven’s lead to 11 with 2:06 to go, but the Blue Devils pulled the ball out and Walker iced the victory with five straight free throws.
 

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