Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

4A boys basketball: Lakewood looking rejuvenated in postseason

Lakewood’s Dominic Lane, center, grabs a rebound ahead of Blake’s George Taliaferro, left, and Michael McFarland.  On the Web: Watch video highlights from the Lakewood-Blake game at tampabay.com/hometeam

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Lakewood’s Dominic Lane, center, grabs a rebound ahead of Blake’s George Taliaferro, left, and Michael McFarland. On the Web: Watch video highlights from the Lakewood-Blake game at tampabay.com/hometeam

TAMPA — Dan Wright was a happy man following Lakewood's region semifinal win over Blake. Almost as if he never thought this night would never get here.

No, really. Ever.

"Hey, I'll tell you what, if you had seen us earlier in the year, you'd know how I'm feeling right now," Wright said. "I'm elated."

Playing possibly their most complete game of the season, the once-stumbling Spartans rolled past Blake on Tuesday night 79-66 to advance to the region final for the 13th time under Wright.

Lakewood will host Fort Myers, a 71-39 winner over Naples.

For a team that lost three straight at the end of the season, the Spartans (22-7) look like they are ready to make another run at a state title after turning in an effort that featured great defense, solid inside play and strong outside shooting, notably from guard LaDarius Barnes.

The senior scored 16 points in the pivotal second quarter, and finished with a career-high 39.

"I can't take the credit, I give it all to my teammates," Barnes said. "Mike (Singleton) got good penetration in the lane and kicked it out to me and I was able to knock the shots down."

Ahead 14-13 after one quarter, Barnes extended the Lakewood advantage by opening the second quarter with his first 3-pointer. He hit another, then scored and was fouled to complete a three-point play, then got fouled on a 3-pointer and completed a four-point play to make it 39-25.

Andre Smith, who led Blake (25-5) with 33 points, nailed a 30-footer at the buzzer, but Lakewood's lead was already insurmountable. Alvin Cunningham's tip-in capped an 11-3 run in the third that helped open the lead to as many as 22.

"Right now," said a smiling Wright, "we are probably playing our best basketball of the season."

. Up next

Region finals

All games Saturday at 7 p.m.

6A: St. Petersburg at

Orlando Dr. Phillips

5A: Clearwater at Sickles

4A: Fort Myers at Lakewood

4A boys basketball: Lakewood looking rejuvenated in postseason 02/23/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 11:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi goes on 10-day DL with back strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi is hoping his struggles this season can be tied directly to the lower-back strain he has tried to pitch through since spring training. Toward that end, the Rays placed Odorizzi on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday retroactive to Tuesday.

    Rays center fielder Mallex Smith smiles after hitting a single advancing runners in the third inning. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.