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Lakewood tops East Lake for boys basketball conference title

The Spartans never trail in claiming Pinellas County supremacy.
The Lakewood boys basketball team celebrates after beating East Lake for the Pinellas County Athletic Conference championship on Friday. [BOB PUTNAM  |  Times]
The Lakewood boys basketball team celebrates after beating East Lake for the Pinellas County Athletic Conference championship on Friday. [BOB PUTNAM | Times]
Published Feb. 8

ST. PETERSBURG — For four quarters, Jamille Reynolds was shoved, grabbed, clutched and prodded. It did not matter.

The Lakewood power forward showed a remarkable nose for the ball. He tussled for rebounds, swatted shots and made life miserable for every East Lake player who entered the paint.

Entering Friday’s Pinellas County Athletic Conference championship game, the Spartans knew they had a considerable height advantage with the 6-foot-9 Reynolds manning the middle. After all, the Eagles have no player on the roster taller than 6-4.

The size difference paid off from the start. Despite drawing plenty of attention, Reynolds was able to make buckets. That also left open others, such as Oteman Delancy and TJ Tampa, who hit long-range shots. Showing its balance, Lakewood jumped out to a comfortable lead and never trailed in a 57-50 victory.

It all started with Reynolds.

“Jamille is the most dominant player to come around here in a long time, if ever,” Lakewood coach Anthony Lawrence said. “That was our objective. Let Jamille control the lane and not let any of the other guys for East Lake have good games.”

Related: Seven Tampa Bay boys basketball teams with the best shot at reaching state

Reynolds, a UCF signee, scored twice within the first two minutes. Then others got involved, mainly Tampa, who scored on consecutive dunks to give the Spartans a 16-7 lead in the first quarter.

The advantage eventually grew to 29-12. Soon after, Reynolds went to the bench to rest, partly because of foul trouble. The Eagles (21-3) took advantage and closed out the first half on a 9-0 run to cut it to 29-21.

In the third quarter, East Lake got it to 34-31 after a 3-pointer by Dean Gabrelcik. The Eagles could not get any closer.

Lakewood (21-4) got back into a rhythm with Reynolds working inside, and Tampa and Delancy continuing to make shots from the perimeter. Tampa finished with 17 points, Delancy added 15 and Reynolds finished with 13.

“This feels good to go out and show that we were best in the county,” Reynolds said.

East Lake missed out on repeating as conference champion, one of its goals this season. Dionte Blanch led all scorers with 26 points.

“(Lakewood) just had a better game plan,” Eagles coach Britt Taylor said. “They sat (Reynolds) down there and we didn’t have an answer for him. Our kids are always going to battle and fight back. I just didn’t put them in a good enough position to be successful.”


  1. The Jesuit High bench celebrates a home run hit by BJ Graham during a scrimmage against Lake Wales on Feb. 11.
  2. Florida State's Elizabeth Mason (5) is on deck Friday as fans pack the stands and line up along the fence during the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater.
  3. The high school baseball season is in full swing starting with Monday's Steve Georgiadis Memorial Tournament at Seminole High.
  4. Team USA's Bubba Nickles gets a hit against the Liberty University Flames at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational on Wednesday.
  5. Shorecrest's Samuel Idinge poses with a team award. Created by graduated senior Brendan Smith last year "from PVC found in the locker room and a soccer ball," each gold ring indicates a team victory. Saturday's region semifinal win over Indian Rocks Christian will add ring  No. 15.
  6. Jesuit beats Land O' Lakes 4-3 on Saturday night in the Class 5A region semifinals.
  7. Liberty coach Dot Richardson watches her team from the dugout before facing Team USA at the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational.
  8. Tampa Catholic senior Kobe Knox led all scorers with 28 points in an 85-57 victory over district rival Lakewood on Friday night.
  9. St. Petersburg's Alexa Goldberg, seen here from a game earlier this season, notches the final PK on Friday to send the Green Devils to the region final.
  10. From left, Seminole's Parker Conitz, Joey Schweitzer, Rafael Oriano and Sam Denor pose with the Class 6A, District 10 trophy Friday.
  11. A tight fourth quarter vs. Seffner Christian on Friday night goes Berkeley Prep's way in part because of a key 6-0 run.
  12. Land O' Lakes senior Mekhi Perry, seen here in a game against Zephyrhills earlier this season, scores 34 against the Bulldogs in Friday's district title match.