Sebring whips Lake Placid
JIM TAYLORSEBRING - In the overall scheme of things, the boys basketball game between the Sebring Blue Streaks and the Lake Placid Green Dragons meant little in overall district standings, but it meant a lot in pride as the Blue Streaks won a hard-fought game by a score of 57-49 on Thursday night.
Published: February 2, 2013
Published: February 2, 2013
More importantly, this is the last time either team will see any action before districts start next week.
The game started out as a 3-point shooting contest. Sebring led 1-0 when Lake Placid's Anfernee Munnings and Heath Harris buried back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Green Dragons up 6-1.
Sebring answered as Decaris Jones drained a pair from behind the arc to give Sebring a 7-6 lead.
"There were a lot of them," said Sebring boys basketball coach Princeton Harris. "But that's not what we wanted because we knew we could establish an inside game."
The Green Dragons answered that by going on a seven-point run to take a 13-7 lead, but Sebring trimmed its deficit to 14-12 heading to the second period.
Jones gave Sebring a brief lead to start the second quarter by making his third 3-pointer of the game, which was quickly answered by Harris to put Lake Placid up 17-15. The Green Dragons expanded that lead to 20-15 with 5:20 left in the second quarter.
The Blue Streaks would only give up one more basket in the final minutes of the quarter while scoring 13 to go into the half with a 28-22 lead.
"Sebring did well," said Lake Placid boys basketball coach Jon Million. "They adjusted to what we were doing offensively by playing us a little tighter, so we tried to change a few things offensively. Give some people a break and put some new bodies in there."
The Green Dragons opened up the second half by going on a 10-4 run, again highlighted by 3-point baskets by Munnings and Harris. The basket by Harris tied the game at 32 with 4:45 remaining in the third quarter.
Sebring led 43-37 heading into the final eight minutes.
After extending the lead to 47-39, Sebring was called for a foul and then a technical foul. Munnings made all four free throws for the Green Dragons. Due to the technical foul, Lake Placid also gained possession and quickly scored to pull within 47-45.
Once again, Jones stepped up for the Blue Steaks as he scored to stem the Lake Placid surge and helped the Blue Streaks regain their six-point lead at 51-45.
"That's a senior for you; he definitely did," said Harris, "I was really upset with that (technical foul) actually, but they stepped up and played when they had to. Especially Jones, but that is what you expect from a senior."
The turning point came with 2:20 left in the game and the score still 51-45, when Sebring's Connor Cook stole the ball around midcourt and completed the fast break for the easy basket to give Sebring a 53-45 lead.
Both teams scored four points each in the final minutes, all on free throws, as Sebring ended their regular season with a victory over Lake Placid.
Both coaches admitted that the primary focus of this game was to prepare for their respective district tournaments next week.
"That's what the whole plan was for tonight," said Harris. "Work on the inside game and start prepping ourselves for Tuesday night against Kathleen."
Million felt his team played hard all night, but also noted that missed layups down the stretch as well as in the first half hurt them.
"Our focus this week was to get ready for Monday," said Million. "We go to Avon Park to start districts against Mulberry. We plan on playing three days next week and this was a good step for us. We came out of the game healthy and ready to play on Monday."
Sebring will host the Class 6A-District 9 tournament, which starts on Monday, but Sebring doesn't play until Tuesday when they square off against the Kathleen Red Devils.
Lake Placid will travel to Avon Park on Monday for the Class 4A-District 10 tournament as they face the Mulberry Panthers in the first game.