No. 2 Palm Beach Lakes rebounds to beat No. 8 Wellington in D-Hop consolation game
Saturday, December 29, 2012
by Jeff Greer
Palm Beach Lakes didn't tip off when it wanted to on Saturday night, but the Rams played as well as they could considering their disappointment.
Second-ranked Lakes staved off multiple rallies by No. 8 Wellington to win 72-62 in the third-place game of the D-Hop Classic, the area's most anticipated holiday tournament, hosted by Lakes.
Lakes (10-1) lost Friday in the semifinals of the winners' bracket, dropping a 60-59 decision to Summit Christian.
"I'm very proud with the fact we had a little adversity but we picked up the pieces in 24 hours and played well (Saturday)," Lakes coach Lorenzo Hands said. "(Friday) was a tough game and a tough way to lose, so I'm glad our guys turned around and didn't let it affect them too much."
Once again Lakes received a balanced scoring effort. Eight Rams scored, with Kamil Williams making all 17 of his free throws and scoring 21 points. Gito St. Fort added 13 points, and big man Max Caines tallied 10 points and eight rebounds.
Wellington (11-4) fell behind quickly, trailing 9-0. After that, the Wolverines spent the entire game trying to catching up. Three times after the first quarter Wellington got within six points but never got closer.
Dondre Duffus (26 points) and Alex Peavler (17) caught fire in the second half and pushed Lakes with a combined seven three-pointers, but Wellington coach Matt Colin said his team simply looked tired as it tried to come back.
"We played two top teams in the state and we were competitive," said Colin, whose team lost 66-58 to nationally ranked Pompano Beach-Blanche Ely in Friday's semifinals. "I think that says we've got a bunch of tough kids, competitors. But (Friday) wore on us. We have to be able to play games like this, back-to-back, if we want to win our district."
John I. Leonard defeated Glades Central 76-70 in the fifth-place game. Remone Birch scored 31 points as the Lancers routed the Raiders. Pompano Beach-Blanche Elyy (12-1), ranked No. 22 in the country by MaxPreps, beat Summit Christian 54-37 in the championship game. Shane Phillips had nine points and Richard Gaetano had five points for the Saints (9-5).
Palm Beach Lakes High's #50 Kamil Williams tries to shoot over Wellington High's #21 Stephen Gordon. Palm Beach Lakes High vs Wellington High go head to head in the semifinals of the D Hop Holiday Basketball Tournament Saturday night, December 29, 2012. (Taylor Jones/The Palm Beach Post)