Basketball: No. 2 Palm Beach Lakes boys handle No. 3 Atlantic
Thursday, December 13, 2012
by The Palm Beach Post
Second-ranked Palm Beach Lakes isn't bigger than most area large-school teams. The Rams aren't always the best shooters or rebounders, either.
But Thursday's 66-44 demolition of third-ranked Atlantic put on display just about every reason why Lakes is considered the best large-school squad in Palm Beach County.
Lakes (6-0) put the brakes on Atlantic's up-and-down style, beat host Atlantic to nearly every loose ball and squashed two spirited Atlantic rallies. Quincy Rideau (14 points) led four Lakes players who scored in double figures.
"We wanted to eliminate their transition baskets," Lakes coach Lorenzo Hands said. "We focused on shrinking the gaps, meaning we had to play great team defense. I'd like to take all the credit, but every team has an off-night. (Atlantic) will be back."
For Atlantic (6-2) to rise to Lakes's level -- and odds are the teams will meet in the Class 7A playoffs -- the Eagles need to find some answers to coach Brad Flaig's biggest questions.
"Can we be disciplined for full games?" he asked. "You practice like you play. You have to strap them up and play every game. We have to be disciplined. Right now, that's our biggest thing. They have to learn from a night like this."
Early on, Gito St. Fort (14 points) and J.D. Coleman did much of the damage -- St. Fort with his crafty finishing around the basket and Coleman with his disruptive defense and fantastic court vision. Rideau and Quinn Cole (11 points) took over in the second half, with Rideau's seven-point scoring burst ending Atlantic's best run of the night.
Atlantic fought back to a 39-35 deficit thanks to a 10-1 third-quarter run. At that point, Lakes was taking bad shots and allowing easy ones on defense. Atlantic's comeback snapped Lakes back into gear, however, and the Rams responded with a 27-9 run to finish the game.
Dwyer 65, Palm Beach Central 56: Derek Stephens had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists and Jordan Gonzalez added 14 points and eight rebounds to lead the Panthers (2-4) past the Broncos in Palm Beach Gardens.
Cardinal Newman 82, Berean Christian 40: Andrew Owers scored 14 points to lead the Crusaders (4-4) to the rout of the Bulldogs in West Palm Beach.
Summit Christian 76, Pope John Paul II 44: Shane Phillips had 24 points, seven rebounds and three assists and Josue Levy added 15 points, 12 rebounds and five steals to lead the Saints (4-4) to the rout of the Eagles in West Palm Beach.
Pahokee 70, Clewiston 25: James Johnson scored 16 points to lead the Blue Devils (4-2) to the rout of the Tigers in Pahokee.
Glades Day 63, Jupiter Christian 54: Jonathon Leon scored 29 points to lead the Gators (4-0) over the Eagles (1-4) in Belle Glade.
Oxbridge Academy 67, Dreyfoos 55: Zach Shell had 21 points and Jake Gephart added eight to lead the Thunderwolves (7-2) over the Jaguars in West Palm Beach.
Boca Raton Christian 63, FAU high 25: R.J. Walsh scored 19 points and Heber Michel added 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Blazers (7-2) to the rout of the Owls in Boca Raton.
Lake Worth Christian 73, Donna Klein Academy 51: Jeantal Cylla had 26 points and four rebounds and Junior Luxama added nine points and 10 rebounds to lead the Defenders (6-1) over the Eagles (2-5) Boca Raton.