By Robbie Robertson / Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
The Lamar Raiders had one of their better shooting nights of the season on Friday.
It just wasn’t as good as the visitors from Leake Acacdemy.
Leake banged in 12 three-pointers and held off a furious rally by Lamar to take an 84-71 win in nonconference play.
With the win, Leake improves to 25-4 on the season while Lamar falls to 8-18.
“I thought we shot the ball pretty well,” Lamar coach Charles Shaffer said. “They just shot it so much better than we did. I told the kids after the game that tonight was probably the first time in my coaching career that one of my teams gave up 84 points and I wasn’t really mad about it.”
The Rebels were led by junior sharpshooter Alex Shepard, who had a game-high 28 points with six three-pointers, including three straight to start the second half and give Leake a 54-36 lead.
“I thought we shot really well and then when we went up by about 16 or 18 there, we just got lazy on defense,” Leake coach Phil Shepard said. “Then Lamar starts making a lot of shot and all of sudden it’s an eight-point game. We’ve got to do a better job of stopping people on defense.”
After going up 54-36, the Raiders stormed back with an 11-4 run that was capped off on a Brett Shaffer bucket with 3:13 left in the third to cut the score to 58-47.
With Leake leading 66-53 at the end of the third, Lamar went on a 9-2 spurt to cut the lead to seven at 68-61 on a Jonathan Young bucket with 5:22 left to play.
But Leake gradually pulled away and came away with the 13-point win.
“I was proud of the way our kids played,” Shaffer said. “We got down several times and just kept on fight back. I can take that kind of effort against a good basketball team.”
Lamar will host Parklane today and travel to East Rankin on Tuesday to wind up the regular season. Leake travels to Oak Hill today before beginning district play next week.
After Shepard’s 28 points, Tristan Hernandez had 19 for Leake, followed by Chipper Jones with 17 and Brandon Johnson with 13. Young had 24 points to lead Lamar while Lance Strickland had 14 and J.D. Roberts 12.
Leake girls 58
The Lady Raiders were no match for the visiting Rebelettes, the No. 1 ranked AA team in the MAIS.
Leake improved to 31-1 with the win while Lamar fell to 9-20 with the loss.
Lamar got the opening basket on a Morgan McDonald bucket before Leake ripped off 13 straight and led 15-4 at the end of the first.
Leake turned it on in the second quarter with a quick 10-2 run to lead 25-6 on an Anna Evans bucket with 4:34 left in the first half. The Rebelettes then went on an 18-0 run to lead 43-8 on a Jaycie Malone putback while Leake took a 45-10 halftime lead.
Mary Grace Key led Leake with 12 points while Jaycie Malone had 10 points. Karli Cruise led Lamar with nine points.