After suffering a tough loss to Millbrook on Tuesday, which tied them for second place in the Cap-8, the Pride rebounded Friday night against Wakefield with a 76-67 victory.
Seniors such as Duncan Hammock and Cody Molineux were given the opportunity for their first career start on varsity and both were key factors in the first quarter. Hammock played well defensively and finished with four points, two blocks, and one steal. Molineux finished with three points, that came off of a three, helping extend Leesville’s lead in the first quarter.
Alex Hunter and Jonathan Mebane, seniors, both contributed to the team’s success. All four seniors exited the game halfway through the first quarter and received a huge ovation from the crowd.
Hunter and Mebane have been instrumental in the four years they have played at Leesville under Russ Frazier, head coach, starting almost every game since their freshman year. Both players have surpassed previous players at Leesville to become the two all-time leading scorers. “Alex and Jonathan are great people. Words cannot express what they mean to me. I appreciate everything they have done for me and our basketball program,” said Frazier.
In the second quarter, Wakefield tightened up defensively and limited the Pride’s fast break and transition opportunities. Leesville held a 27-24 lead at the half with DJ Horne, sophomore, leading the Pride in scoring with seven points, after a first half that saw a multitude of players score for Leesville.
The second half was a different story than the first for both teams. Leesville began to extend their lead during the third quarter and kept that lead for the remainder of the game. The Pride got fancy towards the end of the game with some high-flying dunks that excited the Loonies.
RJ Wilson, sophomore, scored a season high of ten points, playing one of his best games of the season. Jalen Benjamin, fourteen points, and Jonathan Mebane, twelve points, lead the Pride in scoring. The Pride played well throughout the game and made adjustments at halftime in order to keep the game out of reach. “I think we moved the ball well, but we still had a few lapses that need to be cleaned up before we begin the conference tournament. Overall, I was proud of my team’s effort,” said Frazier.
All together, Leesville played their up-tempo style against Wakefield, controlling the game from start to finish. All while gaining momentum before heading into the conference tournament on Tuesday, where they will face Wakefield again. “We have to continue to work like it’s day one. It is important for us to continue to build off of every game and practice. Our focus level and intensity level need to go way up in order to be successful in the postseason,” said Frazier.
Leesville begins Cap-8 tournament play on Tuesday at home against Wakefield beginning at 7:00 p.m. For updates on the game check out @LeesvilleMBB on Twitter.