Basketball Jordan Lakewood

Boys’ Basketball: Lakewood Wins Thriller at Jordan

Even in the first half of Friday night’s Moore League showdown between Lakewood and Jordan, it already felt like the game was destined to come down to the final possession. Sure enough, the host Panthers got the ball back trailing by one with a little over six seconds on the clock.

Jordan’s Jaymari Redmond had a decent look at the possible game-winner, but the shot was denied by the outstretched arm of Alex Obi, who led the Lancers to a thrilling 71-70 victory in J-Town. The win keeps Lakewood (17-4, 7-1) in the Moore League title chase while handing a young Jordan (10-10, 3-3) team its third straight loss in league play.

“We pulled together to control the things that we can control,” said Lakewood head coach Duane Cooper after the win. “If we play hard and play together, we’ve got a pretty good chance to win against anybody. Tonight was one of those games where he needed one more stop than them, and we got it.”

The stop came via the long arm of Obi, who also led the Lancers with 18 points. His lay-in in the final minutes proved to be the game-winning bucket before he denied Jordan’s attempted answer at the buzzer.

“I just timed it, like I do,” said Obi of his game-clinching block. “When I time it, I block shots, and I said to myself, ‘I’m gonna get this’ and I got it.”


After a sloppy start to the game which featured a plethora of traveling calls and turnovers for both teams, Lakewood eventually got out to a 16-9 lead in the first quarter. It didn’t take Jordan long to close that gap, however, and the teams were neck-and neck for most of the night. Neither team led by more than two possessions after the opening quarter.

The Lancers got 14 points from junior Mason Pacheco in the first half, but he was ejected from the game due to a flagrant 2 foul with 1:16 left in the second quarter. Tempers flared inside the gym, but both teams were able to keep their emotions in check heading to the locker room as Jordan held a narrow 39-38 lead.

Lakewood’s Macarhy Morris stepped up his scoring in the second half, dropping 13 of his 16 points after the break to help offset the loss of Pacheco. Obi added 12 points after halftime and point guard Chris Willis had six clutch points in the fourth quarter to finish with 11.

“We did a good job of handling that,” said Cooper of how his team played without its leading scorer. “Different guys stepped up to do different things and we hung together. We were tough enough, we were strong enough, and it was a great team effort, man. That’s it. That was a great team effort.”

In the fourth quarter, Jordan went on a spirited 9-2 spurt to take its largest lead of the night, 69-63. Junior Dennis Redmond, Jr. scored or assisted on five of Jordan’s first six buckets in the quarter to help open up that lead. He finished with a game-high 21 points while Jaymari Redmond added 17 and sophomore AJ Lagrone chipped in 14.

After Jordan took that 69-63 lead, it was the Lancers who closed the game with a flurry, ending the night on an 8-1 scoring run to pull out the win. Lakewood scored the last three buckets of the game, as Willis, Morris and Obi all came through with clutch scores down the stretch.

Panthers first-year head coach Chris Francis was frustrated following the game, but also acknowledges that he has a very young and inexperienced group that’s having to learn on the fly with just one player with previous varsity basketball experience.

“Of course I want to win, but I came in to change the culture,” Francis said after the game. “And we’ve got a lot of bad attitudes, and that’s my thing. We definitely want to win, but we’re going to be a disciplined, respectful basketball team. From a basketball perspective, yeah, I thought we played well. We’ve just got to sharpen our fundamental skills: ball-handling, layups and free throws. The game is fast for them right now, it’s moving fast, but it’s starting to slow down and it’s starting to get better.”

Free throws were not a strength for either side, but the advantage did go to Lakewood in a one-point game. The Lancers were 10/16 at the charity stripe while Jordan went 7/18 at the line.

Jordan will look to bounce back immediately, hosting Compton for a 6 p.m. contest on Saturday. 

Meanwhile, Lakewood has its Moore League title hopes very much alive. Their next game will be on Tuesday at Cabrillo, but they’re surely looking forward to hosting a rematch with Poly next Thursday night with a chance to win a share of the league title. The Lancers took the Jackrabbits to overtime in their previous meeting.

VIDEO: Lakewood vs. Jordan, Boys’ Basketball

Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.