The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.
The dynamic duo for Lakewood girls’ basketball came through on Monday night as the Lancers secured a 53-36 road win over Wilson. Cristina Jones had a game-high 24 points for Lakewood while Nyemah King added 15 in an important win for the Lancers in their hunt for the Moore League title.
“I’m very happy that we pulled out a win in a tough environment today,” said Lakewood head coach Eric Oswell. “We just want to continue winning and then get our opportunity to play our rival, the one that we need to beat to win league. That’s what we’ve got to do, keep on winning and get to them.”
The Lancers are optimistic of their chances against a new-look Long Beach Poly squad this season, but will have to wait until Jan. 12 to get their first look at the Jackrabbits.
In Monday’s win, Lakewood was able to take down Wilson thanks to a second-half run that started midway through the third quarter. Wilson’s Jade Green (8 points) scored consecutive buckets to twice cut the Lakewood lead to just one point, but that’s as close as the Bruins would get.
A key 14-4 run for the Lancers helped them create separation as the visitors scored 21 of the final 27 points while holding Wilson to just one field goal in the fourth quarter.
“We won the game with our defense tonight,” said Oswell. “Obviously not our shooting, we missed a lot of shots tonight. They're gonna eventually fall, that's why I kept encouraging my players all game that they're gonna fall and you gotta keep shooting them. But the defense came through and that's how we won the game.”
Shots were falling early and often for Jones, who made Lakewood’s first five buckets on her way to 12 first-quarter points as the Lancers led 17-14 after eight minutes. Jones was able to score in the face up game, off the dribble, with her back to the basket, and in transition to help Lakewood snap their five-game losing streak against the Bruins.
“To be honest, I was ready to take this W because they got us both years that I’ve been here,” said Jones of the matchup with Wilson. “So this third year I was ready to take the W. There’s some small things we’ve got to work on like our free throws, but overall we worked as a team and we got the win.”
In addition to the 49 points scored by Jones and King, Laci Berecochea added nine points for Lakewood. The Lancers led 28-23 at halftime and had a 39-32 edge after three before winning the fourth quarter by a margin of 14-4.
Leading the way for Wilson was senior point guard Laurin Tiangco, who had eight points to match Green for the team high. Peightyn Myers and Chiugo Ofoegbu each had seven for the Bruins.
Lakewood will host Compton on Wednesday in its next league game, meanwhile Wilson will have to wait until Dec. 27 for their next game against Marlborough. The Bruins will return to Moore League action on Jan. 5 at Poly.