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.
With Sean Oliver out for Wilson and Chris Willis and Macarhy Morris both out for Lakewood, Monday night’s game between the Bruins and Lancers had an open billing for who wanted to be the star of the show. Wilson senior Keon Young was happy to be cast in the leading role as his career night helped Wilson surge to a 58-52 win.
Young scored 39 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and two steals in the victory, which keeps Wilson in a tie for second place in the Moore League with Long Beach Poly, while Lakewood slips into fourth place with a week and a half of action to go.
“I had a big game but I still feel like it’s a team thing, you know my teammates told me to keep shooting, keep doing your thing, and I kept doing it,” said Young.
Lakewood built a lead throughout the opening quarter and were up 15-6 going into the second. Wilson opened on a 15-3 spurt to start the second, putting them up by three, but the Lancers had the answer as Mason Pacheco took over. He put them up 24-21 at halftime and then had the Lancers up 33-21 after a 9-0 run to start the second half. Pacheco finished with 15 points to lead the Lancers.
It was trailing 33-21 midway through the third with Wilson’s chances dwindling that Young began to put his fingerprints all over the game. He scored all 13 points for the Bruins in the third including a 9-0 run of his own that saw him make five free throws (including two following a technical foul) and then drain a 3-pointer.
Wilson trailed 38-34 heading into the fourth quarter, but back-to-back baskets by Young in the paint tied the game a minute in. His next basket put the Bruins up 43-40, a lead they never gave up despite the Lancers pushing and keeping it close. Young and Salameh Dugum-Maraboto hit their free throws down the stretch to keep the Bruins in front and secure the win.
Wilson coach James Boykin said he knew Young would be the focal point for the Bruins because of the way he matched up with the Lancers. With Oliver sidelined for another week, it’s been a difficult transition for the Bruins away from their high-volume scorer--a lopsided loss to Poly last week was proof of that.
“It’s a battle man, trying to figure out how to get a different lineup to get stops and be able to execute in different positions,” said Boykin. “Poly played really well last week but we played really bad. Guys were individually trying to make up for Sean being out--and we’re just not built like that. So today it was, can you get an assist? Can you make an extra pass? And there was a team effort tonight.”
Young’s effort was backed up by eight points from Dugum-Maraboto and seven from sophomore Lincoln Dean.
For Lakewood, Pacheco’s 15 was backed up by 10 points from Alex Obi, who was limited by foul trouble in the game.
Wilson hosts Jordan on friday while Lakewood travels to Compton Wednesday.