Monday, February 06, 2017

SPORTS >> Lighthouse gets revenge on Clarendon

Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter closed its regular season with a pair of wins, and will now wait nine days for the 2A-4 East Conference tournament that begins Feb. 11 in Quitman.

On Tuesday, the Wolves made the short trip to Sherwood and beat Abundant Life 73-54, but the game they have been geared up for since Jan. 10 was Clarendon’s visit to the Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club on Thursday.

That’s the time and place JLC hammered the Lions 89-69, and it wasn’t as close as that score would indicate.

Lighthouse led 46-34 at halftime on Thursday, but made some adjustments at halftime that helped blow things open in the third quarter.

“We have a little trouble with little quick guards like they have,” said Lighthouse coach Kelvin Parker. “We don’t move our feet well on defense and try to reach too much sometimes. They didn’t hit but one, I think, from outside in the first half. So I went to a zone and they didn’t seem to be able to adjust. They just kept trying to drive it in there, and it wasn’t there like it was in the first half.”

Lighthouse had been eyeing this game since losing 87-83 at Clarendon three weeks ago. In that game, the Lions shot 50 free throws to just 14 by Lighthouse.

“We’ve been waiting on this one,” Parker said. “These boys knew they didn’t get a fair shake over there. They had something to prove.”

The Wolves more than doubled that 12-point halftime advantage. While Clarendon continued to try to force penetration against the zone, Lighthouse, which had gotten hot from outside in the second quarter, continued shooting well in the third.

The Wolves made five 3-pointers in the third, outscored Clarendon 30-14 and led 76-48 by the start of the fourth quarter.

Despite the animosity coming into the game, Parker took his foot off the gas in the fourth quarter, and the 30-point mercy rule was never met. He only let his starters play about a minute of the final frame, though he did almost re-insert them with about two minutes to go.

“I had gone all the way down my bench and he kept his starters in there,” Parker said. “I wasn’t going to let it get under 20.”

Parker called his starters back to the bench before they checked in when he noticed Clarendon’s second unit joining them in front of the scorer’s table.
Four Lighthouse players finished in double digits, led by freshman Gerald Doakes’ 25. His classmate Devontae Davis added 19. Seniors Zack Bobo and Chris Mims scored 12 and 11 respectively.

Clarendon still shot more free throws than Lighthouse, but not 36 more. The Lions made 13 of 25 attempts. While Lighthouse shot a good percentage from 3-point range, 11 of 27, the Wolves were abysmal at the foul line, making just 4 of 15.

Tuesday’s final was also misleading. The Wolves jumped out on Abundant Life 24-4 in the first quarter, and led 63-34 after three quarters. 

David led all scorers in that game with 26. Jakalon Simuel scored 13 and Doakes added 10.

Lighthouse (22-5) finishes the conference season 12-2, but could still get the No. 1 seed in the tournament that starts next Saturday.

The only team from the Wolves’ regular-season conference that will play in the tournament at Quitman is England, and the Wolves beat them twice this year.

The Lady Wolves were close to getting their second win this season, leading by one point at halftime. But foul trouble kept key players on the bench in the third quarter and the Lady Lions pulled away for a 46-35 win.