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Spartans come alive with second-half run

Lakewood overcomes Boca Ciega's plan to slow down the game for a 69-52 win at Eckerd College.


© St. Petersburg Times, published February 14, 2003

ST. PETERSBURG -- A second-half Lakewood surge was the difference for the Spartans in a 69-52 win over Boca Ciega Thursday.

Expecting a large crowd for the south county rivalry, the game was moved to Eckerd College.

In the first half, the Pirates tried to put a blanket over the Spartans offense as Enoris Sly and Brian Reeves drew fouls, slowing the pace of the game.

"I started getting fouled and getting frustrated," Lakewood center Brian Ligon said. "They came after me every time I got the ball."

Ligon was held to four first-half points and none in the second after collecting three fouls.

"It was typical," Lakewood coach Dan Wright said. "They came out with a plan and tried to stick to it. We had some offensive guys get in foul trouble and that kept them in the game."

At halftime, Bogie only trailed 28-26. But the second half was another story.

"We started flowing in the second half," Ligon said.

"We know we're the better team and we just had to get out and show it."

The Spartans guards employed a fullcourt press and Ligon dominated the boards, collecting seven rebounds, six blocked shots and 10 points.

But it was the touch of guard Marcus Lee that brought Lakewood alive.

Lee scored a game high 30 with six 3-pointers.

With 50 seconds left in the third, Lee hit two straight 3-pointers to stretch the lead from seven to 13 at 44-31.

A couple more Lee treys and Ligon dunks silenced the crowd to a whisper as it headed for the exit.

"When Lee is hot, you've really got to watch out," Wright said. "(Ligon) did an excellent job on the backside as well allowing us to cheat a little toward their net."

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