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Leading 42-13 at halftime, the Spartans roll to an easy win and a spot in the district final.
By BOB PUTNAM
Published February 9, 2008
GULFPORT - For 24 minutes, Lakewood turned its Class 5A, District 11 semifinal game into its own personal highlight show.
The Spartans soared above the rim for resounding dunks, lofted midrange jump shots with a soft touch and twisted around defenders for finger rolls.
Lakewood was up 42-13 over Seminole 11-15 at halftime and increased the lead to 66-26 by the end of the third quarter. By then, a running clock was used in what turned out to be a 76-31 rout.
"We felt like in the first half, we were able to do what we wanted to do, especially on defense," Spartans coach Dan Wright said.
Mike Morrison led Lakewood with 22 points. In all, five Spartans reached double figures in scoring.
Lakewood (24-2) will face Gibbs (16-7) in tonight's final.
The Gladiators advanced with a 57-40 win over host Boca Ciega. In two regular-season meetings, Lakewood beat Gibbs by a combined three points.
"We know it won't be as easy as it was (Friday night)," Morrison said. "But we'll be ready for Gibbs."
The Gladiators wasted no time taking control of their semifinal game, jumping out to a 23-7 lead after the first quarter. They were up 53-30 at the end of the third.
Xavier Frazier scored a team-high 17 for Gibbs, followed by Larry Murphy with 10.
Julius Forte led the Pirates (18-5) with 15 points.
Bob Putnam can be reached at (727) 445-4169 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Last modified February 9, 2008, 00:24:49]