Lakeside boys basketball coach Donnie Burch feared his young team would struggle this season.
Lakeside's Alex Fain (right) battles with Hephzibah's Devin Stowers for a rebound. Hephzibah ran away with a 79-39 win in the home opener. "We just got snowballed in the second half," Lakeside coach Donnie Burch said.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Those fears were realized Nov. 20, when the Panthers were trounced 79-39 in their home opener against Hephzibah. The Rebels out-scored Lakeside 41-13 in the second half.
"We just got snowballed in the second half," Burch said. "We were close at the half, then it just got away."
Senior Earl McCrommon scored 11, far short of the 26-point performance he had in a loss to No. 4 Butler.
"The Butler game was probably the best game of my high school career," McCrommon said. "Some nights the shot isn't falling. Tonight was one of those nights."
No other Panther player scored more than six points.
"We have to find a secondary option for Earl," Burch said. "We can't ask one player to shoulder the entire load for the team."
The Lakeside girls suffered a similar fate, losing 81-40 to the Lady Rebels. Hephzibah got 16 points from LaCoya Terry and 12 from Shanice Wright in the win.
Lakeside was down 9-6 in the first quarter when the Rebels went on an 11-3 run. The Lady Panthers would never be close again as they had 36 turnovers amid the Rebels' full-court press.
Hephzibah scored more than half its points on transition lay-ups after turnovers.
"We are a young team," Lakeside coach Drew Shelton said. "When a young team plays a good, experienced team, these kinds of things happen. I don't think they should have pressed when they were up by 40."
The Panthers got eight points from Aubern Marshall and Perrin Fryer in the loss.
"We have some bright spots, like the play of our freshmen," Shelton said.
"There is no doubt that we will get better as the year goes on. But right now, we can't match up with a team like Hephzibah."
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