Posted On: 01/6/18 7:09 AM
In holiday tournaments and shootouts most teams face someone they wouldn’t normally play during their season. At this mid point in the season, coaches are looking to sure up their rotations for a district and playoff run. The first game of the Clearwater Shootout, Lakeland Dreadnaughts faced Plant City Raiders. It was a good matchup for the two teams as they seemed evenly matched according to their records prior to the contest, Lakeland 12-1 and Plant City 10-1
During the first half, Plant City controlled the game and went into halftime with a 31-23 lead. The Raiders played great team ball on offense and defense stifling one of the state’s top scorers, Luke Anderson. Luke was held to ten points and five rebounds in the half and visibly frustrated with his teams’ play.
What we learned in the first half:
1. Has a few shooters, keep floor spaced properly as they run its flex offense
2. Team goes as Luke Anderson goes
3. Plays the passing lanes well and gambles a lot
Luke Anderson 10 points Chrishawn Butler 9 points
1. Has good team defense, communicates well
2. Runs and keeps spacing in transition but had trouble finishing shots
3. Justyn King is developing into and force inside to become a terrific duo with senior guard Matt Simpson who scored his 1,000 point in the game.
Matt Simpson 12 points Justyn King 6 points
In the 3rd, Lakeland began to become more assertive. The Dreadnaughts still had a hard time with the Raiders defense but all the hustle plays fell their way and by the end of the quarter the score was tied at 45-45. Fouls began to mount up and frustration started settling with Plant City due to missed shots and layups and a few calls that were made. The end of the game came down to free throws as Plant City put Lakeland on the line being down by four with a minute left to play. Lakeland won 65-62 over Plant City.
What we learned in the 2nd half:
1. Perimeter based team, has to establish post presence for a deep playoff run
2. Players were “active and ready”
3. Very talented, great coaching, has to close out games
1. Goes as Anderson goes
2. Will not give up, fights till the end and plays through mistakes
3. Played 2/3 zone the entire game
The matchup featured two teams finding out how good they really are for their respective class. Both being in Class 8A, could mean a potential playoff match at some point as I expect both teams to win their district tournament. Lakeland has six seniors who all play big roles, while Plant City mostly relies on its youth to help the upperclassmen. Stay tuned as I keep you informed on both teams progress as the season closes.