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LAKE CORMORANT — The Lake Cormorant Gators turned to a familiar formula Friday night: let the game come to them.

After a frustrating first half, the Gators found their flow over the final 16 minutes, pulling away from Lafayette for a 54-38 Region 1-5A victory.

“Instead of gambling on passes, we just played sound defense,” Lake Cormorant head coach Bryant Worsham said. “Everybody else stayed sound, stayed back and protected the paint. If they shoot it from the volleyball line, we’ll just let it go.”

After holding a slim 21-17 lead at halftime, D.J. McKnight proved to be the main catalyst down the stretch, scoring 13 of his 15 points in the second half. Marshall Odum added 14 points and eight rebounds on the night for Lake Cormorant. In total, all five starters accounted for 52 of the team's 54 points.

“(McKnight) just has to play his game,” Worsham said. “First half, he was pressing way too much. It is what it is. Second half, he just came out and rebounded, played good D and we were off to the races.”

The Gators (10-6, 1-2) ended the third quarter on a 16-2 run, putting all momentum squarely on the home bench. 

“We tried to go over the top of every screen,” Worsham said. “Whoever was setting the ball screen, we were just dropping deep into the paint, protect the rim and if they go over the top and shoot that three, that’s just something you have to live with. If they made it, good for them, but you have to play solid D around the rim, run at shooters and make basketball plays. I think that’s what we were doing in that third quarter. Let them shoot, box out, and get that ball.”

Lake Cormorant will look to keep a small jolt of momentum going into Tuesday’s non-region showdown against cross-county rival Hernando.

“We were struggling at Christmas,” Worsham said. “We were like 1-5 in six games. When Southaven came in here the other night, we got back to defense, played good team basketball. Thankfully that carried over tonight. Hopefully we’ll keep that ball rolling.”


In girl’s basketball action, the Lafayette Lady Commodores snapped a two-game losing skid with a blowout 53-27 win over Lake Cormorant.

The Lady Dores had three players in double figures Friday night. Mariah Reed-Jones tallied 13 points while Harmony Jackson had 11, including an eight-point burst in the second quarter. Karizma Norphlet had 10 on the night, facilitating the offense.

After taking an 11-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, Lafayette girls head coach Shayne Linzy used his prized full-court pressure defense to force all sorts of issues en route to a 20-0 run that would effectively put the game away.

The Lafayette girls will return to action on Tuesday at home against Grenada.