Winter Haven Girls, Boys Roll to Doubleheader Wins Over Lake Region
Fri. January 04, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
Winter Haven's Cynkeria Mobley puts up a shot against the Lake Region defense on Thursday night. (Photo by PAUL CRATE | LEDGER MEDIA GROUP)
By BILL KEMP
LEDGER MEDIA GROUP
WINTER HAVEN | The Winter Haven girls basketball team didn't run Lake Region out of the gym right away on Thursday. They took their sweet time about it.
Utilizing a patient half-court offense, plenty of ball movement with quick-look interior passes and 21 points from Zeneka Willix, the Blue Devils rolled to 58-6 win in the first game of a doubleheader between the Lake Region and Winter Haven varsity programs.
The Winter Haven boys beat Lake Region 59-23 in the second game.
"We are a team that likes to run," Winter Haven girls head coach Johnnie Lawson said. "I don't want to leave any question about it. It's just not going to happen all the time for us. We've got to play the slow-down game."
With most high school programs embracing the defend-and-run approach, Lawson prefers to groom the Blue Devils with multidimensional offensive looks hoping it translates into a deeper run through the postseason brackets.
"That's what I want them to understand. We don't need to run every game because once you get to the playoffs we're going to see better (running) teams," Lawson said, and added the Blue Devils are on board with his plan.
"One thing about my girls, they listen. I've been doing this a long time and they see the pictures (of championship teams) on the wall, so they buy into it."
Despite the lopsided score Lake Region head coach Michael Cope said his team would be ready for the district match-ups.
"Right now we are the third seed in our district. We can play. They just have to believe in themselves," Cope said.
In the boys game, Winter Haven rolled to a 20-4 first quarter lead and never looked back in front of a near-capacity crowd.
Blue Devils head coach Tyrone Woodside said he was happy with the early lead because he was experimenting with his defense for the Blue Devils' district schedule that begins at Lake Gibson on Tuesday.
"It took the pressure off because we made some mistakes with some things we are not used to running," Woodside said. "We are primarily a man-to-man (defensive) team but we wanted to mix things up."
Blue Devils guard Chance McSpadden led all scorers with 17 points, three assists and two steals. Darius James and Kendrick Holland hauled down 10 rebounds apiece for Winter Haven.
"Chance is a natural scorer and it comes easy to him. He's still learning how to make his teammates better, but he's such a gifted scorer he can get 15 points with his eyes closed," Woodside said.
Lake Region head coach Tyrhon Crawford said though his team is extremely young, they have no excuse.
"When you miss free throws and lay-ups and turn the ball over you're going to give people big leads," Crawford said. "They did a great job of making us uncomfortable. They just flat out knocked us out."
Winter Haven 59, Lake Region 23
WINTER HAVEN (59): Ismael Celestin 9, Jerry Hendrix 7, Kendrick Holland 8, Rony St. Fluer 6, Chance McSpadden 17, Darius James 8, Ramel Jones 2, Glynnis Haynes 2. Totals: 24, 10-14, 59
LAKE REGION (23): James Jackson 1, Julio Olma 2, Jhavares Doster 4, Devonte Hughes 2, Obi llonzo 1, Kiante Elliott 5, Jalen Birdsong 2, Dequan Roundtree 1, Blade Denmark 5. Totals: 9, 5-15, 23
Winter Haven 20 24 9 6 — 59
Lake Region 4 13 2 4 — 23
Records: Winter Haven 6-4, Lake Region 5-9.
Winter Haven 58, Lake Region 6
WINTER HAVEN (58): Ta'Lena Freeney 5, Ly'Na Battles 2, Chrisana Scott 9, Khadijah Howell 3, Shaterrika O'Neal 5, Cynkeria Mobley 8, Zeneka Willix 21, Tekera Henderson 5. Totals: 25, 4-12, 58.
LAKE REGION (6): A'Daja Autmon 3, Ranasha Ollins 2, Keyonna Maultby 1. Totals: 2, 2-4, 6.
Winter Haven 17 18 10 13 — 58
Lake Region 2 2 2 0 — 6
Records: Winter Haven 7-10, Lake Region 11-6.