Lakers hand Cavs 87-42 drubbingPinelands guard Daniel Lovell (with ball) going up the floor under pressure from Randy Simmons. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)
By Justin Marville | Tue, July 17, 2012 - 12:03 AM
It was supposed to be a statement game against Station Hill Cavaliers, but the rest of the league sure got the message.
The road to the title still goes through Lakers.
Premier League basketball’s clash of the titans just turned into the silence of the lambs after defending champions Lumber Company Lakers geared up for another deep play-off run via Sunday’s surreal 87-42 dismantling of rivals Mpact Station Hill Cavaliers at the Wildey Gym.
It now stands as the biggest margin of victory – a lopsided 45-point drubbing – in the epic battle between two heated rivals who split seven of the last eight League cups while meeting in four successive post-seasons.
And customary to their historic match-ups, something was on the line in this latest showdown, with Lakers and Cavs playing for the play-offs’ top seed.
Well, at least one team seemed to be playing.
They might have physically taken the court, but Station Hill just never showed up for the second half, not after going scoreless for the first six minutes of the previous second quarter as part of a meagre eight-point output in the period.
But that proved to be more resistance than they put up in the ensuing third, where the listless Cavs merely stood by and watched Ian Alexander and Andre Lockhart run up and down the floor unimpeded while transforming a 36-23 lead into a 62-30 rout.
This was after Station Hill initially kept Lakers’ starting line-up in check by holding it to just 14 first-quarter points as part of the Cavs’ early 18-14 cushion.
It was the complete measure of their resistance, though, as Cavaliers never coped with Lakers’ ensuing full court pressure, or the champs’ bench mob led by Mark Bridgeman and Keefe Birkett, who spurred a 22-5 second-quarter rally.
The only thing threatening about the Cav’s offence was Kevin Sealy’s dribble drives, which resulted in just five points in the period – two more than Cavs scored in the subsequent third.
Alexander had his stamp all over that third-quarter blowout, scoring on a series of transition baskets before blocking a shot at one end and racing out to receive a lefty behind-the-back pass from Lockhart for another score on that same possession.
Lockhart added a pair of knifing drives himself before even little-used reserve guard Jamario Grazette got in on the action with a buzzer-beating triple.
Bridgeman then added to the Cavs’ woes by proving a pest on the offensive glass while Ricardo Jemmott and Omari Corbin chipped in with some easy buckets underneath to open up a 40-point advantage in the fourth.
Bridgeman finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for Lakers, who improved to a league-best 13-3 record, while Birkett scored 14 and Alexander had ten points. Junior Moore was the lone Cavs (12-4) player in double digits with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
In the night’s first game, Corey McDonald had 23 points as First Works Warriors survived a menacing fourth-quarter comeback to send Pinelands sprawling to their fourth straight loss in a 77-76 victory.
Nicholai Williams added 13 points and 13 rebounds while Remar Smith scored 12 for Warriors (7-9) in a battle of non-playoff teams. Ramon Simmons had 25 points for Pinelands (7-10) and Daniel Lovell scored 24.
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