Thursday night, in the second game of a two game CAP-8 series between the Leesville Road Pride and the Heritage Huskies, Leesville defeated Heritage 60-47 in a game that was lopsided from the very beginning.
After a dominant first quarter in which the Huskies only scored 3 points, Leesville capitalized on its lead even further. The run at one point was extended to a 21-5 lead, largely in part to the forced turnovers that the Huskies committed in the first 8 minutes. At one point in the game the Huskies were able to come within two possessions of a tie, but thanks to a couple of big threes from the Pride guards, any comeback attempt was squandered. Many made free throws later, the Pride emerged victorious with a double digit margin.
Juniors Alex Hunter and Jonathan Mebane led the Pride’s offensive attack, with both of them scoring in the double figures. Alex Hunter finished with a modest 13 points, and Jonathan Mebane led all scorers with a strong 26 point effort. Russ Frazier, Leesville Road’s head coach, had strong praise for the juniors.
“They (Mebane and Hunter) have stepped it up the past two days communicating, encouraging and helping their teammates. Their efforts in that area made a remarkable difference. The team’s response showed,” said Frazier.
The offense was steady all night for the Pride, but many CAP-8 teams have the ability to outscore you if you only put up 60 points. Millbrook showed that last week. Frazier said the defense was key tonight.
“Tonight’s difference was simple experience, execution, defense and heart. Point blank period our guys competed.”
The experience Frazier mentioned comes from a team that was able to return all five starters from last year. They have been in the tough games and the must-win scenarios. Had the Pride lost last night, they would have fallen out of the tie for third and Heritage would have taken third all by themselves. With the win however, Leesville Road is now 6-3 in conference and is in sole possession of third place. Urgency was the message Frazier stressed before the game.
“We are pushed in a corner and we got to fight our way out. This wasn’t a ‘we need to win’ situation; this was a ‘must win’ situation! I was proud of the way they responded.”
Tonight, in a back to back fashion, the Pride travel to Sanderson to face the Spartans on the road in another must win game. Earlier this season on December 18, Leesville defeated Sanderson 58-46. The message for tonight’s game is simple for Frazier: “(We’ve) got to live, work, and play in the moment. Best effort every night.”