Pride finish off Wakefield with a strong second half

DJ Horne, sophomore guard, makes a move past the defender for a layup. The Pride secured a necessary conference win Friday night at Wakefield. (Photo used by permission of Bob Stewart)

Leesville entered Friday night’s matchup against Wakefield with a 2-2 conference record looking to improve their place in the conference standings. The Pride were able to defeat Wakefield by a score of 85-68 and cement themselves as third place in the conference.

The Pride came out playing better and with more energy than in their previous contest against Hillside. “I think we did better but everything is a learning experience and chance to get better. Hope we learned from the Hillside loss.” said Russ Frazier, head coach of the Pride.

Alex Hunter was one of the Pride’s top scorers on Friday night with 19 points. Hunter converted shots from the free throw line, as well as making three-point shots and layups when needed. Jalen Benjamin finished with 21 points and lead the Pride in scoring. In previous games, Benjamin struggled at times to make shots that he normally makes, but at Wakefield he got back into his normal groove.

RJ Wilson and Grayson Stickney played key roles in the win at Wakefield. Both had multiple rebounds and points off layups that helped maintain the lead over Wakefield.

Stickney also had a major impact on the amount of turnovers that Wakefield had. “RJ asserted himself and the guys fed him the ball. I was proud of his effort. Grayson’s effort on defense turned into transition opportunities and he was rewarded. It all started with his defense,” said Frazier.

Wakefield was able to hang on in the first half and stay close even when Leesville tried to stretch the lead. In the second half, the Pride hit a couple quick shots and continued to force Wakefield turnovers that eventually lead to an insurmountable lead for the Wolverines to overcome.

“At halftime I told the guys to come out and play hard, play with energy and communicate. We need to play a full 32 minutes with everyone at their best. Haven’t done it yet, not even close to that,” said Frazier.

This week the Pride will travel to Wake Forest Friday night at 7:00 to take on the Heritage Huskies. Heritage defeated the Pride in the first meeting of the season at Leesville. Some improvements need to be made in order to have a different result this time around. “This week in practice we need to listen, learn and work. Our preparation is important and the guys still need to do a better job following assignments,” said Frazier.

Follow @LeesvilleMBB on Twitter for live in-game updates at the next game against Heritage.


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