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Rockdale’s Jefferson Buries Game Winner to Hand Lakeside Region Opening Loss

Late game misfortune returns for Panthers

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#23 Lazerius Walden – Lakeside 

School1Q2Q3Q4QFinal
Rockdale County178171961
Lakeside 1417111759

    Rockdale County – Elijah Jefferson 11 1-2 23, Tyreon Shivers 0 1-2 1, Chase Hill 4 9-9 17, Jeron Haynes 3 0-0 8, Mekhi Witter 0 1-2 1, Khayri Dunn 1 0-0 3, Keishaun Whitner 4 0-0 8. Totals: 23 12-15 61.

    Lakeside – Rico Gonzalez 4 0-0 10, Rickey McGhee 1 0-0 2, Eli Hergott 3 0-0 6, Braylen Smith 1 0-0 2 , Jayden Lyons 1 1-2 3, Ahmad Hunt 8 1-1 20, Wesley Jones 1 0-0 2, Lazerius Walden 5 4-5 14. Totals: 24 6-8 59.

Three-point goals – Rockdale County: 3 (Haynes 2, Dunn). Lakeside: 5 (Gonzalez 2, Hunt 3).

Elijah Jefferson caught the ball with three seconds remaining at the top of the key, he made one hard dribble with his right hand and then he rose up to stroke a 16 footer that gave Rockdale County a 61-59 region opening road win over Lakeside Tuesday.

Jefferson led all scorers with 23 points. Lakeside was led by Ahmad Hunt, who scored 20 points, and Lazerius Walden, who added 14.

“It’s deflating,” Lakeside first year head coach Brad Powers said in a text message in response to my question about what it felt like to see Jefferson’s shot fall. “I hate it for our team, and we will utilize this as a learning opportunity.”

The last time the Panthers took the court, they suffered a last second disappointment as well, when Aiken sent the game into overtime (to eventually win)  by inbounding the ball 94 feet away from their own basket and scoring before the 2.6 seconds on the clock ticked away.

“We work on those game scenarios daily at practice,” Powers said about Tuesday’s ending. “We just didn’t execute when we needed to.

“I’m always proud of all our guys fighting for each other, Powers continued. “We simply have to do better.”
Region play will continue this weekend when Lakeside (3-5) will travel to Evans (8-1) Friday, and Rockdale (7-3) will visit Alcovy (7-4) the same night.

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