Leopards Finish Strong To Earn Playoff Game
After losing to West Mesquite in the final game of the season Lovejoy found themselves tied with the Wranglers for fourth place and needing to win a play-in game to make the playoffs. The importance of the game was noticeable with a rowdy crowd from both West Mesquite and Lovejoy cheering on their team. The Leopards grabbed the momentum early with five Leopards scoring in the first period leading to a 12-6 lead. The Wrangers responded in second scoring 15 points but Lovejoy was able to maintain a two point lead at halftime thanks in part to three pointers by sophomore Kolby McSpadden and junior Luke Ledebur. The Leopards were able to extend their lead slightly in the third to 38-34 with junior Jonathan Lawrence scoring six points in the period. With the Leopards nursing a small lead and earning the shooting bonus it was clear that free throws would be a deciding factor in the game. Lovejoy responded with 16 of their 20 points coming from the line including pressure packed free throws by Kyle Olson and Luke Ledebur in the final 20 seconds. The success at the line combined with strong defense in the final minutes lead to a 58-53 win and a spot in the playoffs.
The Leopards faced off against state ranked Sulphur Springs in round one of the playoffs at Paris High School but were unable to overcome Wildcats ending their season at the bi-district level. More game images-> http://photos.lovejoymessenger.com/f427377612