Wakefield's Luke Lenox (left) scored 14 points and 14 rebounds (photo by Greg Mintel).
RALEIGH – Here’s our rapid reaction after Wakefield defeated Millbrook 60-57 in overtime Tuesday night in a Cap Eight 4-A conference game:
HOW THE GAME WAS WON
This game came down to two plays from Jake Lenox, who was able to score a basket late to give the Wolverines the lead before making his only steal of the game that secured the victory. Millbrook did everything in its ability to push this game to overtime, a sign the Wildcats are still improving with each game.
Lenox’s steal gave the Wolverines the possession with the lead, which allowed them to take more time off the clock. The steal was the play of the game because Lexon had no business guarding Millbrook’s Marcus Johnson, yet he stole the ball from the much quicker player.
STATS OF THE GAME
I said it this past Friday, but the key stat with any Millbrook game is turnovers. The Wildcats play a full-court press and the Wolverines didn’t break under the pressure. The Wolverines only turned the ball over 12 times, which is a great number compared to the 20-30 turnovers some teams have against Millbrook. The fewer turnovers allowed Wakefield to have just enough possessions to win the game.
Guard Xavier Saddler-Mee was the best defender for Wakefield. Although Saddler-Mee usually leads the Wolverines with 16 points a game, he was able to stop Millbrook’s best scorer in RaShawn Vaughan, who scored 12 points, which is better than the 20 points he’s scored the past few games.
WHAT IT MEANS
This victory gives the Wolverines a big lead in the conference championship race now that they have a three-game lead. Wakefield (15-1, 8-0 Cap Eight 4-A) also showed that it can win anywhere on the road as Millbrook has become on the most difficult places to play. As for the Wildcats (11-8, 6-3), their five-game streak is over, but they showed their still on the best teams in the conference.
POSTGAME QUOTES FROM WAKEFIELD
Forward Jake Lenox on guarding Millbrook’s Marcus Johnson:
“I was nervous because the game was on the line. I just didn’t let him blow by, and luckily, he slipped and turned the ball over. Someone had to pick him up. I couldn’t just say that’s not my man. They’re a team that looks for the mismatch, and I was pretty much it right there. That’s what a good team does.”
Lenox on his game-winning layup:
“It was a great pass from Nick [Lenox] and it was an easy layup.”
Guard Kasey Bryant on Jake Lenox’s game-saving steal:
“We felt we needed just one stop. That was all we needed and Jake got it done.”
Coach Dexter Cooley on getting a win at Millbrook:
“We knew coming into here it was going to be tough. We talked about that the last two days of practice. Millbrook has been playing some good basketball.”
Cooley on Lenox’s 14 points and 14 rebounds:
“Jake was just a workhorse. That kid does everything we asked him to do.”
Cooley on having to play overtime for the win:
“I was disappointed we lost that lead. I thought our kids did a good job of getting our poise back.”
Cooley on Lenox’s layup:
“We wanted to take the layup if they gave it to us. We knew we were going to keep playing because we didn’t have much success spreading them out.”