Friday, January 12, 2018

Atlantic Upsets Lake Worth In Thriller

Kadeem Wilks took a deep breath and mentally shut out a raucous crowd at Lake Worth High School Friday.

With the pressure mounting and the crowd volume ratcheted up to eardrum-shattering crescendo, Wilks calmly knocked back the game-winning free throw with 6.8 seconds remaining.

Previously undefeated Lake Worth (17-1) misfired on their final shot attempt at the buzzer, as Atlantic survived in a pulsating 41-40 victory.

Rodwens Albert, a well-built Class of 2018 point guard, scored a team-best 16 points to propel Atlantic (8-6).

Albert reeled off a personal 7-0 run during an 11-3 third quarter spurt that gave Atlantic a 29-23 lead.

Atlantic erupted following a stagnant first half, one underscored by a five minute first quarter scoring drought.

Whether it was a key steal, assist, or a transition finish, Albert constantly had his hand in a pivotal play.

Albert's defensive energy was the factor which ultimately earned plaudits from Atlantic's coaching staff.

Atlantic forced Lake Worth into some tough shots, resulting in an irregular shooting performance for the Trojans.

No longer the unsung backup to Trent Frazier at Wellington, senior guard Jay Medor catalyzed the Trojans with 17 points.

Medor bucketed a stepback jumper and then fed a cutting Willie Razz to slice Atlantic's lead to 38-37 with 3:53 remaining.

It was Medor who knotted the game up at 40-40 on a pair of free throws with 17.1 ticks remaining.

On the ensuing possession, Wilks snaked along the baseline and drew a foul at the rim.

By hitting on the second free throw Wilks sealed it for Atlantic, which returns a key piece in 6-foot-8 forward R.J. Duhart next week.

Duhart was forced to serve a six-week suspension following back to back technical fouls during the Kreul Classic last month.

The decision to suspend Duhart was heavily scrutinized by Atlantic, as the athletic department has tried to appeal it.