The Royal Palm Beach High School boys varsity basketball team fell to Palm Beach Lakes High School 51-43 in the District 13-7A championship Saturday, Feb. 9 in West Palm Beach.
Though the score was close for much of the game, the Wildcats fell apart late in the third quarter, letting the Rams take control of the game and pull away.
Early in the game, the teams traded baskets with neither able to break away. The Wildcats had an early lead and finished the first quarter ahead 10-8.
Palm Beach Lakes picked up the pace in the second quarter but couldn’t seem to take away the lead from Royal Palm Beach. With two seconds left in the half, the Rams sank a basket to creep up on the Wildcat lead, but were down by 1 point 22-21.
Both teams came out of halftime with renewed vigor and it was several minutes before either scored. The Rams were the first to strike, putting in a 3-point basket to take the lead 24-22.
A few seconds later, Jojo Williams sank a basket to tie the score at 24. But Palm Beach Lakes responded with 2 points to take a 26-24 lead.
Ivenor Rosier scored next for the Wildcats, with 5 minutes left in the quarter. He nailed a 3-point basket to take the lead again 27-26.
But seconds later, the Rams scored several back-to-back baskets to pull away from Royal Palm Beach. The Wildcats then let several points slip away, sending the Rams to the foul line for several free points to make the score 33-27.
It was more than three minutes before Royal Palm Beach would score again, with a basket by Ivenor Rosier with 2:30 left in the quarter to make the score 33-29. Within the last 30 seconds of the quarter, both teams scored to bring the score to 35-31.
Once the Wildcats let the lead slip away, they were unable to catch up. Royal Palm Beach struggled to put in baskets, meanwhile losing points in fouls and turnovers that resulted in free throws for Palm Beach Lakes. Meanwhile, the Rams kept up the pressure to dominate the fourth quarter, finishing the game 51-43.
Despite the loss, the Wildcats continued on to the regional quarterfinals against Atlantic High School on Thursday, Feb. 14. Results were not available at press time.
Above: RPB’s Jimmitry LeBlanc steps up for a foul shot.