Posted: 2:29 pm Saturday, March 5th, 2011

LIVE BLOG: Dwyer beats Lake Wales for the Class 5A title 

By Jeff Greer

LAKELAND — This one’s for all the Class 5A marbles. Our top-ranked team all season, Dwyer, takes on Lake Wales in the Class 5A title game. Tip’s set for 3:35. Follow here for in-game updates.

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Lots and lots of expectations for Dwyer coming into Saturday’s championship game, even from noncommitted observers. If we exclude Dwyer’s now vacated loss to Dr. Krop (Dr. Krop’s season was ended because of FHSAA violations), the Panthers haven’t won a game by fewer than 13 points in 2011. Let’s see if the Panthers can avoid the heartbreak of the past two years and win the state title.

Here’s your headquarters for all things boys’ hoops states.

Let’s get this game going …

FINALDwyer won its third state title since 2004 with a gritty, hard-earned 72-57 win over Lake Wales. Lake Wales made a pretty good push in the second and third quarters, but Dwyer’s depth was just too much. Lake Wales ran out of gas when it needed to make its biggest run.

Dwyer’s Vic Adams had 18 points. Jacoby Brissett had 19. Joel James added 11 of his own, although he missed much of the third quarter because he had to go see the trainer. He came back out to the bench on his own and appeared to be OK, though he never came back in.

AFTER THREE QUARTERS
I’ll be brutally honest: Lake Wales has outplayed Dwyer for much of the second and third quarters. But the same problem from halftime still exists. Lake Wales has put a huge effort into just making this a game, and the Highlanders are still down 12. Something has to drastically change if this game is to get any closer.

Dwyer leads 55-42 after three.

AT HALFTIME
Lake Wales expended a ton of energy getting back into the game, and Dwyer’s lack of a true point guard allowed Lake Wales to play faster and speed Dwyer up. But still, Lake Wales hasn’t been able to score easily, and the Highlanders’ foul shooting has been suspect at best.

Meanwhile Dwyer struggled in the second quarter, scoring just 13 points and enduring a bit of a drought in the earlygoing of the quarter.

But for all that, Dwyer still leads 42-27. Vic Adams has been confident, scoring 15 points. Joel James started out fast and got eight early points. He and Louis, however, each have two fouls.

Stats

Dwyer: Dwyer’s shooting 55 percent and outrebounding Lake Wales 27-15. Thirteen turnovers, though, will not have Fred Ross very happy.

Lake Wales: The Highlanders are shooting 28 percent and are 8 of 14 from the line. They’ve only turned the ball over six times, which is impressive against Dwyer’s pressure.

AFTER THE FIRST QUARTER
Dwyer’s just too quick and too strong. Lake Wales will need to muster up a way to get behind Dwyer’s defense in transition, which is easier said than done.

Dwyer leads after one quarter, 29-13. Vic Adams has 10 points. Joel James has 10. Jacoby Brissett has five.

STARTERS

For Dwyer: 6-3 W Terrell Harris, 6-3 G Vic Adams, 6-4 G Jacoby Brissett, 6-7 F Greg Louis and 6-10 C Joel James.

For Lake Wales: 6-4 W Marcel White, 6-6 F Oshey Washington, 6-4 F Terry Bradley, 5-11 G Russell Wilson, 6-2 G Kevin Capers.