Coug boys end season with hope

Lakewood Junior Joseph Hawkins attempts a shot while being heavily guarded by South Whidbey defenders. -
Lakewood Junior Joseph Hawkins attempts a shot while being heavily guarded by South Whidbey defenders.
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LAKEWOOD — With their last game of the regular season, the Lakewood boys basketball team had a chance to sneak into the playoffs despite a poorer-than-average record of 3-16.

They needed to win the Feb. 20 game against South Whidbey and then emerge victorious in a winner-goes-on game the next day. With the high stakes, many hoped for a Lakewood victory.

The stakes were high, but the Cougars lost to South Whidbey 63-46.

Now that Lakewood’s season is over, first-year Lakewood coach Matt Hart knows his team will be ready for next year’s competition. The Cougars will only give up two players over the off-season, seniors Jordan Stauffer and Spencer Dennis.

“The boys and I talked a lot about hard work all year long. Although that didn’t reflect on the scoreboard, this year will help us grow and learn for next year. The main focus for me was to keep going, keep playing hard and keep coaching hard,” Hart said.

The Cougars never gave up against South Whidbey. Lakewood was behind the whole game but not once did they take a break or just decide it was useless to try.

Junior post Nathan Hesselman’s 15 points led Lakewood in scoring, while junior guard Cameron Fry also chipped in seven points during the South Whidbey loss.

Coach Hart also expressed his gratitude for the Lakewood fans.

“I think the community is great. We’re getting good crowds with a terrible record,” he said. “Imagine the crowds if we win. I think the Lakewood community wants to buy into something right now. Hopefully we can turn this program around to give them something to cheer for.”

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