Lakeland took a major step toward clinching the #1 seed in 7A District 6, as they took down Bartow 50-47 on the road for their second win this season over the 2014 7A Runner-Up Yellow Jackets. The Dreadnaughts trailed 6-0 midway through the first quarter, but their defense turned it up a notch and made Bartow look out of sync for the rest of the night. A potential game-tying three-point FG attempt at the buzzer by McKinley Harvin rimmed out, as Lakeland escaped from The Hive and improved to 14-1 this season.
Player of the Game Shaquan McArthur led Lakeland with 11 points, coming up big in key situations for the second time vs. Bartow. In the first meeting on December 16, it was his buzzer-beating tip-in that gave Lakeland its first win over Bartow since January of 2012. Sophomore J.J. Robinson, also a standout football recruit, scored all of his 10 points in the second half.
Nationally-ranked recruit Tony Bradley did not disappoint though, scoring nearly half of the Yellow Jackets points, as he finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Bradley is ranked the 28th-best recruit in the nation for the Class of 2016 by ESPN and has offers from Florida, Kansas and North Carolina.
The regular season series is done between these two teams, but it would not be surprising to see these two powerhouse programs meet again in the 7A District 6 Championship, as well as a possible Regional Semifinal rematch. The Yellow Jackets (15-3, 5-2) will look to bounce back on Friday at Ridge Community, while the Dreadnaughts, now 6-1 in 7A-6, will look to avenge their only loss of the season when they visit Haines City on Friday.