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Basketball: Lambert tops Denmark in Region 6-7A finals
02222023 LAMBERT
The Lambert boys basketball team celebrates winning the Region 6-7A championship over Denmark Thursday at West Forsyth. (Photo by Jay Rooney Photography)

The Lambert Longhorns boys basketball team crowned itself champions of Region 6-7A with a 54-46 victory over the Denmark Danes Thursday at West Forsyth High School.

Cam Bland led the way by scoring 18 points; Niko Wilson added 13 points; and Keenan Gagen chipped in with 11 points.

It was within the first two minutes of the game when the top-seeded Longhorns (20-7) struck first, with James Tyre scoring by picking up the loose ball and finishing at the rim.

It took awhile for the Denmark Danes to start rolling. As the No. 2 seed Danes (16-11) heard their coaches say to settle the offense, Keinan McFarlande got a pass in the paint. He saw Chad Molloy open in the corner, and Molloy hit the 3-pointer.

The game was neck and neck until Lambert built momentum when it started crashing the boards over McFarlande. Wilson along with Gagen pushed the offensive pace for a 14-8 lead at the end of the opening period.

Denmark opened the second quarter flashy. McFarlande took the screen to cut, and that’s when Molloy threw him an alley-oop.

The Longhorns ran a play that freed up their playmaker Tyre, and he hit the 3 with ease to grow their lead to 20-16.

With one only second separating the shot clock and the game clock, Tyre had the ball in his hands to ISO. He got to his spot and attempted a heavily contested 3-pointer, but the Danes hit his shooting hand, resulting in a foul. He gave the Longhorns a 29-22 lead heading to halftime.

The Longhorns stayed to their course by grabbing rebounds. This time, they got two offensive rebounds to keep the offense alive, and Bland finished the play from the corner for a 3.

Wilson challenged ​Vaughn Garcia's defense by using a couple of dribble moves and dashing toward the rim. Garcia caught up, but fouled as Wilson went into his shooting motion.

The Danes were looking for the best shot selection by moving the ball. Denmark made a final pass to Sean Patterson for a catch-and-shoot opportunity. He made the 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to end the third period.

With 1:22 left and Lambert up 45-41, the Danes started to full-court press. The Danes tried to force a turnover, but instead, Lambert sprinted past the defense and laid the ball in to go up by six.

Due to the ball rolling out of bounds, Denmark had to inbound it. Wilson read the inbounder's eyes and leaped in the air to get a steal. Denmark immediately fouled him, and that sent him to the line since both of the teams were in the bonus.

Both team's will host first-round games in the Class 7A state playoffs.

Lambert will host the loser of the Region 5-7A consolation game between Osborne and Walton, while Denmark will face the winner.