ROSWELL — The road woes continued for Lambert’s boys.
Despite four players reaching double-figures and a one point lead at halftime, the Longhorns fell 73-68 on Tuesday at Roswell High School. Lambert has played each of its three games in a different state during the past two weeks, losing all three.
"It’s definitely not the results we’re looking for," Lambert first-year head coach Scott Bracco said. "We’ve got a great team, and will be a great team. We are playing hard, but we have to do a better job at the defensive end [and] rebound a little bit better."
The Longhorns (0-3) trailed 70-63 with under two minutes left in the fourth quarter, but cut into the Hornets’ lead after Roswell’s Eric Jones was called for a technical. Mark Champion knocked down the two free throws to cut the deficit to five.
Roswell (2-2) tried to run out the clock by passing the ball back and forth, but a Lambert defender took possession of the ball and Logan Bush scored two more points to cut the gap to three with 40 seconds left.
The Hornets took better care of the ball and forced Lambert to foul, sending Sean Brennan to the free-throw line with 22 seconds on the clock. Brennan made both to extend the lead to five and put the game out of reach.
Although Lambert is 0-3, the team has played a hard non-region schedule in order to prepare for the playoffs, Bracco said.
"That’s the reason why we set the schedule the way we did," Bracco said. "We’ve had a really tough and challenging schedule. Our non-region games are teams that should be in the state tournament. We’re hoping to play the better teams to prepare us for the state tournament run."
Danny Edgeworth finished the game for Lambert with 21 points and Bush added 19, while Jake Morris (12) and Trevor Shipes (11) also reached double figures.
Roswell’s Brennan had a team-high 21 points and Tyrone Sam chipped in with 15.
Lambert turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter, but managed to end the quarter with the score tied 12-12. Both teams found their groove in the second quarter, but Shipes gave Lambert the 33-32 advantage at halftime with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
The Hornets went on a 13-6 run to start the third quarter and extended their lead to 10 with 50 seconds left. However, Lambert battled back and trimmed the lead to 58-52 to end the quarter.
"We’re making huge strides every day and every game," Bracco said. "You can expect this team to be in the state tournament."
Lambert will travel to Marietta High School on Saturday.
Roswell (girls) 67, Lambert 56
ROSWELL — Roswell had the right Keys for success against Lambert.
Junior shooting guard Andreona Keys scored 33 of her game-high 40 points in the second half to lead the Lady Hornets to a 67-56 win over Lambert on Tuesday at Roswell High School.
"She’s tough," Lambert head coach Seth Thompson said of the 5-foot-10 Keys. "We did a great job in the first half, but we had breakdowns in the second half. That’s just been the story of our season so far with turnovers and not playing great help-side defense. We’ve got to work on it.
"We’ve got a really young team and we’ve been competing. … We’ve got to improve, but [Keys] was tough. She’s as good as any player I’ve seen in a while. It’s hard to stop someone that’s so good consistently."
The Lady Hornets led 42-41 entering the fourth quarter, but Lambert’s Morgan Jackson made a 3-pointer to tie the game at 49 apiece with under six minutes to play. The Lady Longhorns had a difficult time stopping Keys, as she continued to drive the ball to the basket and guided Roswell on an 8-0 run with 3:28 left in the quarter to make the score 57-49.
Jackson hit another 3-pointer to close the gap to 59-52 with 2:14 left to play, but Lambert couldn’t get any closer.
Keys scored all but six of Roswell’s final 19 points and finished the game shooting 13 of 16 from the field while connecting on 14 of 18 shots from the free throw line.
Morgan Jackson (14) and Ellie Hammer (12) led the Lady Longhorns.
Lambert played solid defense in the second quarter by forcing six turnovers and holding Keys scoreless to lead 23-21 at the half, but couldn’t keep the same intensity as they turned the ball over eight times in the third quarter and allowed Roswell to score 21 points.
The Lady Longhorns are in something of a rebuilding year after losing Forsyth County Player of the Year Christina Johnson to graduation in the spring. Johnson, who averaged 21.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game for Lambert last season, now plays for Lee University.
"We miss her pretty well," Keys said. "She was a critical [20 points and 10 rebounds] type of kid. She could take a game over whenever she wanted, so we’re missing her.
"We have to have some of our upperclassmen step up, but we’re still playing with young kids, some just out of eighth grade. … They’re just a step behind."
Lambert travels to Marietta High School on Saturday.