By Doug Gorman
The Lovejoy Wildcats just keep on winning.
No wonder they are ranked third in the Class AAAA Gasports.com coaches poll.
Friday night in front of a rowdy, packed gym at Mundy's Mill, the Wildcats won for the seventh time in a row, knocking off the upset-minded Tigers 62-54.
Lovejoy improved its record to 18-2 overall and 13-0 in Region 4-AAAA action. Mundy's Mill falls to 10-9 overall and 4-8 in region play.
The Wildcats stayed unbeaten in region play by pulling away down the stretch when JuMicheal Ramos hit a 3-point shot to give the Wildcats a 52-48 lead.
Lovejoy then outscored the Tigers 10-5 over the final 3:24 of the contest.
The Wildcats closed out the game when Ramos and Jermaine Hough each hit free throws.
Both teams had the hot hand from 3-point territory. Mundy's Mill kept the game close with six long-range bombs.
The Wildcats spent most of the game trying to shake a determined Tiger squad. After Lovejoy took its first double-digit lead of the game with 18 seconds remaining in the third quarter to go up 46-36 on a pair of free throws by Christian Alford, Mundy's Mill fought its way back with a 10-2 run. Jarvis Moses and Darrius Sizemore each hit 3-point baskets during Mundy's Mill's spark.
After each team drilled two 3-pointers in the first quarter, Lovejoy pulled out to a 16-15 lead after the first eight minutes of the game.
Anthony's 3-point basket midway through the second quarter gave the Wildcats a 21-17 lead and the two team spent much of the second quarter exchanging baskets.
Lovejoy was led by Jalen Sage's 12 points and Jermaine Hough's 10.
Sizemore led Mundy's Mill with five 3-pointers and 17-points.
Lady Wildcats beat Mundy's Mill for the first time in four years: There must have been a time where the Lovejoy girls basketball team wondered if they would ever beat rival Mundy's Mill again.
After a four-year drought against one of their biggest rivals, the Lady Wildcats ended that burden Friday night with a 54-51 victory over the Lady Tigers.
After a slow start, Lovejoy has improved its record to 10-10 overall and 9-4 in region play.
"We got off to a really slow start this year," said first-year Lovejoy coach Arthur Carter. "Now we really feel like we can win every time we play. We have some really big games coming up."
The Wildcats led from start to finish, but had to hold off a couple of Mundy's Mill rally attempts. Twice during the game the Lady Tigers tied the contest.
Lovejoy led 14-10 at the end of the first quarter and 27-18 art the end of the first half.
Kim Dawkins dominated the board for the Wildcats finishing the game with 18, including 12 in the first half.
That helped spark the team to the early lead and also the victory after she came up with some key rebounds early in the contest.
Lovejoy's Keyashu Palmer put a scare into the crowd when she banged her head on floor, but she came back into the game and converted some big baskets for the Lady Wildcats.
Lovejoy led 41-36 at the end of the third quarter and pushed it to 44-36 early in the fourth quarter on basket by Dawkins.
Mundy's Mill rallied back and eventually cut the Lady Wildcats led to 48-47 when Taylor Britt converted a pair of free throws.
Lovejoy wouldn't allow the Lady Tigers to get in closer as the two teams exchanged a couple of baskets down the stretch before time expired.
Palmer led the way with 17 points. Britt finished with 18 for Mundy's Mill.