Palm Beach Lakes lost most of its starting lineup to graduation. But those who have stepped into lead roles this year are doing just fine.
Denzel Robinson scored a game-high 21 points, and Giancarlo Rosado added 16 to lead Palm Beach Lakes to a 74-49 boys basketball victory over host Palm Beach Gardens Tuesday night.
Sheldon Edwards pitched in 15 points for the Rams (2-2), who posted a big second half after trailing by 11 points at halftime.
The Gators, who were led by Armani Hayes’ 16 points, dropped to 0-3.
“It’s amazing when you start making shots, and the defense starts to pick up and guys feel good about themselves,” said Palm Beach Lakes coach Lorenzo Hands, who led the Rams to the Class 8A state semifinals last season. “It took us a half to figure out what they were doing, but in the second half we just started hitting shots.”
Palm Beach Lakes got off to a dismal start, missing its first five shots and turning the ball over twice within the first four minutes.
The Gators didn’t shoot much better, but jumped out to an early 5-0 lead before the Rams scored their first field goal with 4:06 left in the first quarter.
Palm Beach Gardens found its shooting touch later in the quarter, and jumped out to an 11-2 lead following back-to-back three-pointers from Ricardrick Haye.
The Gators closed the quarter leading 15-4.
Palm Beach Lakes’ shooting woes continued to start the second quarter, while Hayes was hitting from all over for the Gators.
The senior guard led all scorers with 12 points at halftime, and helped stake Palm Beach Gardens to a 30-19 halftime lead.
But it didn’t last. The Rams began hitting their long-range shots to open the second half, and pulled within 36-30 at the midway point of the third quarter.
Palm Beach Lakes got within three points later in the quarter, and then tied it at 38 on a Robinson three-pointer with 51 seconds remaining.
The Gators went back ahead, but the Rams retook the lead 41-40 on another Robinson three-pointer as time expired in the quarter.
The final quarter belonged entirely to Palm Beach Lakes, as the Rams continue to rain three-pointers.
Palm Beach Lakes went up by 19 points, and closed the game with a 25-point cushion.
Ty Hands, the Rams’ lone returning starter from last season, finished with nine points.
Christian Arteaga had 10 points for the Gators, and Haye added nine – all on three-pointers.
In other basketball games Tuesday night:
St. Andrew’s 62, North Broward Prep 53: Marcus Pelissier had 25 points and six rebounds and Jammy Pierre-Louis added 15 points as the Scots (3-0) got past the Eagles in Boca Raton.
Grandview Prep 89, Hollywood-Sheridan Hills 56: Nadav Naim scored 31 points and added eight assists, Chance Donovan had 21 points and 11 blocks, and Cross Pratapas contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Pride (4-1) routed the Sharks in Hollywood.
Wellington 75, West Boca Raton 43: Bryan Williams had 16 points and five assists and Texan Moulton had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds as the Wolverines (3-0) defeated the Bulls in Wellington.
Boca Raton 64, Park Vista 53: Cade Long scored 32 points and Adam Elotmani added 11 points as the Bobcats overpowered the Cobras in Boca Raton.
John I. Leonard 92, Elite Academy 56: Jerquan Worthen scored 20 points, Arsenio Ayala added 17 points and Jordan Brown contributed 13 points, as the Lancers got past Elite Academy in Greenacres.
Somerset Canyons 71, John Carroll 55: Anderson Estime scored 19 points and had five assists, and Carl Jayseus added 14 points and 11 rebounds, as the Cougars (2-2) won in Fort Pierce.
Jupiter Christian 68, Seminole Ridge 56: Toler Reiff scored 20 points and Jethro Germinal added 16 as the Eagles defeated the Hawks in Loxahatchee.
Santaluces 58, Spanish River 56: Jashone Anderson scored 22 points, and Jeremy Hock and Malacai Davis each scored 12 points, but the Chiefs (2-1) fell to the Sharks in Boca Raton.
Forest Hill 69, Boynton Beach 53: Phillip Lyttle scored 24 points and had 14 rebounds and five steals, and Jalen Jackson added 14 points, nine rebounds and four steals as the Falcons (3-0) defeated the Tigers in West Palm Beach.
Atlantic Christian Academy 50, Donna Klein Academy 44 (OT): Trevin Levy scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had four assists, Jordan Dixon added 10 points, three steals and 11 rebounds, and Gerson Civil contributed 10 points as the Sharks (2-2) got past the Eagles in overtime in West Palm Beach.
St. John Paul II Academy 60, Hollywood-Chaminade-Madonna 53: Coby Opoku had 17 points, David Curlee had 14 points and Kurt Bromley contributed eight points as the Eagles (2-0) handled the Lions in Hollywood.
Coral Springs Charter 51, American Heritage 39: Bailey Uderitz had 15 points and seven rebounds and Aamir Justice added 15 points, but the Stallions fell to the Panthers in Coral Springs.
Fort Lauderdale-Calvary Christian 66, Oxbridge Academy 52: Ronique Spencer led all scorers with 19 points, including four three-pointers, in the loss for the ThunderWolves (2-2) in Fort Lauderdale.
Olympic Heights 42, Royal Palm Beach 39: The Lions edged the Wildcats behind Evan Botwinik’s 11 points. Jack Coulson added seven points for Olympic Heights, while Shaquille Peters led Royal Palm Beach with 17.