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What was missing in the middle wound up costing Lake Norman’s boys basketball team in the end.

Attempting to stretch a current winning streak while also aiming to polish off another home-and-home season series sweep, the Wildcats instead endured a devastating double-digit deficit during the course of second and third period play, serving to undermine both.

As a result, Lake Norman was dealt a 66-58 defeat by I-Meck Conference member Mallard Creek serving to draw the former’s modest two-game win spree to a close while also shouldering their victims with their first split of a season’s series opposite a fellow I-Meck foe.

The Wildcats slipped to the 5-4 mark in the pivotal conference counting ranks that continues to carry the most clout in regards automatic postseason possibilities. It also placed Lake Norman’s overall record for the season to the 12-7 level upon heading back into scheduled play.

At Mallard Creek to take on the Mavericks, an opening first-quarter edge earned by the Wildcats quickly evaporated during the two periods used to draw one half to a close and begin another. After nudging out to a 14-9 lead through one full period of play, a combination 15-point turnaround taking place during the second and third quarters dug too deep of a hole for the Wildcats to escape.

In the losing cause, Lake Norman senior guard Jack Edmonson clocked in with the lone twin-figure scoring effort with his 18 points that also garnered him outright ownership of the game’s overall second-best output as well. The Wildcats’ Bryant King came next closest to hitting the double-digit barrier before finishing with his nine points.

It marked the first time in two tries so far this season Lake Norman came up short in its bid to complete a series sweep over a fellow I-Meck rival.

The Wildcats headed back into action Friday against Hough High, with results from that trip posted too late to be included in this edition. They then return home to entertain arch-rival and closest I-Meck counterpart Mooresville in a cross-town rival renewal Tuesday night.

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