Patriot Girls Surge Past Scotland
After a dreadful second-quarter performance, Pinecrest girls' basketball coach Bill Permakoff kept his team right on the court.
Outscored 17-6, they trailed a Scotland team that was winless in the Mid-Southeastern Conference, 28-18.
"We didn't even go into the locker room at halftime," senior forward Hanna Humphrey said. "We knew we just had to pick up the defense to turn it around."
The visiting Patriots exploded for 44 points in the second half, grabbing a 62-55 victory that broke a five-game losing streak in league games.
The Pats' Latanya Cain scored 16 of her 18 points after the intermission. Humphrey and front-court mate Brittney Williams each scored 13 in the game. Humphrey also took down 10 rebounds and contributed four steals.
Megan Brigman led the Scots with 23 points, including four of her team's eight treys.
Pinecrest takes a 3-5 conference and 6-10 overall record into Tuesday's 6 p.m. home game against Richmond. The loss dropped the Scots to 0-8 and 5-11.
Senior guard Leondra Smith sparked the second-half comeback with her playmaking. She fed Williams for three baskets in a row, one a three-point play, cutting the deficit to 28-25.
Brigman got the Scots back on track with a three and a one-for-two effort at the line, but moments later, a rare three by Ashley Brooker and a steal and a layup by Smith brought the Pats within two at 34-32.
The Patriot defense was beginning to take its toll on the Scots and produce transition baskets.
"It all starts with defense," said Cain, who was about to go on a tear. "It was a team effort getting the steals, and we just had to look up the court for the fast-break layups."
An inbounds pass from Morgan Saunders to Williams at the start of the fourth period produced the points that tied the game for the first time at 39-39. Moments later, trailing 47-44, an 11-0 game-changing Patriot run began with a power drive to the hoop for two more by Williams.
With 5:30 left in the game, a baseline jumper by Brooker gave the Patriots their first lead at 48-47. Humphrey stole the ball on the next possession, and fed Cain for the first of her three transition baskets in a row. That put the Patriots in control at 55-47 with under three minutes left in the game. The Scots never got any closer than five points after that.
The Patriots were without four players that were suspended for missing a practice as the second half of conference play got under way. The team hadn't played since last Friday because of exams at the school this past week.
"Coach wants us to look at the next seven games as a fresh season," Humphrey said. "With several girls out, we really needed to step it up. I was glad we could pull out a win tonight."
Permakoff had a question for his team after the game.
"I just asked them, 'Who was that team in the first half?'" he said. "We don't play that style. We were lethargic, and that could have been because of the week off.
"In the second half we played our style -- up-tempo -- diving for loose balls -- taking the ball to the hole -- a little helter-skelter."
Pinecrest 12 6 19 25 -- 62
Scotland 11 17 11 16 -- 55
Pinecrest -- Smith 3 0-0 6, Humphrey 5 3-6 13, Williams 6 1-2 13, Brooker 3 1-2 8, Cain 7 2-5 18, Brown 0 0-0 0, Justice 2 0-2 4, McElligott 0 0-0 0, Saunders 0 0-0 0. Totals -- 26 7-17 62.
Scotland -- Brigman 9 1-3 23, McIntyre 6 0-0 15, Amos 1 0-1 2, Jones 1 0-0 3, Newton 1 2-2 4, McLean 4 0-0 8. Totals -- 22 3-6 55.
Three-point goals: Pinecrest 3 (Cain 2, Brooker); Scotland 8 (Brigman 4, McIntyre 3, Jones).
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