Pinecrest Girls Top Lee County
It's one thing to have a good game plan. Executing it is another matter.
The Pinecrest girls' basketball team (3-4) took care of both sides of the equation in Monday's 53-36 home victory over Lee County (3-4).
Karmen Spencer returned from a three-game absence because of a wrist injury to lead the Patriots with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The home team held center Clarissa Crump, who scored 30 points in the Jackets' 51-48 win over the Patriots in Sanford last week, to nine points.
The Patriot plan was to collapse the defense around Crump and attack the Jacket guards man-to-man in the backcourt. The tactics contributed to 28 Jacket turnovers.
"We said we can't let one person beat us," Patriot coach Alvita Thomas said after the game. "We knew all they wanted to do was get it down low so we focused on guarding her (Crump) the whole game."
Crump made two baskets in a first quarter that ended with the Patriots leading 11-10. Cutting off the entry lane to Crump, Patriot forward Candice Seagraves had three quick steals at the start of the second period, discouraging the Jackets from attempting to get the ball inside.
Leading 25-22 early in the third quarter, Spencer and Addy George were the principals in a blistering 15-0 Patriot run fueled by steals coming off the full court pressure on the Jacket guards. Taylor Wrencher, Jamecia McNeill and Paige Horne also got into the act at both ends of the court.
The Jackets' Ashley Pender briefly stopped the bleeding by going one for two at the foul line, but the Patriots then ran off 10 more points in a row, making it 50-23.
"We knew they couldn't run with us," Thomas said. "We decided to run the ball, run the ball, and they couldn't keep up. We accomplished exactly what we set out to do."
George finished with 11 points and six rebounds. Seagraves was the steals leader with six. Crump was held to seven shots from the field and 13 points under her 22 points-per-game average. Ivory Ferguson, Horne, George and Kayla Herm took turns taking the primary responsibility for stopping the Jacket star.
The Patriots lost all three games last week with Spencer on the shelf. The sophomore guard was eager to get back on the court to help her team
"I hate sitting on the bench," she said. "I was really happy to be back out there, playing hard. We played together tonight. It's all about teamwork."
The effort was a huge improvement from last Friday's loss at Union Pines when the Patriots trailed 39-8 at halftime.
With the first Mid-Southeastern Conference game slated for this Friday at Douglas Byrd, the revival came at a good time.
"It was ugly last week," Thomas said. "We practiced for hours on Saturday. We knew what we had to do."
The Pinecrest jayvee team (2-3) also made amends for a loss to Lee last week. Shaniqua Collins scored 12 points in the Pats' 57-37 victory over the Jackets. Lizzie Smith and Alisha Jones were also in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
"Tonight we hustled more and were more confident because we knew we should have beaten them the first time," Patriot coach Brittany Minogue said. "We're improving slowly."
Lee County 10 8 5 13 36
Pinecrest 11 13 20 9 53
Lee Scott 3 0-0 6, Pender 0 1-2 1, Verbal 4 0-0 8, Jackson 4 0-0 8, Crump 4 1-4 9, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Kremer 0 2-2 2, Teel 1 0-1 2. Totals 16 4-9 36. Pinecrest McKenzie 0 0-0 0, Ferguson 1 1-2 3, Seagraves 1 1-2 3, Horne 1 2-2 4, Spencer 6 7-13 19, McNeill 2 0-1 4, George 5 1-2 11, Wrencher 3 0-0 7, Herm 0 0-0 0, Denham 1 0-0 2, Mashburn 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 12-22 53. Three-point goals: Pinecrest 1 (Wrencher).
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