PHS Girls Get Third Win in a Row
Jennie Joy walked toward the Pinecrest locker room after Thursday's 62-56 victory at Southern Lee, a very tired point guard.
After twice building as much as a 13-point lead, the Patriots (3-2) forced the action offensively in the fourth period like a team that was trailing instead of winning. With four minutes left in the game, the Cavaliers had taken advantage of enough quick shots and turnovers by the visitors to draw within one point at 54-53.
"They were a good team," Joy said, "but we had to settle down on defense and take our time on offense. We can be very impatient. You have to keep your head up. You can't let it get to you."
Candice Seagraves helped put the brakes on an 18-6 Cav run that began late in the third period with a feed to Kayla Herm for a two points. A quick steal and a layup by Joy made it 58-53.
Seagraves, who finished with 14 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, came up big in the final two minutes. She blocked a shot at one end and then received a pass back from Ashleigh McKenzie for the basket that increased the lead to seven.
A three by the Cavs' Yasmine Butler made things interesting again. But Seagraves worked the same play with Herm for the basket that all but wrapped up the third Patriot win in a row.
"She (Herm) was posted up and coach says when her hands are up just give it straight to her," Seagraves said of the critical baskets. "She put up the shots like we do in practice.
"I had to pick it up after the first half, especially when they started closing the gap. I definitely had to show senior leadership and try to relieve the pain."
The final points of the game came on another basket by Herm off an assist from Lizzie Smith.
After falling behind 5-4 in the early going, coach Alvita Thomas' squad never trailed again. Janea Williams helped the Patriots build a 30-25 halftime lead with nine points and three blocked shots. The 6-foot-2 freshman, who dunked a small basketball during practice on Wednesday, brought a gasp from the crowd when she jumped rim high with her hands on a second quarter putback attempt.
McKenzie's third three of the third period gave the Patriots a seemingly comfortable 48-35 lead at the two-minute mark before the Cavs (3-2) made their fourth quarter move.
Joy finished with 12 points, five assists and five steals. The junior is expecting the competition to be even tougher when the Patriots meet Western Harnett tonight in Lillington.
"We've got our work cut out for us in the next game," she said. "We have to keep up the intensity and keep playing."
Pinecrest 21 9 18 14 62
Southern Lee 9 16 17 15 57
Pinecrest Joy 5 0-2 12, Painter 2 0-0 4, Thomas 1 0-0 2, Seagraves 6 2-3 14, Herm 4 0-0 8, Williams 3 3-6 9, Lynch 0 0-0 0, McKenzie 3 2-2 11, Smith 0 0-1 0, Horne 0 2-2 2. Totals 24 9-16 62. Southern Lee Taylor 4 4-5 13, Bunnell 0 1-2 1, Smithwick 6 3-9 15, Daniel 4 0-0 9, Fox 2 0-0 5, Butler 5 0-0 11, Jenkins 1 1-2 3. Totals 22 9-18 57. Three-point goals: (P) 5 (McKenzie 3, Joy 2); (S) 4 (Taylor, Daniel, Fox, Butler).
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