Patriot Boys Roll Against Bucks
Late in the third quarter of Tuesday's game at James Moore gym, the Pinecrest boys pressed the cruise control button.
Visiting Hoke County took advantage. The Bucks twice cut what had once been a 17-point Patriot advantage to five points in the last four minutes of the game before the home team held on to secure a 65-54 victory.
Jarrin Wooten led the Patriots with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Cedrick Threadgill contributed 11 points, and Daquan Towns came off the bench to account for all four Patriot field goals in the final period.
Pinecrest takes a 13-1 overall and 4-0 mark in the Mid-Southeastern Conference into Thursday's game at Jack Britt (9-5, 3-1).
With a tough opponent on deck, the manner in which his team finished the game was not to Patriot coach Mike Apple's liking.
"We are a really talented ball club," he said afterward. "I really believe we can play very good offensively and very good defensively. Our biggest problem is that for whatever reason we get complacent at times.
"We go through droughts where we're turning the ball over too much and we're not contesting very hard on defense. That gets us in trouble."
Josh Scales and Tony Allbrooks had three assists apiece, and Wooten scored nine points, as the Patriots operated efficiently on the way to a 25-14 lead at the end of a quarter.
Early in the third period, Wooten turned a pass from Jahrelle Person in transition into a three-point play and a 45-28 Patriot lead. But, seven points in a row by the Bucks' Cory Freeman made it an uncomfortable, for the Patriots, 55-50 ball game with four minutes left to play in the game.
A jumper from the side by Towns, after penetration by Scales, ended the Patriot slide. Another basket by the junior, and a pair at the foul line by Scales, put the home team back in control at 61-52 with 1:29 remaining.
"I don't want to take anything away from Hoke County because I think Coach Pait (Travis) is doing an excellent job with these kids," Apple said. "They're very well-coached and play hard. But, I just felt we should have maintained or extended that lead instead of having to rally there to win the ball game."
Towns scored 36 points in one game as a member of the junior varsity team last year. Averaging 7.4 points per game in a reserve role for the varsity, his season high is 21, which he scored against North Moore in November.
"I really haven't been scoring much in the past games," he said. "This game was kind of good for me, coming off the bench."
Freeman led the Bucks (4-7, 1-3) with 18 points. Midway through the eighth and final year of the Mid-Southeastern Conference, the Pinecrest boys are seeking there first victory at Jack Britt. The Patriots have defeated the Buccaneers three times at Pinecrest.
Undefeated and ninth-ranked Seventy-First (13-0, 4-0) is tied for first place in the conference with Pinecrest.
The Patriot jayvee team moved to 12-0 with a with a 58-54 victory at Hoke County. They entertain Jack Britt on Thursday, beginning at 6 p.m. Also on Tuesday, the Patriot freshmen defeated Hoke 56-30 to improve to 5-4.
Hoke 14 14 13 13 -- 54
Pinecrest 25 14 14 12 -- 65
Hoke Reed 1 0-0 2, Morales 0 0-0 0, Wolff 1 0-0 2, Boston 3 0-0 6, Melvin 0 0-0 0, McKoy 5 2-2 12, Peguese 1 0-0 2, Freeman 6 6-8 18, McLean 6 0-0 12. Totals 23 8-10 54. Pinecrest Threadgill 2 6-6 11, Scales 2 4-8 8, Cole 1 0-0 2, Person 1 0-0 3, Wooten 6 3-5 15, Allbrooks 1 1-2 3, McCullough 2 1-2 5, Towns 5 0-0- 10, Brewer 3 0-0 6, Smith 1 0-0 2, Baldwin 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 15-23 65. Three-point goals: Hoke none; Pinecrest 2 (Person, Threadgill).
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