Patriot Girls Claim First League Win
The Pinecrest girls found themselves in a knee-knocker of a basketball game at home on Tuesday against Hoke County.
With no more than three points separating the two teams throughout the entire fourth quarter, the Patriots grabbed a precious 54-52 victory on a basket by Ivory Ferguson with 10 seconds left in the game.
The Patriots were led in scoring by Karmen Spencer with 16 points, while Candice Seagraves chipped in with 13.
The first conference win for the Patriots in four tries ups their overall record to 5-8. They have a 6 p.m. date at Jack Britt on Thursday.
The game was tied for the 15th and final time at 52-52 on a basket by the Bucks' Whitney Atkins with just under a minute remaining in the game.
Both teams used a possession to take a timeout to set up a potential game-winning play, but came away empty. Then Spencer scooped up a ball in the Hoke end and fired a pass to Ferguson in stride for the winning basket.
A Buck turnover, a missed free throw in a one-and-one situation by the Patriots, and a last-second attempt by Atkins from long range, marked the hectic final seconds.
"It was tough because we had two players that were in foul trouble," Patriot coach Alvita Thomas said later. "But, they (players) did exactly what we told them to do when we were in the timeouts."
One of those sitting out most of the second half with four fouls was Seagraves. The junior forward was a big reason the Patriots led 30-25 at the intermission after scoring 11 points, stealing the ball seven times and grabbing five rebounds.
Hoke led 43-38 near the end of the third period. But, Ferguson, who scored all four of her points and grabbed all 10 of her rebounds in the second half, cut the margin to two points at 43-41 with a putback.
Seagraves was inserted back into the game with about four minutes remaining. She picked up three more rebounds and scored a basket down the stretch.
"I begged coach to get me back in," she said. "She finally did and we won the game. We worked as a team the whole way. This was our first conference win and the whole team is excited."
Spencer had another big game, repeatedly blowing by defenders toward the basket.
"They didn't know how to play a left-handed player," Thomas said. "They were taking away her weak side so she was just able to take it on in."
Atkins scored 18 points for the Bucks, now 3-6 and 0-4. Both Alisha Jones and Shaniqua Collins saw action for Pinecrest after being called up from the junior varsity.
Hoke graduate Shamia Brown enjoyed many big games against Pinecrest as a member of the Bucks. This week the High Point University freshman was named the Big South Freshman of the Week for the third time this season. She is second on the team in scoring with a 12.7 per game average.
Hoke 14 11 18 9 -- 52
Pinecrest 12 18 11 13 -- 54
Hoke McNeill 2 0-0 5, Parter 1 0-0 2, Atkins 6 5-7 18, Darden 3 1-3 7, Shaw 1 8-10 10, Maynor 2 2-6 6, Dixon 0 0-0 0, Brown 2 0-0 4, Honeycutt 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 16-26 52. Pinecrest Denham 0 0-0 0, Wrencher 0 0-0 0, McNeill 2 1-2 5, Seagraves 5 3-5 13, Herm 1 0-0 2, Spencer 5 6-11 16, Jones 2 0-0 4, George 2 0-1 4, Ferguson 2 0-0 4, Horne 1 0-0 2, McKenzie 2 0-0 4, Mashburn 0 0-0 0, Collins 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 10-19 54. Three-point goals: Hoke 2 (McNeill, Atkins); Pinecrest none.
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