Ladies Falter in Stretch Run
By Charlie Bergmann
Special to The Pilot
A tenacious Pinecrest defense kept the visiting Jack Britt girls on the ropes for all but the final two minutes of Thursday's season-opening basketball game.
Leading 43-40 with 1:57 left in the game, a Patriot foul and a technical spurred a 7-0 Buccaneer run that turned an otherwise positive effort into a 47-43 defeat. Candice Seagraves scored a game-high 16 points for the home team.
Coach Alvita Thomas' squad returned to action on Saturday afternoon at North Moore in a first-round Pilot Cup contest against Union Pines.
"I think what really changed the game was when we got the technical foul," the Patriot coach said. "When they got to shoot four free throws and then got the ball, our girls couldn't come back from that."
The Patriots were unable to take full advantage of a whopping 30 Jack Britt turnovers but still led 34-25 late in the third period. The Bucs drew to within one at 41-40 on a trey by Catlin Sandy with 2:43 remaining, but the Pats' Jennie Joy countered with a layup off a steal.
Those would be the final Patriot points of the game. Moments later, a foul call and a technical against Ashleigh McKenzie put the Bucs' Ashlynn Francis on the line for four free throws. She made three tying the game at 43-43. The slide continued with another basket by Sandy and a Patriot turnover.
Overall, Thomas was encouraged by the performance of a young squad that includes four freshmen in the regular rotation.
"We have a great chemistry on our team this year," the second-year coach said. "I'm proud of all the girls, every last one of them. We were leading the whole time and it was unfortunate we lost at the end because of poor decisions."
Francis led the winners, now 1-1, with 15 points. Patriot point guard Jennie Joy scored five points to go with five assists and five steals. Freshman Felicia Painter contributed five points, six assists and four steals. Jack Britt won the jayvee game, 43-38.
Jack Britt 6 10 13 18 - 47
Pinecrest 11 8 15 9 - 43
Jack Britt - Ferguson 2 0-0 4, Francis 6 3-4 15, Sandy 3 1-4 8, Edwards 2 2-4 6, Parker 1 1-2 3, Shank 2 1-4 5, Williams 1 0-0 2, Taylor 2 0-0 4, Joneser 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 8-18 47; Pinecrest - Joy 2 1-2 5, Painter 1 2-2 5, McKenzie 1 3-4 6, Herm 0 0-0 0, Seagraves 7 2-2 16, Lynch 0 0-0 0, Thomas 1 0-0 3, Ferguson 1 0-0 2, Williams 3 0-0 6. Totals 16 8-10 43; Three point goals: (JB) 1 (Sandy); (PC) 3 (Thomas, McKenzie, Painter).
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