Pinecrest Tops Richmond 75-61
The Pinecrest boys approached Friday night's Southeastern Conference basketball game against Richmond Senior as a big one.
Coach Mike Apple's squad was more than up to the task, building as much as a 28-point lead in a 75-61 conquest of the Raiders at James Moore Gym. Led by an all-round performance by Julian Brewer that included 16 points, five rebounds and five assists, the Patriots maintained sole possession of first place in the conference, improving to 4-0 in the league and 15-2 overall.
The Raiders, now 11-4, 2-2, were expected to provide the Patriots with their toughest conference test so far.
"We put a lot of importance in this game," Apple said. "There was a lot of concern going in. I told the kids they (Raiders) were 11-3 coming in, and they know how to win ballgames."
There were early signs of trouble for the Patriots when the Raiders scored seven points in a row to cut an eight-point second-quarter lead to one. But Brewer scored seven points and Harron Carson had a pair of assists during a 9-0 run that extended the Patriot advantage to 31-21 at halftime.
"Before that we had a timeout," Brewer said. "Coach just told me to be aggressive, and that's basically what I did. I took the ball to the rim like I'm supposed to."
Brian Love broke the Raider drought with a three at the start of the second half. Meanwhile, Brewer was still on a roll and brought some teammates along with him. The 6-foot-3 senior and Daquain Towns scored nine points apiece in an explosive 28-point third quarter that ended with the Pats in front 59-36.
"When Julian gets going, there's none better on the basketball court," Apple said. "I've been saying that for a long time. The thing I liked tonight was his decision-making with the ball. The kids just got into the flow, and when you do that it gets pretty easy."
Towns along with Antonio Jones with a pair of threes kept pouring it on in the fourth quarter as the lead topped out at 66-38. Three threes by the Raiders' Tedarrius Wiley cut into the final margin.
Towns scored 15 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. James Baldwin added 12 points and eight boards. Jones contributed 10 points to the Patriot cause.
Wiley led the Raiders, who made eight shots from behind the arc, with 18 points. Love came in averaging 22 points per game and was held to 13.
While the Patriots took a while to get the offense in gear, the defense was tenacious right up until the time the issue was clearly decided.
"Before the game, everybody was saying it was a big game and we should go out there and play hard," Brewer said. "Defense was one of our keys to winning the game."
Scotland County defeated Lumberton 81-79 in overtime to remain a game back in the league at 3-1. The Patriots were scheduled to play a non-league game at Overhills on Saturday. They are at Hoke County for a 7:30 p.m. conference clash on Tuesday.
Richmond 11 10 15 25 - 61
Pinecrest 16 15 28 16 - 75
Richmond - Love 5 0-0 13, Wiley 5 5-5 18, Keane 3 0-0 7, Freeman 2 4-4 8, Riddick 0 0-0 0, Quick 1 0-0 3, Reid 4 4-8 12, Lindsey 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 13-17 61. Pinecrest -Wallace 2 1-4 5, Carson 3 2-4 8, Towns 7 1-3 15, Brewer 6 4-5 16, Baldwin 5 1-2 12, Drakeford 1 3-4 5, Collins 0 0-0 0, Jones 4 0-0 10, Smith 0 0-0 0, Pride 1 0-0 2, Russ 1 0-0 2, Peterkin 0 0-0 0, McPhaul 0 0-1 0, T. McLaughlin 0 0-0 0. Totals 30 12-23 75. Three-point goals: (R) 8 (Wiley 3, Love 3, Quick, Keane; (P) 3 (Jones 2, Baldwin).
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