Jennie Brings Joy Back for PHS Girls
If there was any doubt about how much the Pinecrest girls missed having Jennie Joy in the lineup, it was erased at Hoke County Tuesday evening.
The Patriots went 1-4 during the junior point guard's absence because of a head injury suffered in the first half of a game at Scotland County on Jan. 12. They held a 25-24 lead over the Bucks when she made her first appearance since then at the start of the second half of the basketball game.
On the first possession, Joy fed Candice Seagraves for two points. She turned her own steal into another basket, and then grabbed a rebound and raced up court for a dish to Seagraves for two more and a 31-24 Patriot lead.
"Once I came in there, the pace changed," Joy said afterward. "I had to give it all I had while I was out there. It felt great."
The last eight Patriot points of the quarter came from Joy free throws, as the home team was unable to stop her drives to the hoop.
When the period was over, the Pats' lead was 49-36 on the way to a 63-49 victory.
The Patriots (9-9, 2-3) face a tough test tonight in Southeastern Conference leading Lumberton (5-0, 14-2). The scheduled tip-off time at James Moore Gym is 6 p.m.
Because Joy had not been practicing regularly, Patriot coach Alvita Thomas did not have her in the starting lineup against Hoke (2-12, 1-4).
"Of course, we had to go by the doctor's orders because of her head injury," Thomas said. "She practiced a little bit yesterday and said that she felt good. When she gets out on the court, she makes things happen. She plays hard and leaves it all out on the court."
In spite of the halftime lead, the Joy-less Patriots were a listless bunch in the first half. A pair of threes off the bench by freshman Megan Thomas in the second quarter helped keep their heads above water.
Seagraves scored eight of her team-high 19 points during the third quarter rally. Joy sank a three moments before beginning her procession to the charity stripe.
While Joy was taking a rest in the fourth quarter, the Bucks cut what was once a 16-point deficit to 55-47. But she returned to ignite a 6-0 run that included steals by Janea Williams and Thomas.
The victory was the first for the Pinecrest girls at Hoke County in more than 10 years. Joy's half of work included 13 points, all in the third quarter, five assists and three steals. Williams, another Patriot freshman, grabbed 10 rebounds to go with seven points and five steals. Thomas finished with eight points. Briana Darden led the Bucks with 17.
Pinecrest 7 18 24 14 - 63
Hoke 12 12 12 13 - 49
Pinecrest - Painter 1 0-0 2, Smith 2 2-2 6, McKenzie 1 0-0 2, Seagraves 9 1-3 19, Williams 3 1-2 7, Joy 2 8-11 13, Lynch 0 0-0 0, Thomas 3 0-0 8, Horne 0 0-0 0, Herm 2 0-0 4, Crawford 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 12-18 63. Hoke - McNeill 0 2-2 2, Dixon 1 0-0 2, Honeycutt 1 0-0 2, Farrell 4 1-2 9, Thompson 3 5-9 12, Pegues 1 0-0 2, Darden 8 4-8 20. Totals 18 12-20 49. Three-point goals: (P) 3 (Thomas 2, Joy); (H) 1 (Thompson).
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