PC Girls and Boys Open with Wins at Jack Britt
The Pinecrest girls and boys both ended many years of futility with road wins at Jack Britt in Monday night’s basketball season openers.
Led by an all-around performance by senior point guard Jennie Joy that included 16 points and seven assists, the Patriot girls defeated the Buccaneers 46-37. It was the first Patriot win against the Bucs in Fayetteville since Jan. 8, 2002 when the teams were members of the Mid-Southeastern Conference.
On Monday, the two teams were never separated by more than four points in the game until Lizzie Smith fed Janea Williams for a basket that gave the Pats a 32-26 lead in the closing minute of the third period.
Early in the fourth, a three by Joy extended the Patriot margin to 35-28. Senior Ashleigh McKenzie sank a three-pointer and later turned a steal into two more as the visitors maintained a safe margin the rest of the way.
Sophomore Janea Williams contributed to a successful coaching debut by Mike Loutzenheiser by scoring eight points to go with 10 rebounds.
The 64-60 victory for the Patriot boys was the first-ever for the school in the den of the Buccaneers. Faronte’ Drakeford and Antonio Jones each contributed 20 points to the Patriot cause in a game that was up for grabs until the final minute of play.
Coach Mike Apple’s squad trailed 10-2 in the early going before an eight point first quarter by Drakeford helped close the gap to 18-16.
A three by Antonio Jones gave the visitors their first lead at 19-18. Then Traivon Williams and Phillip Wallace helped fuel a 23-point second period that gave the Pats a 39-32 halftime advantage.
The home team cut the lead to two at the end of the period and went ahead 51-49 in the first minute of the fourth on a pair of free throws by Arkel Minick. The deficit was four before Jones tied the game at 58-58 with a pair at the line with 3:54 remaining in the game.
Williams fed Drakeford for two, and a moment later, Marshall Smith spotted up Jones for his third trey of the night, making a 63-58 at the 1:40 mark. Williams, who finished with 10 points, had a big block in the closing minute as the Bucs tried to desperately to even the score.
Both Patriot teams are back in action on Tuesday in their home openers against Seventy-First. The girls’ game gets underway at 6 p.m. followed by the boys’ contest at 7:30 p.m.
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