Patriots Sting Yellow Jackets
No one in the gym at Lee County could possibly have foreseen the Pinecrest boys exploding to a 28-5 first-quarter lead Thursday evening.
“It was just playing hard every minute, just getting after it,” the Patriots’ Traivon Williams said after a high-energy performance. “I can’t say any more than that.”
The Patriots went on to defeat the Yellow Jackets 76-50. Adam Cummings and Sam Brower were a combined five-for-five from behind the arc during the first eight minutes.
Cummings scored a career-high 25 points on only 11 shots from the field, as he drained all seven of his three-point attempts.
Coach Andrew Lacey’s squad took a 2-5 record into Saturday night’s home game against Southern Lee. The Jackets fell to 1-3 with the loss.
The scoring began innocently enough with a pair of free throws by Williams. Cummings canned a three and then quickly turned a steal into two more for a 7-0 lead. Jacket coach Reggie Peace called his second timeout during the burst when Brendan Ortiz scored off a Justin Ray assist, making it 15-0.
A three by Chase Arrington put the Jackets in the scoring column, but Frankie Painter passed to Cummings for another trey to keep the Patriot express rolling. Painter and Greg Barnes assisted on two threes in a row from the left corner by Brower that completed the first-period onslaught.
“We’ve had leads before and a sign of growing up is how you play with leads,” Lacey said. “Do you push the pedal down and increase the lead or do you decrease it? Midway through the second quarter we got a little relaxed and they got back in it.”
An offensive rebound for two by Ortiz made it 35-18. Then the Pats got sloppy. A three at the buzzer by Arrington capped an 8-1 Jacket run that made it 36-26 at the intermission.
The Pats began the third quarter much like they did the first. A steal by Jermaine Martin on the opening possession led to a basket by Ray and the start of a 6-0 run. Williams blocked two shots and Cummings made two more treys in the period. Eight different players got into the scoring column as the Patriots expanded the lead back to 23 points going into the final quarter.
“We ran into a little trouble,” Lacey said, “but they settled down, got their poise and grinded it out.”
Cummings, a 6-foot-2 junior, is 15-for-18 from beyond the arc in the last three games. The Patriot coach would like to find more ways to get him the ball.
“It’s fine with me the way it is,” Cummings said. “I’ll find my shots. They were throwing me good passes and that’s what helped a lot. After the first few shots that’s when I became confident.”
The Patriots were 30-for-51 from the field (58.9 percent). Barnes and Ortiz each finished with nine points, and Williams added eight to go with as many rebounds. Daquan McCrimmon had a couple of nifty assists in the fourth period.
Durham Hillside provides the opposition for a 7 p.m. home game on Tuesday.
Pinecrest 28 8 21 19 — 76
Lee County 5 21 8 16 — 50
Lee County: Tatum 4 2-2 13, Person 1 2-5 5, Payne 1 2-2 4, Arrington 3 0-0 9, McEachin 3 4-5 10, Walker 3 3-4 9 Totals 15 13-18 50.
Pinecrest: Martin 2 0-0 4, Ray 1 1-2 3, Ortiz 4 1-1 9, Cummings 9 0-0 25, Williams 3 2-2 8, Scales 2 0-0 4, Brower 2 1-2 7, Barnes 4 1-2 9, Painter 0 1-2 1, Smith 0 0-0 0, McCrimmon 0 0-0 0, Ragin 1 0-0 2, Liles 1 0-0 2, Fields 1 0-0 2, McGriff 0 0-0 0 Totals 30 7-11 76.
Three-point goals: (L) 7 (Tatum 3, Arrington 3, Person); (P) 9 (Cummings 7, Brower 2)
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