Pats Get Important Road Win
Pinecrest received immediate dividends from the game-plan for Friday night’s boys’ basketball contest at one of the toughest road stops on its schedule.
Led by an early burst of points from Phillip Wallace and Faronte’ Drakeford, the Patriots jumped out to a 13-2 lead against Richmond Senior and never trailed on the way to a 74-64 victory. They improved to 3-0 in the Southeastern Conference and 13-3 overall. The Raiders dropped to 11-4 and 1-2.
Antonio Jones scored 22 of his game-high 23 points in the last three quarters to help keep the momentum on the Patriot side. Drakeford wound up with 18 points to go with nine rebounds and five steals. Wallace added 14 points and five assists.
“Coach Apple (Mike) told us to push the ball because they like to play zone,” Wallace, the Patriot point guard, said. “So we tried to get down before they could set up. We just wanted to go out aggressive and go at them because we knew they were going to come at us.”
Drakeford, who was 8-for-8 from the foul line in the game, turned a steal into a three-point play for a 5-0 lead. He and Wallace accounted for all of the points in the 13-2 racehorse start that stunned the home team.
“I just congratulated them on the start because after the first four minutes it was a pretty even game,” Apple said. “I attribute that to my seniors. I just have to tell Phillip one time what I want and he does his best to do it. Faronte’ was just playing at a different speed early in that game. He was really able to put the defense for Richmond in bad situations.”
A drive for two points by Wallace gave the Patriots their biggest lead of the first half at 27-13. But behind 17 first half points by Trey Little, the Raiders pulled to within two points at 33-31. Then a timely three by Jones sparked an 8-2 run that made it 41-33 Patriots at the intermission.
The Raiders closed the gap to 45-42 early in the third period. Then Drakeford fed Damion Pride for a layup and later Jones drained another three during a 14-2 spurt that put the game out of reach for the Raiders.
“I felt the atmosphere was going to be pretty intense,” Apple said. “To our credit, we took the crowd out of the game early.”
A combined total of 50 fouls were called in the game and four of the nine Raiders dressed fouled out. Early in the second season of the Southeastern Conference, the first place Patriots have won all 15 their league games.
The Pats were scheduled to play a non-league contest at Western Harnett on Saturday. Conference play resumes with home games against Hoke County and Scotland County on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Pinecrest 74, Richmond 64
Pinecrest 18 23 18 15 74
Richmond 10 23 11 20 64
Pinecrest - Wallace 6 2-5 14, Drakeford 5 8-8 18, Pride 1 0-2 2, M.Smith 0 0-0 0, Jones 8 5-10 23, Wilson 0 0-0 0, McLaughlin 0 0-2 0, Pearson 1 1-2 3,Williams 4 0-0 8, Cummings 0 0-0 0, Barnes 2 1-2 5, Painter 0 1-2 1, Tolson 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 18-33 74. Richmond – Little 7 5-6 19, Breeden 4 1-2 13, Glenn 0 2-2 2, Freeman 8 2-3 18, Ellerbe 3 1-3 7, Richardson 1 1-5 3, Clarke 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 12-21 64. Three-point goals: (PC) 2 (Jones 2); (RC) 4 (Breeden 4).
The Pinecrest girls never got untracked at Richmond Senior Friday night in their bid to take over sole possession of first place in the Southeastern Conference basketball standings.
Coach Mike Loutzenheis-er’s squad connected on only nine of 36 shots from the field and committed 28 turnovers in the 43-24 loss that dropped them to 2-1 in the league and 11-3 overall.
The first place Raiders are 3-0 and 13-2 after winning their 11th game in a row.
The Raiders defeated the Patriots 41-30 last month in the title game of the Pinecrest Christmas Tournament. Each team made just one basket in the first four minutes of Friday’s rematch. With the Pats trailing 13-7 midway through the second period, a jumper by Jennie Joy and a three by Ashleigh McKenzie closed the gap to 13-12.
The deficit was a manageable 19-13 at halftime. But the Raiders’ speedy guard, Tiara Ellerbe, took charge in the third period, scoring 10 of her game-high 18 points. The home side took a 31-20 lead into the fourth quarter and the Patriots made only one more basket the rest of the way.
The high scorers for the Patriots were Joy, McKenzie and Felicia Painter with six points apiece.
After a non-league game at Western Harnett on Saturday they are scheduled to entertain Hoke County and Scotland County in conference play on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I’m not really sure what happened,” Loutzenheiser said. “I think we got down on ourselves early missing some shots and having some turnovers. That unfortunately turned into a lack of effort early in the game. I honestly thought we got outplayed, outhustled and outcoached.”
Contact Charlie Bergmann at firstname.lastname@example.org. com.
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