Patriots Split SEC Contests
Pinecrest vs. Hoke County - Jan. 24
Hoke County edged Pinecrest 57-55 on a buzzer-beater with .6 seconds to play Tuesday. Photos by Donna Ford.
After suffering their first conference loss in almost two years against Hoke County on Tuesday, the Pinecrest boys bounced back with a 51-39 home victory over Scotland County on Wednesday.
Antonio Jones handed out five of his game-high seven assists in the first half for a Patriot squad that was searching for the team play that was missing in the 57-55 Hoke defeat. That one was decided by a jump shot from the top of the key by Kentrel Black with 0.6 seconds remaining in the game.
Faronte’ Drakeford led the Patriots in the scoring column against the Scots with 15 points, while Jones contributed 11. The visitors were led by Jauan Petty with 14 points.
The Patriots take a 15-4 overall and 4-1 mark in the Southeastern Conference into tonight’s 7:30 p.m. game at Lumberton.
After falling behind 4-0 against Scotland, Drakeford scored nine points in an 11-0 run that put the Patriots in control. The 6-foot-6 forward was the beneficiary of two of Jones’ assists during the spree. Midway through the second period, a whirling three-point play by Jones in transition made it 18-8. The Patriots were also sparked in the early going by Tyrek McLaughlin’s smothering defense on the Scot point guard.
“I think we kept them very disjointed offensively,” Patriot coach Mike Apple said. “We had a much better defensive effort than we had last night.”
Better known as a scorer than a playmaker, Jones fed Marshall Smith for two second quarter baskets as the Pats took a 26-19 lead into the intermission. They led by as many as 17 points in the second half.
“That was just the way the game developed,” Jones said of his success in dishing out assists. “I caught the ball and saw Faronte’ was open. I just pass it to whoever I see is open.
“Everybody was upset about the Hoke game. I know I was because I shot really badly. Getting some easy baskets got our confidence up.”
It was an uphill climb throughout for the Patriots in their home game against Hoke County. Tarique Thompson, 6-4 sophomore transfer from Fayetteville Christian, burned them for 11 of his game-high 27 points in the third period as the Bucks took their biggest lead at 40-29.
Searching for something to change the momentum, the Patriots got it with 4:30 remaining when Traivon Williams blocked a Thompson shot, leading to a transition basket by Shakeal Pearson that made it 51-45.
The Bucks turned the ball over four times in a row at one point, leading up to a basket by the Patriots’ Phillip Wallace that tied the game at 55-55 with 12 seconds remaining in the game. After a time out, the buzzer-beater by Black put the Bucks’ into a first place tie with the Patriots.
The loss ended a 15-game conference winning streak for Pinecrest. Hoke is 8-8 and 4-1 after their first win over the Patriots since January of 2007.
Apple came away impressed with a Hoke team that has had little success against Pinecrest since Eric Maynor, now with the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA, last played for them in 2004.
“They’re the best team in the conference right now as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “They’re a very unselfish team and the Thompson kid does a great job down low. He was a load all night.
“We didn’t come out very strong and that put us in a bad spot. I give my guys a lot of credit for the last four minutes when they made a furious comeback. Conference championships are won by being ready to to play every night. To Hoke’s credit, they were all over us.”
Pinecrest 51, Scotland 39
Scotland 6 13 7 13 39
Pinecrest 11 15 15 10 51
Scotland — Robinson 0 1-2 1, Jones 0 1-2 1, Tr. McRae 4 3-6 11, Murphy 1 0-0 2, To. McRae 4 0-0 8, Petty 6 2-2 14, Henderson 0 2-2 2. Totals 15 9-14 39. Pinecrest — Wallace 1 2-2 4, Drakeford 7 1-2 15, Jones 5 1-1 11, M. Smith 4 0-0 8, Pride 0 0-0 0, Scales 0 0-0 0, McLaughlin 0 0-0 0, Pearson 3 0-0 7, Barnes 1 0-0 2, Cummings 0 0-0 0, Painter 0 0-0 0, Tolson 0 0-0 0, Williams 2 0-0 4. Totals 23 4-5 51. Three-point goals: (P) 1 (Pearson).
Jayvees Split, Too
Shocked by a buzzer beater in a 57-56 loss at Hoke County on Tuesday, the Pinecrest jayvee boys’ basketball team defeated Scotland County 63-57 in Laurinburg on Wednesday.
The Patriots, now 12-7 overall and 3-2 in conference play, led by as many as 18 points in the win over the Scots.
Chyshad McGriff was the leading scorer with 10 points. Jordan Fields, Daquan McCrimmon and Justin Ray scored nine apiece. Ray led the Pats against the Bucks with 15 points.
Contact Charlie Berg-mann at email@example.com. com.
More like this story