Wooten Leads Patriot Boys Past Cavaliers
At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Pinecrest post player Trevion Wooten is already used to being outsized in basketball games this season.
In Friday night’s 49-34 victory at James Moore Gym, the junior more than held his own in the paint as the Patriots put Southern Lee through their meat grinding defense. He scored six points, grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and helped make inside baskets for the Cavaliers hard to come by.
Adam Cummings and Kardashian Ragin each drained a pair of threes and went on to lead the Patriots with 12 and 11 points, respectively. After their second win over the Cavs, coach Andrew Lacey’s squad takes a 2-1 record into Tuesday’s game at Jack Britt.
“Let me tell you this about Tre Wooten,” the Patriot coach said afterward. “We gave the team a perception test yesterday. In that test two of the categories were: Who do you think is the hardest worker on our team and who do you think is the toughest player on our team? Everyone in that room said Tre Wooten.
“Tre has only one speed and that’s hard. If you don’t go as hard as he does, he’ll beat you every day.”
A steal and a basket by Jermaine Martin-Calhoun ended an 11-2 Patriot run to start the game. Brendan Ortiz fed Wooten for his second field goal of the period and then made Ragin the beneficiary of another assist for a three that gave the Patriots a 16-10 advantage going into the second.
With three minutes left in the period, the Cavs took a 21-19 lead on a basket in transition by Noah Mellette. The Patriot defense then went into a lock-down mode for the remainder of the half. Ragin turned a drive to the basket into a three-point play and a 22-21 Patriot halftime lead.
“They threw that 1-3-1 at us and it got our kids off,” Lacey said. “I’m glad our kids showed that resilience on defense and didn’t fold up.”
Cummings sparked a 10-2 Patriot run to begin the second half with a putback and a three. The Cavs never got closer than seven points after that.
Three times in the fourth quarter the Patriots scored off inbound plays. One came on about a 20-yard spiral by Cummings that Justin Ray, a wide receiver on the Patriot football team, caught over his shoulder in stride for a basket that made it 47-31.
Lacey substituted freely throughout with fresh players rotating at about three-minute intervals.
“It feels good,” Lacey said of holding an opponent to 34 points. “I told the guys I don’t care how many points people score, I want to be the No. 1 field-goal percentage defensive team in our league. The kids have bought in and that’s what’s behind the two-platoon system.
“Because of our lack of size it’s the only way we can play and be competitive.”
Wooten will be facing players a lot larger than the Cav’s 6-3, 235-pound Justin McKinnon in the coming weeks.
“It feels kind of good going against players bigger than me,” he said. “I’ve got to work harder. It pushes me. We’ve got a lot of good defensive players so we just have to guard them close.”
The Patriots leave on Thursday for a weekend basketball tournament in Berwick, Pa.
Southern Lee 10 11 8 5 — 34
Pinecrest 16 6 14 13 — 49
Southern Lee: Locust 1 0-0 3, Jalen Jackson 1 0-0 2, Mellette 3 0-1 7, McLeod 2 0-0 4, Hewitt 1 0-0 2, Wicker 3 0-0 6, Juwan Jackson 4 0-3 8, McKinnon 1 0-0 2. Totals - 16 0-4 34.
Pinecrest: Ray 4 0-0 8, Ragin 4 1-1 11, Ortiz 1 1-2 3, Cummings 3 4-4 12, Wooten 3 0-0 6, Martin-Calhoun 2 0-0 4, Calhoun 0 1-2 1, Brower 0 0-0 0, Justice 1 0-0 2, Painter 1 0-1 2, Kropp 0 0-0 0. Totals - 19 7-10 49.
Three-point goals: SL 2 (Locust, Mellette); PC 4 (Cummings 2, Ragin 2).
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