Patriot Girls Hold Off Hoggard
An out-of-sync performance on offense, and a dominating one on defense, added up to a 39-34 home win for the Pinecrest girls against Hoggard Friday evening.
Trailing 23-22 after a three-point third period without a field goal, Brianna Alston scored all seven of her points in the game during a decisive three-minute stretch that saw the Patriots take a 34-28 lead. The winners, now 4-3, were led by Felicia Painter with 10 points and nine rebounds. The Vikings dropped to 2-5.
“You’ve got to be confident whenever you play and just be confident in your shot,” Alston said afterward. “We had a few sloppy passes, but in the second half I thought we picked it up and got more motivated. That’s what helped us win the game.”
The shorter Vikings were limited to only five two-point baskets in the game by the inside presence of 6-foot-3 Janea Williams and the 6-foot Painter. Two threes by Julia Buhler and one by Sarah Downing helped the visitors grab an 11-8 lead after one period. But the Patriot guards, led by Jasmine Chalmers, limited those outside chances as the game went on.
A problem for the Patriots was that after Williams scored six early points, and Painter added seven in the second period, they became the forgotten members of the offense. The pair took one shot between them in the third and fourth periods.
A pair of free throws by Danielle Paran, and one by Painter, accounted for all the Patriot points in the third period as they went 0-for-eight from the field and turned the ball over often. A three by Chalmers gave them a 25-23 lead at the start of the fourth.
That’s when Alston began working the baseline on the right side of the basket with the help of some nice playmaking by her teammates.
After being fouled in the act and going one-for-two, the senior guard received a pass from Megan Thomas a moment later and drove for the basket that made it 28-23. Bri Smith countered for the Vikings, but Painter fed Alston for another layup and a 30-25 lead.
The Patriots were making the extra pass now instead of settling for the quick jumper. Painter received a pass at the top of the key and dished it to Williams for an easy layup.
“Our high-low game,” Painter said, “that’s our favorite. That’s what we do.”
Thomas and Alston collaborated one more time for the basket that gave the home team their 34-28 lead with 2:20 remaining in the game. Now it was just a matter of denying Viking opportunities from behind the arc to seal the deal.
“Our defense was the key in that game,” Painter said. “They had real good shooters, but they didn’t have tall post players so we had to step up and play good outside defense.”
Buhler led the Vikings with 14 points, including three of her team’s five treys. Thomas had four steals to go with the two important fourth-quarter assists.
Williams had a couple of early blocked shots that made the visitors wary of doing business in the paint.
Patriot coach Janie Hodges was pleased by the timely contributions by Alston at both ends of the court.
“Brianna plays several positions for us,” she said. “She plays hard and her work ethic is tremendous. “
The Patriots have a road game at Durham Hillside on Wednesday.
Senior Morgan Braswell is on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on a thumb she injured in practice.
Hoggard 11 5 7 11 — 34
Pinecrest 8 11 3 17 — 39
Hoggard: Downing 2 1-5 6, Tootos 2 0-0 4, Davis 0 1-2 1, Buhler 4 3-7 14, Giolini 1 0-0 3, Wooding 1 0-0 2, Smith 1 2-2 4, Rinehart 0 0-2 0. Totals 11 7-19 34.
Pinecrest: Painter 4 2-6 10, Lawhon 0 0-0 0, Alston 3 1-2 7, Paran 0 2-3 2, Williams 4 1-4 9, Chalmers 1 3-6 6, Waddell 0 0-0 0, Lynch 0 0-0 0, M. Thomas 0 1-2 1, Fairley 0 2-2 2, Gaffney 1 0-0 2, Z. Thomas 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 12-25 39.
Three-point goals: H 5 (Buhler 3, Downing, Giolini); P 1 (Chalmers).
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