Purnell Swett Defeats Patriots
Prior to Friday night’s basketball game at Purnell Swett, Pinecrest coach Andrew Lacey met with Traivon Williams and wrote some numbers down on a piece of paper.
The Patriot coach knew he needed a big game from the senior for his team to have a chance to break a three-game losing streak.
“It was stay disciplined with two fouls, 20 points and 15 rebounds,” Williams said of the numbers posted by his coach. “I tried my hardest for the rebounds and tried my hardest to get into the paint for free throws. What Coach told me was to be a leader and I went out and played my heart out.”
The 6-foot-2 forward finished the game with 18 points, 17 rebounds, seven steals and two blocked shots. He was 10 for 14 from the foul line. An all-around hustling effort by the Patriots was not enough as they lost 63-57 before an enthusiastic Ram senior night crowd.
The Patriots, 7-15 overall, fell into a tie with Scotland County, a winner over first-place Hoke County on Friday, at the bottom of the Southeastern Conference standings with a record of 2-6. They complete the regular season with games at Richmond Senior on Tuesday and at home against Hoke on Friday.
It was an uphill fight all night for a Patriot squad that trailed by 21 points at 43-22 in the third period before throwing a scare into the Rams down the stretch.
Late in the first quarter, a three by James Chavis gave the foul-prone home team a 14-4 lead. By halftime the Rams had committed 18 fouls. But the Patriots were able to convert only 10 of 23 free throws and trailed 34-18 at the intermission.
“We came into the locker room at halftime and were hanging our heads because we were down,” said junior Frankie Painter, a team captain along with Williams and junior Adam Cummings. “But the captains and leaders of the team came in and pepped everyone up. That helped bring us back as close as we did.”
Things got worse before they got better. The deficit was 21 points when Williams went one for two at the line to start a Patriot rally. With 2:15 remaining in the third period, he turned a drive down the lane into a three-point play, making it a 43-33.
Midway through the fourth, another Chavis three put the Rams back in control at 58-40. But a three by Sam Brower ignited a 15-2 Patriot run that ended with a bank shot by Williams. It was now 60-55 with just under a minute remaining in the game.
The Patriots had a chance to make it a one-possession affair before a now jittery Ram squad that was three for 13 at the line in the quarter closed it out.
“That’s the type of captain and leader you need as a senior,” Lacey said of Williams’ effort that included seven points, seven rebounds and three steals in the quarter. “He’s the type of kid that is hungry and wants to go to the next level to play. It showed tonight.”
The Rams committed a whopping 30 fouls in the game. The Pats completely turned things around at the foul line, going 11 for 14 in the fourth quarter and 17 for 21 in the second half. Justin Ray, with 13 points, and Cummings, with 12, were also in double figures for the Pats. Chavis, with 18, and Juwon Jones, with 14, led the Rams.
“We dug a hole and didn’t help ourselves out any,” Lacey said of the team’s slow start in the game. “But we fought through adversity and got within five down the stretch. I’m very, very proud of our kids.”
Pinecrest 6 12 17 22 — 57
Purnell Swett 15 19 13 16 — 63
Pinecrest: Ray 4 5-10 13, Ortiz 1 3-4 5, Cummings 2 7-8 12, Painter 2 2-6 6, Williams 4 10-14 18, Martin-Calhoun 0 0-2 0, Brower 1 0-0 3, McNeill 0 0-0 0, Fields 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 27-44 57.
Purnell Swett: Watson 2 0-0 5, Oxendine 1 1-2 3, J. Jacobs 2 0-0 4, Jones 5 4-7 14, Chavis 5 5-6 18, McDonald 4 1-5 9, Pipkin 2 0-0 4, I. Jacobs 1 0-3 2, Martin 2 0-0 4, Harrington 0 0-0 0, Pearson 0 0-2 0. Totals 24 11-25 63.
Three-point goals: PC 2 (Cummings , Brower); PS 4 (Chavis 3, Watson).
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