Lumberton Handles Patriot Boys
A determined defensive effort was not enough to overcome offensive woes as the Pinecrest boys were defeated 53-44 by Lumberton in a basketball game at James Moore Gymnasium Friday night.
Brandon Ortiz led the Patriots with 13 points as they dropped to 2-4 in the Southeastern Conference and 7-13 overall. The Pirates, 13-6 and 5-1, were led by Dorian Davis with 13 points.
With shot after shot rimming out in the early going, the Patriots fell behind by as many as 10 points at 21-11 in the second quarter. The Patriot offense didn’t exactly catch fire at that point, but the home team scored the final eight points of the first half. A putback by Frankie Painter made it 21-19 at the intermission.
In spite of six players having left the team since the season began, the Patriots battled hard to slow-down the high-scoring Pirates. It is not an issue Patriot coach Andrew Lacey wanted to talk about.
“We made a team bond that we wouldn’t discuss that issue,” the coach said. “As coaches we don’t totally understand why they did it. But as the season goes on we have to get ready with the the guys we have to play. We can’t look back on it. We have to keep moving forward and that’s what we tell our players.”
The Pirates began the third period with a 9-3 run to expand the margin to 30-22. But the Pats bounced back one more time.
Traivon Williams began an 8-1 run with a drive for two points. Ortiz worked his way inside for two more and then scored on a tip-in. With a minute left in the quarter, Adam Cummings assisted on a jumper from the side by Justin Ray that cut the difference to 31-30.
Christian McRae scored off an inbounds play for the Pirates to make it 33-30 going into the final eight minutes. But the only Patriot points during an 8-2 run by the Pirates to start the fourth quarter came on a basket by Jordan Fields.
The visitors led by as many as 12 before threes in the final 1:30 by Cummings and Ortiz cut into the final margin.
Hoke County remained on top of the league at 6-0, one game ahead of the Pirates, with a 60-49 win over Richmond Senior. Purnell Swett is in third place at 3-3. Pinecrest and Richmond are tied for fourth place at 2-4 followed by Scotland County at 0-6.
Lumberton 15 6 12 20 — 53
Pinecrest 9 10 11 14 — 44
Lumberton: Strother 1 3-4 5, Fletcher 1 1-2 3, Davis 4 4-6 13, McRae 5 3-6 13, McNeill 4 4-5 12, Nagrampa 0 0-0 0, Smith 3 1-2 7. Totals 18 16-25 53.
Pinecrest: Ray 4 2-4 10, Ortiz 6 0-0 13, Cummings 1 1-2 4, Painter 1 1-2 3, Williams 4 2-3 10, Ragin 0 1-3 1, Martin-Calhoun 0 0-0 0, Fields 1 0-0 2, Brower 0 0-1 0. Totals 17 7-15 44.
Three-point goals: L 1 (Davis); P 2 (Ortiz, Cummings).
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