PHS Girls Fall in Showdown With Pirates
If the Pinecrest girls could win fourth quarters against Lumberton, they would be riding high in the Southeastern Conference right now.
For the second time this season, and the fourth in a row going back to last year, the Pirates caught up and passed the Patriots in the final period. Friday night’s 51-48 loss in Lumberton cost the Pats a share of first place.
The Patriots led for the final time with about a minute left in the game when Keegan Lynch fed Brianna Alston for two inside. Aliyah Ratley scored to tie it up on a basket with 39 seconds remaining. She had two steals and teammate Keanna McNeill made four free throws to provide the decisive points in the closing seconds.
The Patriots were led by Janea Williams and Jasmine Chalmers with 15 points apiece. McNeill scored 17 to lead the Pirates (14-3, 5-0). The loss drops the Patriots (10-7, 4-2) into third place in the conference behind the Pirates and Scotland High.
Afterward, Felicia Painter, who scored 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Patriots, was hobbling on an injured ankle that forced her to miss the final two minutes of the game. She talked about the disappointing ending.
“We had them (Pirates) the last game and we had them this game,” she said. “We have to learn to dig deep and how to finish a game. We didn’t do that tonight.”
The Patriots combined the inside scoring of the 6-foot Painter and 6-3 Williams, and three first-half treys by Chalmers, to take a 25-14 lead midway through the second period. Asaya Graham had a pair of threes that helped the Pirates close the gap to 28-25 at the intermission.
The Patriot inside game disappeared in the third period, but the visitors still took that three-point margin into the fourth. They led 45-42 with two minutes remaining after Williams split a pair at the line. Then came the injury to Painter, a game-tying three by Ratley, and the clutch play by the Pirates in the final minute.
The Patriots contributed to their downfall by making only seven of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter. The Pirates helped make up for their size disadvantage by making six threes in the game.
“Lumberton shoots well,” Patriot coach Janie Hodges said. “We just kind of had some mental lapses and allowed them to knock them down the shots.
“I know the girls put it out there for the most part. Hopefully we’ll see them in the conference tournament and we’ll be victorious.”
The Patriots travel to Scotland High on Tuesday. Painter’s injury was diagnosed as a sprain on Saturday, making her a doubtful participant.
Pinecrest 13 15 7 13 — 48
Lumberton 8 17 7 19 — 51
Lumberton: Graham 4 0-0 10, Ingram 2 0-1 4, Ratley 2 6-10 11, McNeill 4 6-7 17, McCoy 2 0-0 4, Jones 2 1-2 5. Totals 17 11-18 51.
Pinecrest: Chalmers 4 3-4 15, Waddell 0 1-2 1, Painter 3 4-6 10, Lynch 0 0-0 0, Williams 6 3-10 15, Alston 3 0-0 6, Paran 0 1-3 1, Fairley 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 12-25 48.
Three-point goals: P 4 (Chalmers 4); L 6 (McNeill 3, Graham 2, Ratley).
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