Patriot Girls Top Lumberton, Face Scotland for Conference Tourney Title
The Pinecrest girls easily dispatched conference nemesis Lumberton 47-30 in a Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinal basketball game Thursday evening.
Janea Williams and Felicia Painter each posted double-doubles as the Patriots continued a trend of frustrating opponents with suffocating defensive efforts.
Coach Janie Hodges' squad (16-8) meets regular-season champion Scotland High (20-3) at 7 p.m. today in Laurinburg.
The Scots defeated Richmond Senior 63-37 in the other semifinal contest.
Scotland and Pinecrest split two regular-season games, with the Patriots handing the Scots their only conference loss 57-47 on Jan. 24 at Pinecrest.
Playing in Lumberton, the Patriots set out to end a streak of six losses in a row to the Pirates. According to Hodges, the pre-game plan was to play hard man-to-man
defense, concentrating on denying touches by Keanna McNeill, who scored 14 and 15 points in the Patriots’ two regular-season losses.
The Patriots extended an 11-7 lead after one quarter to 24-14 at halftime. Leading 36-25 after three quarters, they never let the Pirates get back into as they did when they lost late leads in the previous two games.
Williams finished with 16 points, 19 rebounds, four blocked shots, four assists and a steal. Painter also scored 16 to go with 13 boards and three steals. Lynch contributed six
points and Megan Thomas had five.
Asaya Graham led the Pirates (18-6) with seven points. McNeill was held to three.
“We tried to tire them out with our man-to-man,” Hodges said after the team’s fourth win in a row. “Dessence (Waddell), Keegan (Lynch) and Jasmine (Chalmers) did a great defensive job on their guards.
"We kept our composure and it was a great defensive effort by everybody all the way.”
The Patriots made it to the semis by defeating Purnell Swett 66-24 at home on Tuesday. The Pats’ double-duo along with Chalmers had big games in that one. Painter led
all scorers with 17 points and also grabbed 14 rebounds. Williams added 16 points, 18 rebounds and five blocked shots. Chalmers contributed 15 points, six steals and four assists.
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