Cold-Shooting Patriots Fall to Scotland High
They made no runs. There was no go-to-guy. They allowed an opponent to score as many as 60 points for the first time this season.
For a Pinecrest boys’ basketball team that had won five of its last six games, all of that combined with cold shooting from the field and the foul line ended up in a disappointing 60-46 home loss to Scotland High Thursday evening.
Kardashian Ragin led the Patriots with nine points. Artemis Robinson, the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the Scot football team in the fall, scored a game-high 20. The Patriots dropped to 2-1 in the SEC and 10-4 overall. The Scots notched their first victory of the season after 11 losses.
“We faced a team tonight that competed and we didn’t compete,” a somber Patriot coach Andrew Lacey said afterward. “We didn’t have good practices this week — the kids weren’t focused. It could have been exams — it could have been a number of things.”
It was a struggle for the Patriots right from the start. They didn’t make their first field goal until midway through the first period when a drive for two by Justin Ray cut the Scot lead to 9-4. They led for the only time in the game at 20-19 late in the second period on a three by Adam Cummings.
The last points of the half came on a drive for two by the Pats’ Paul Winter-McRae that made it 24-22 Scots.
“We wanted to mix up what we do — a little zone a little man-to-man,” first-year Scot head coach Jackie Amos said of the defensive approach that was stifling the Patriots. “They have some great shooters and we didn’t want their shooters to get going.”
Robinson, who scored 14 of his points in the second half, helped the Scots build their advantage to 40-31 going into the fourth quarter. The closest the home team would get the rest of the way was 41-35 with about five minutes remaining when Trey Wooten split a pair at the foul line.
But six points in a row by the Scots’ Aly Kaba put the deficit back into double digits. The outcome was no longer in doubt when Sam Brower and Ragin drained back-to-back threes in the final two minutes for the Pats’ only run of more than four points in the game.
Amos was asked how he got a team that waited so long for its first win ready to play a team like the Patriots that was on a nice roll.
“It was tough,” he said. “This was the first time we held a lead for almost all of the game. Our kids don’t know how to play with the lead and I have to learn how to play with it too.
“The guys did a good job sucking it up and pulling it off.”
The Patriots finished the night 16-for-53 from the field (30.2 percent) and 11-for-26 from the charity stripe (42.3 percent). Watching the action with interest were Richmond Senior coach David Laton and his players. The Raiders (12-4, 2-1) entertain the Patriots on Monday in a game postponed from Friday.
“We’ll have to go back and get ready and determine what we have to correct,” Lacey said.
The current SEC standings are: Hoke County 3-0, Pinecrest and Richmond 2-1, Purnell Swett and Scotland 1-2, and Lumberton 0-3.
Scotland 14 10 16 20 — 60
Pinecrest 11 11 9 15 — 46
Scotland: Kaba 7 0-0 14, Robinson 5 8-11 20, Graham 2 0-4 4, Tyson 0 1-2 1, Jones 1 2-2 5, Gregory 2 2-4 7, McKoy 4 0-2 9. Totals 21 13-24 60.
Pinecrest: Ray 2 2-4 4, Ragin 3 2-5 9, Ortiz 3 0-0 6, Cummings 3 1-2 8, Wooten 2 2-5 6, Painter 0 3-6 3, Martin-Calhoun 1 0-0 2, Calhoun 0 0-2 0, Brower 2 0-0 5, Winter-McRae 0 1-2 1, Justice 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 11-26 46.
Three-point goals: S 5 (Robertson 2, McKoy, Jones, Gregory); P 3 (Brower, Ragin, Cummings).
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