Pinecrest vs Cardinal Gibbons 07.jpeg

Pinecrest sophomore Jullien Cole passes the ball against Cardinal Gibbons last week at home. Cole scored 11 points in the win over Whiteville to open the West Bladen Christmas Tournament on Tuesday.

With both sides applying tight pressure on the ball during the early stages of the game, turnovers were plentiful.

For the Pinecrest boys basketball team, it was a matter of slowing down slightly from their fast pace of play to limit some of the miscues. And when the Patriots made those changes, the floodgates opened for a 61-44 win over Whiteville in the first round of the West Bladen Christmas Tournament Tuesday.

“We just had to slow down and start playing our game. It wasn’t very pretty tonight,” Pinecrest coach Kellen Parrish said. “We got the win tonight but it wasn’t our best showing.”

Pinecrest plays against St. Pauls in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Clinging to a 19-11 lead after the first quarter, the Patriots (6-3) used a 14-2 run to open the second quarter and take their lead out to 20 points.

“When we take care of the ball and get rebounds, that’s when we are at our best,” junior Colby Wallace said. “We had to be stronger with the ball mostly, and needed to flash in the middle because the middle was open.”

In that third quarter, seven Patriots scored, but no player had more than three points. Wallace hit his second 3-pointer in the quarter, and other shots from behind the arc came from Kelvyn Harrington, Jullien Cole and Christian Freeman.

In the second half, Whiteville (6-3) never drew closer than 16 points as Pinecrest’s defense locked down its opponent.

“At times, we can be really great on defense. We’re talking, we’re in helpside, we’re playing good ball pressure,” Parrish said. “It’s about us maintaining that good, tough defense for longer than just two or three possessions, but for an entire quarter.”

Wallace finished with a team-high 12 points and Cole chipped in 11 points. Nehemiah Thomas and Jackson Bode both scored eight points each.

Zion Wilson scored 12 points, all in the first half to lead the Wolfpack and Shaheem Shipman scored nine points in the second half.

Pinecrest Girls into Sheetz Classic Fifth-Place Game

Behind a 20-point performance from Brittney Sparrow, the Pinecrest girls basketball team claimed a 55-19 win over Southern Guilford Tuesday in the consolation round of the Sheetz Classic hosted by Southwest Guilford.

The win puts the Patriots (5-4) into the fifth-place game against High Point Central Wednesday at noon.

Sparrow drained four 3-pointers over the first three quarters. The Patriots opened with 21 points in the first quarter, with six coming from senior Emmie Modlin.

Modlin scored another six points in the third quarter to finish with 12 points. Jakaya Scott had six points on a pair of treys in the win.

Contact Jonathan Bym at (910) 693-2470 or

Recommended for you

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. Subscribe today and support local community journalism.

Digital Only Subscriptions

The Pilot

Get unlimited digital access and support award-winning local journalism, for just $5 a month. This includes access to the electronic replica edition of The Pilot.

Starting at
$5.35 for 30 days

Already have a Print Subscription? Get Digital Access Free.

The Pilot

As a print subscriber, you also have unlimited digital access. Connect your account now.

Home Delivery

The Pilot

Our best deal: Get all the news of Moore County delivered to your home each Wednesday and Sunday — and receive unlimited digital access to

Starting at
$27.82 for 90 days