Pinecrest got points from nine different players in posting a 61-23 win Monday over Lee County in girls’ basketball action at James Moore Gymnasium.

Leading the way for the Patriots was senior Keayna McLaughlin, who finished with 19 points. She had poured in 40 points in the Patriots last game before the Thanksgiving break, a 59-29 win over Anson County Nov. 26.

It was the third straight lopsided win for the Patriots after they opened the season with a 51-17 loss to Glenn.

“We are a young team,” said Patriot head coach Ronsau Cole. “We have made some strides (since that first game). The girls are starting to trust each other and playing like a team. We’re sharing the ball. Trust is a big key. We are playing hard and playing as a team.”

Getting points from nine players pretty much proves that the team is “sharing the ball.”

Others joining McLaughlin in getting points Monday include Aniyah Jackson and Haley Kallgren, both with eight points, Britteny Sparrow and Sarah Holder, both with six points, Ella Clark and Kadence Stewart, both with five points, and Mia Washington and Ashlyn O’Leary, both with two points.

Next up is the beginning of Sandhills Athletic Conference action when Seventy-First arrives at Pinecrest Friday.

The Patriots are two-time defending conference champions, but as Cole pointed out he has a very young team that features just six seniors, two of which are out with injuries. McLaughlin, Sha’hoda Kelly, Clark and O’Leary are the senior available while Ellie Campbell and Jordyn Davis are currently injured.

Other than the seniors, the team features two juniors and six sophomores.

“It’s a different team, a young team so we’ll take it one game at a time,” said Cole when asked about the upcoming conference battles. “I have four seniors that are active that have been through the last couple of seasons. They just have to step up and be leaders.

“We’ll take it one game at a time. As long as we take care of us we should be fine.”

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