Patriots fall just before the buzzer,
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 2, 2000
PLAS girls get key win over Lee-Scott
By STEVEN G. WATSON
The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots were only seconds away from ironing out all this Region Tournament business, but those final seconds can get hairy when you’re talking basketball.
In a game that almost mirrored their last second loss to Glenwood a little over a week ago, the Patriots fell 62-61 on a shot just before the buzzer to Lee-Scott leaving the Region seedings still up in the air.
Now the PLAS boys will have to wait for the results of the Macon-East Glenwood game to see if they will be a No. 3 or a No. 4 seed. An important thing, as the Region’s No. 4 seed will have to play an extra game and also face off against the No. 1 school (Lee-Scott) a day later.
PLAS made a valiant comeback down 11 points at the break and fought back to actually take the lead with nine seconds remaining. Those nine seconds were just enough for Lee-Scott to get the ball to sophomore Alan Ponder allowing him to hit the shot with 2.7 left.
"We’ve had our chances to wrap the thing up, that’s for sure," PLAS head coach Jim Ryan said. "We overcame a big deficit, but they did just what they had to.
"We had great defense, had a hand in the kid’s face, didn’t foul and he made it," he continued. "He’s a prime time player, probably the best sophomore around."
The two close losses are tough, especially for a team fighting for their playoff lives, but Ryan wants his squad to keep their chins up.
"We’ve had our share of these seems like," Ryan said. "We have to look at it optimistically because we’re as good as any of these teams. Those last-second shots are one thing, but it all goes back to free throws. We were 4-of-12 from the foul line, there’s your game right there."
Ponder hit for a game-high 21 points for Lee-Scott while Nick Paul led four Patriots in double-figure scoring with 14. Josh Waldrop and Clint Wallace both hit for 13 and B.J. Powell had 12.
In the girls game the Lady Patriots came up with a big win to seal up the No. 3 seed in the upcoming tournament. They held off Lee-Scott 39-35 by matching them point for point in the second half.
The PLAS girls had a slight 19-14 advantage at the break after jumping out to a 12-5 advantage in the first quarter. Lee-Scott had a surge of scoring in the second half, however, only to be held off by some good free throw shooting down the stretch.
Leading scorers for the Lady Patriots were Sabrina Swindle with a strong 13 point performance and Senthy Rachel who notched 10.
The Lady Patriots will now face the loser of the Glenwood Macon-East game also played last night. in the upcoming tourney.
In the Junior Varsity games, the Lady Patriots notched another big win 21-12 over the Lee-Scott JV.
PLAS held Lee-Scott to only two points in both the first and third quarters and took a 12-4 four lead at the half.
Rae Pinckard led the team with five points and Brantley Kries finished with four.
In the boys’ game Josh Barbaree had three and Dusty Kimbro and Dean Anderson both notched two in a 36-7 loss.