Powerful Pats

Published 10:47 pm Friday, January 22, 2010

After dropping four-straight games, the Pike Liberal varsity boys’ basketball team came into its matchup against Glenwood with something to prove.

And that is exactly what the Patriots did.

After a slow first half, PLAS picked up the pace and in the process cruised to a 48-30 win over the Gators Friday night at home.

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The win improved the Patriots to 4-6 overall and importantly, 3-3 in the AISA AAA Region 1.

“A region win is always big,” head coach Mike Barbaree said after the game.

“This was a game that we really needed.”

This was the team’s first win of the new year, with the last coming against Tuscaloosa Academy on Dec. 26, according to Maxpreps.com

After two quarters, the Patriots led by just six points at 16-10.

“I thought we started out very sluggish,” the coach said.

“We couldn’t get a lot of things going and at halftime I challenged them to play better and to get this win.”

Needless to say, his team responded.

In the third quarter alone, the Patriots scored 21 points, while holding the Gators to just 12.

By the fourth quarter, PLAS was able to build its lead up to 19 points, while it held Glenwood to just eight points in the quarter.

The Patriots had several players leading the way as three players scored in double-digits.

Martin Meeks finished with 12 points and six rebounds, while Chandler Avant and Justin McLaughlin finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

McLaughlin also had seven rebounds, before fouling out of the game in the fourth quarter.

One of the keys to the victory, according to Barbaree, was the defense in the second half.

“The pressure made a big difference in the third,” Barbaree said. “That really helped us out.”

The Patriots forced 26 Gator turnovers in the game.

“The big thing tonight was this team realized if they want to win games, they got to play all 32 minutes of a game,” Barbaree added.

Like the boys’ team, the girls’ team also found success on the court against Glenwood.

For the second time in a week, the Patriots bested the Gators, as the team won 48-28.

The win improved the girls’ team to 12-4 overall and 6-2 in AISA Region 1 play.

“This was a big win for us [Friday night],” head coach Steven Kilcrease said.

“We played a pretty good team in Glenwood.

“I have said all along, that on any given night, Glenwood, Lee-Scott or [PLAS], is the best team in the region and luckily we were able to get this win,” the coach added.

Both teams came into the matchup ranked in the AISA Top 10 pool – PLAS was No. 3, while Glenwood was No. 7.

The coach pointed out two things which helped the Patriots to victory.

“Defense and rebounds were the key [Friday night],” Kilcrease said.

“We held them to just 28 points, which was huge.”

In the two team’s last meeting on Jan. 15, PLAS won 57-50.

“We held them to one-shot opportunities on offense all throughout the night and made a huge difference for us,” the coach added.

Eady Pinkard and Rebecca Farrar led the way for PLAS with 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Both teams will be in action Monday afternoon against Edgewood at home.