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PLAS girls defeat CCA, boys fall 67-37

The Pike Liberal Arts varsity girls kept their momentum rolling heading into the postseason Saturday, defeating Crenshaw Christian 42-33 in the regular season finale.

PLAS led 24-14 at halftime, but the Cougars battled back in the second half to take the lead at 27-26 after a 13-2 run that lasted the entire third quarter and into the fourth.

PLAS head coach Steven Kilcrease said the CCA run was due more to stellar play from the Cougars than poor play from the Patriots.

“That had a lot to do with Crenshaw,” Kilcrease said. “They did a good job defending us inside on the post, and we were cold outside. They also did a great job of hitting some shots.”

However, Josie Griffin stepped up for the Patriots in the fourth, scoring 13 of her 15 points in the period.

After CCA took the 27-26 lead, Griffin nailed a three to put PLAS back on top 29-27.

The Cougars later went up 31-30 before back-to-back 3-pointers from Griffin put PLAS up for good at 36-31.

“She just hit some big shots for us,” Kilcrease said. “We were cold, and couldn’t hit anything, but she was big. She was the difference in the ball game.”

The Patriots will be back in action Wednesday in the region tournament Thursday in Montgomery, where they will take on the winner of Wednesday’s Ft. Dale/Hooper game.

The varsity boys will also be in Montgomery for the region tournament this week, but will be coming off a blowout loss to CCA’s boys.

The Patriots fell to the Cougars in their regular season finale 67-37.

“Crenshaw’s a pretty good – no, they’re a very good basketball team,” said PLAS head coach Mike Barbaree. “We just have to find ourselves between now and Wednesday. We just didn’t shoot well tonight, but the thing we have to get better at doing is preparing mentally.”

PLAS trailed just 19-13 early in the second quarter before CCA broke the game wide open with a 19-1 run.

Jake Hataway was key for CCA, scoring 21 points in the first half to lead the Cougars to a 41-21 halftime lead.

CCA made sure there would be no miraculous comeback in the second half by starting the half on a 14-0 run.

Ross Hixon and Stewart Pinckard led PLAS with eight points each. The Patriots were without the services of leading scorer and rebounder Justin McLaughlin, who sat out due to a shoulder injury.

“He didn’t dress today because he played through a shoulder injury Friday in a big region game, but he’ll be back at practice Monday,” Barbaree said.

The Patriots must now turn their attention to attempting to bounce back Wednesday, when they take on Hooper in Montgomery at 2:30 p.m.

“I still have confidence in us,” Barbaree said. “I believe we can win Wednesday against Hooper.”