Patriots edge Northside Methodist, 50-49

Published 10:32 pm Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pike Liberal Arts School hosted Northside Methodist Academy for the first time ever in basketball action and were not very gracious hosts. The boys overcame foul difficulties throughout the game to post a 50-49 win while the ladies cruised to a 47-20 victory.

Baskets by Alex Tillery and Tanner Free put the Patriots up 15 – 10 after the first quarter. The second quarter saw the home team struggle with foul trouble as three starters were on the bench by the six minute mark. The visitng Knights took advantage and led 24-23 at halftime.

The third quarter alone saw a total of six lead changes before NMA went on a late run in the period. The Knights scored the last nine points of the quarter to push out to a 37-32 lead.

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The fourth quarter saw NMA push the lead as high as 46-38 at the 3:20 mark. The Patriots then went on a tear as Stewart Pinckard connected on back – to – back three point bombs and Free added two free throws with 47.5 seconds remaining to tie the game. After a Knights miss Free was able to connect on a putback to give PLAS their first lead of the period with 12.7 seconds left. Chandler Avant added a halfcourt steal and lay-in before a Knights three ended the scoring.

Head coach Bob Pickett was pleased after the victory.

“ We were able to overcome some foul trouble and score 18 fourth quarter points to earn a hard – fought win,” he said. Free led all scorers with 17 and Avant and Pinckard each had 10.

The girls employed stifling defense throughout the game to grab an early lead. The Patriots extended their lead to a 17 – 2 margin before the Knights were able to push the game within ten. The third quarter saw the Patriots catch fire on a 17 – 6 run as Katie Ward had a three pointer , Sara Saunders had back – to – back baskets and Ellie Barron closed it out with a basket to make the lead 34 – 13 after three periods.

The fourth quarter was a showcase for Marlee Tunstill as she had nine of her team-high 15 points. Ward added nine and Carrley Barron had eight for the Patriots.