Pike County picks up first win of season

Published 9:41 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2011

There wasn’t a state championship style celebration nor did head coach Doug Branson take a Gatorade bath but there were definitely smiles. A monkey may have even been chased off the bench and out of the gym as Pike County picked up its first victory of the season, defeating Carroll High School 59-46 in the opening round of the Ozark Shootout on Wednesday.

“I happy for the kids,” head coach Doug Branson said. “After the beatings we’ve taken this year and to see these guys continue to hang in there is just a good feeling.”

It wasn’t as easy as the score might show, however.

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Pike County led by just four at halftime, 24-20, but the Bulldogs exploded in the third quarter going on a 17-1 run to pull away.

The teams took the better part of the first half to feel out one another’s defenses. Carroll took an 11-8 lead on a three-pointer before the Bulldogs added a pair of free throw just before the end of the opening period.

Ryshawn Hall hit a jump shot to put Pike County ahead but Carroll would quickly answer to pull ahead, 13-12.

Azriel Larkin nailed a three at the 4:27 mark of the second quarter to hand the lead to the Bulldogs for good.

Carroll did cut their deficit to one with 15 seconds remaining in the third frame but Pike County began their 16-point run to end the threat.

“We added some guys from the B-team to help with substitutions,” Branson said. “I think it helped keep our starters fresh and helped us defensively.”

The Bulldogs would lead by as much as 18 in the second half.

DeAndre Moore and Quadry Greasham would lead Pike County with 13 points each. Kamari Jackson added 11.

The Bulldogs will play the winner of LAMP and Daleville at 8:30 tonight at the Ozark Civic Center.