PLAS teams both bring in home wins

Published 5:56 pm Saturday, January 14, 2012

For the first period of Pike Liberal’s game against Kingwood, it looked like the dominating team that had overcome Monroe Academy the night before might have stayed at home.

But despite a slow start that lasted well into the second period the Patriots were still able to flex their offensive and defensive muscles to pull out a last minute victory 72-64.

Patriot player Chandler Avant helped boost the team’s attack and give them the offensive edge they needed, scoring 29 points total including a game-saving 11 in the fourth period alone.

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“He had a great game and was a huge part of our run to stay ahead,” Patriot head coach Bob Pickett said. “I thought all the guys played well we limited turnovers, got control of the ball and won the rebound battle and when you can do that you’re going to win.”

The win didn’t come without a fight though, despite the Patriots getting up by as much as 17 early in the fourth.

The trouble started in the closing minutes of the game when Kingwood began to get a strong foothold, sinking three-pointers and forcing fouls for free throw opportunities.

In fact, for the last few moments of the game, free throws became a deciding factor, with the last 11 of the Patriots points brought in on the free shots.

Not only that, but both sides found themselves racking up their fair share of penalties, with three Kingwood players fouling out of the game and several Patriots just shy of ejection themselves.

The closest Kingwood managed to get to the Patriots in the fourth was a narrow two points, but the Patriot defense held strong and allowed their offense to put some distance between them and claim the win.

“Basketball is all about runs,” Pickett said. “Stopping theirs and starting yours. You can’t let yourself get stagnant and take your foot off the pedal or the other team will take advantage of you.”

The win gives the Patriots a two-game winning streak and a little bit of time for rest and recuperation before their game on Monday, Jan. 16, against Abbeville.

Though the boy’s team hit a little bit of resistance late in their game, the girl’s team overcame a slow start to roll over Kingwood 40-23.

The girls only managed three points in the first period, courtesy of a three pointer by Katie Ward, and found themselves down for almost the entire first half before retiring to the locker room tied at 13 all.

The girls woke up for the second half though, taking hold of the lead early and even going on a run of 11 unanswered points in the third.

The offense for the girls was led by a combo of Ward, who had 13 points that included three three-point shots, and Marlee Tunstill with 12.

The girls have been dominant in their last few games and will try and continue their success on the road Monday at Abbeville.

Tip-off will be at 4:30.