Patriots wear Lakeside Chiefs ragged in big home win

Published 10:39 pm Monday, November 12, 2012

Pike Liberal Arts head coach Craig Kennedy discusses strategy in the Patriots game against Lakeside on Monday (Photo/Ryan McCollough)

Pike Liberal Arts head coach Craig Kennedy never let the Patriots ease up on Lakeside Monday night in a 52-39 win.

Even down the stretch when the Patriots were leading by as many as 19 points, Kennedy was still coaching.

Kennedy was yelling one thing from the sidelines, “Defense.”

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“You can’t win if you don’t play good defense,” said Kennedy. “It is a pride issue. There is not a whole lot of technique to it, it just comes down to ‘I’m going to stop you.”

The Patriots never trailed against Lakeside, and the game was tied only briefly at 2 and 9.

Junior Chandler Avant led the Patriots with 13 points and got Pike off to a hot start.

Chandler took control of the game from the opening tip, scoring the Patriots’ first eight points.

Avant also ran the point for most of the night and found open looks for other scorers, such as Marquese Christian and Brian Adams and Rush Hixon.

“Chandler brings a lot of energy to this team,” said Kennedy. “He is a skilled basketball player and a great kid. The players love him and respect him.”

The Patriots took an eight point lead in to halftime, thanks to a half-court buzzer beater by Hixon, but poured it on early in the second half to open the game up.

Pike Liberal opened the third quarter with a 12-3 run and never looked back.

Lakeside mad a rally late but was too little to late and never could catch up.

Outside of Avant, Adams had 11 points and Christian and Hixon added nine a piece.

In the girls game, Kennedy saw the Patriots dominate most of the contest only to fall late, 41-37, to the Lady Chiefs.

Just like in the boys game, the Patriots got a hot start from one player.

Carrley Barron scored Pike’s first six points, and remained a factor throughout the first half.

Pike led the entire first half, took a 25-20 lead in to the locker room.

Barron didn’t play much in the second half, due to feeling ill, but the Patriots other low post player, Kori Chrico stepped up in her absence.

Chrico scored six of the team’s 12 second half points.

“It is huge to get points of your bigs,” said Kennedy. “We have some height down on the low block, and it will be an advantage for us this season.”

Pike lost the lead late in the third quarter but gained it back on the first possession on the fourth when Megan Johnson dropped in a lay up.

Lakeside went on a 9-4 run to end the game, and win 41-37.

Kennedy said that is a strange feeling when one team wins, and the other does not.

“Coaching both teams is a little strange,” said Kennedy. “When the boys when and the girls lose, or vice-versa, you are happy for one and dissappointed for the other. We have to get both to win on the same night.

Pike Liberal Arts hosts South Montgomery County Academy on Thursday at 4 p.m.