Pike Liberal Arts stuns Edgewood Academy, 55-52

Published 11:38 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

Just over two weeks ago, the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots were routed on the road at Edgewood Academy. In that game the Pats the Pats fell behind early, never could get caught up and never threatened the up-tempo Wildcats.

Thursday night Pike outhustled, outshot and outlasted the same Edgewood team enroute to a 55-52 win.

In a complete turnaround from the earlier game, Pike was able to get on the scoreboard early and ofter in the first quarter.

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Chandler Avant and Marquese Christian scored the first 10 points of the game for Pike. The team as a whole scored 12 in the first quarter.

Avant continued to put the ball in the basket in the second quarter, but also found open looks for Christian, Rush Hixon and Brain Adams.

Pike Liberal head coach Craig Kennedy said Avant brings a calmness and confidence to the team and compared him to an NBA legend.

“He is almost like a Kobe Bryant,” said Kennedy. “Whenever he is out there, the other kids will look over to him and get a sense of confidnece because he is so calm and relaxed. He can play and has a really good basketball mind.”

Kennedy was also very happy with the play of his post player, Russ Thomas

Thomas has been a rebound machine for Pike this season, but had not contributed much on offense until Thursday’s game.

Thomas drained three pointers on consecutive possesions for the Patriots midway through the third quarter, extending the lead from three to nine points.

Though Kennedy was happy with the offensive production from his “big man,” he was more proud of the hustle Thomas showed late in the game.

Thomas made an ill advised pass with 42 seconds to go, that the Wildcats stole. Thomas then hustled down the floor and stole the ball back, preventing Edgewood from having a chance to get back in the game.

“He (Thomas) wasn’t hustling like that earlier in the season,” said Kennedy. “He played an outstanding basketball game tonight, and has a right to be proud of what he did.”

The Patriot girls also beat Edgewood, giving them another win on the season.

Kennedy said there is a friendly rivalry between the two teams.

“The girls are the ones who push the rivalry because they know they are a good team,” Kennedy said. “They are confident, I just have to get the guys to believe in themselves like that.”