Pike Liberal gets senior-night sweep over Hooper Academy

Published 10:29 pm Friday, January 17, 2014

Seniors on Pike Liberal Arts boys and girls basketball teams capped off their last ever home game with wins over Hooper Academy.

 Girls: Pike Liberal Arts 56, Hooper 40

Marlee Tunstill scored 20 points in her final home game as a Patriot to power Pike over the visiting Hooper Academy Lady Colts 56-40. The win brings the Lady Patriots record to 2-2

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Tunstill sat out most of the first half in foul trouble, but exploded for 18 points in the second half.

Neither team could pull away in the first half. Seven points from senior Katie Ward and two threes from senior Ellie Barron kept the Patriots close to the Lady Colts, who held a 26-22 lead at the break.

After halftime, it was all Lady Patriots. Pike opened the third quarter on a 12-4 run with three baskets each from Tunstill and Ward. Ward would score twice more before the end of the quarter to help give the Lady Patriots a 42-36 lead heading in to the fourth quarter.

Hooper could do nothing offensively against the Pike press in the fourth quarter. The Lady Colts only scored four points in the quarter. Tunstill dropped an even 10 points in the game’s final frame to finish with a game-high 20 points for the night. Ward scored 15.

After the game, the team honored seniors Katie Ward, Marlee Tunstill, Ellie Barron and Sara Saunders.

Pike head coach Craig Kennedy said it has been a joy to work with the seniors. “It’s been good to work with the girls, especially during this last part of the year,” Kennedy said. “The seniors have really stepped up and played with composure as you hope seniors would.”

That composure has transferred over to the rest of the team. “If we keep playing with composure, we can compete with anyone,” Kennedy said. “In the second half we played smart basketball. We ran our offensive sets and got some easy buckets.”

Pike travels to Evangel Christian in Montgomery for an area game next Thursday.

Boys: Pike Liberal Arts 47, Hooper 44

It took four quarters, but the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots pulled out a come-from-behind victory to send their seniors off in style in their final home game with a 47-44 victory over the visiting Hooper Academy Colts.

The Patriots trailed for all but the first minutes of the first half before storming back in the fourth quarter to knock off the Colts.

The Patriots accomplished little offensively in the first half, only scoring eight points in each of the first two quarters. Hooper led 23-16 at the break thanks to five made three-pointers.

The Patriots picked up the pace in the third quarter after senior guard Chandler Avant scored six quick points. The Patriots trailed 30-34 heading in to the fourth quarter.

Pike dominated the fourth quarter thanks to the play of three seniors. Avant, Myles Loving and Chandler Cox combined for 16 of the Patriots’ 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Patriots rallied back for a 47-44 victory.

Before the game, the team honored seniors Chandler Avant, Brian Adams, Joel Kervin Myles Loving, Avery Phelps and Chandler Cox.

Pike head coach Gene Allen said he would miss his seniors after this season. “It’s been a pleasure to coach these seniors,” Kennedy said. “They all have great attitudes. I hate to see them leave.”

The Patriots next play Evangel on Thursday night in Montgomery. “We have to be more physical when we play Evangel this time,” Allen said. “Last time we got behind in the first half. We turned the ball over too many times and missed too many free throws.”