PLAS girls lose first game

Published 3:00 am Friday, November 20, 2015

By Michael Shipma

The Pike Liberal Arts girl’s basketball team dropped its second game of the season on Thursday, Nov. 19, falling to Lee Scott Academy 44-36 at home.

The Lady Patriots (1-1, 0-0 AISA District IV) were led by junior guard Lauren Johnson, who had 14 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a fourth quarter surge from the visiting Lady Warriors (4-0, 0-0 AISA District VI).

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“They played the first 16 minutes as good as they could play,” said head coach Robert Hawkins. “We had a lead going into the fourth quarter, and we just got tired. They’re definitely one of the better teams we’ll play this season.”

The Warriors came out in a full-court press against Pike Lib, but were forced out of it after falling behind 6-2 early in the first quarter of play. Junior guard Claudia Tucker was the leader of Lee Scott’s offensive attack, was able to help her team keep things close the entire game.

Following a Warriors’ basket that made the score 6-6 in the first, Pike Lib bounced back and went on a 9-1 run to close out the quarter.

After a bucket from junior forward Jamey Joseph, Pike Lib’s lead had shrunk to just one, with the score at 19-18 in its favor with 1:32 left in the half. The Patriots picked up a couple quick buckets however, and went into the locker room with a score of 23-18.

The second half was a different story entirely, as the Warriors tightened up on defense and were able to make shots down the stretch.

Both teams played an up-tempo, scrappy second half that resulted in multiple turnovers and fouls from both sides. Lee Scott looked to be the better team in the third quarter, but costly turnovers erased scoring opportunities for the Warriors, resulting in the Patriots taking a 28-25 lead going into the final eight minutes.

After getting away from their full-court press strategy that it had used early in the game, the Warriors opted to implement it again, and this time with major success. Lee Scott forced turnover after turnover in the fourth quarter, which it then turned into points at the other end. It didn’t take long for the Warriors to take the lead, and at the 7:11 mark in the fourth quarter, a Tucker layup gave Lee Scott its first lead of the game.

From that point forward, the visitors never looked back, outscoring the Patriots 19-8 in the fourth quarter.

“I think our problem was that we worked so hard on defense that we weren’t able to get anything going offensively,” Hawkins said about his team’s play in the second half. “But definitely the biggest thing for us was that we aren’t in shape yet.”

The Patriots return to the hardwood on Saturday, Nov. 21, when they travel to take on Springwood. Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 6 p.m.