Season ends: The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots lose second half lead and fall to Lee Scott in Elite 8 of state tournament
Published 3:00 am Friday, February 5, 2016
The Pike liberal Arts Patriots season came to an end Thursday morning when they fell to Lee Scott Academy 45-33 in the first round of the AISA Class 3A Elite 8 State tournament.
The team struggled with strong starts and lackluster finishes during the latter part of the regular season, and that was the case again on Thursday.
“We played really well in the first half,” said Patriots head coach Allen Ponder. “We did what we wanted to do and controlled the tempo. It’s been kind of the same story for the last eight games. We play great in the first half, and we can’t finish in the second half.
The Patriots made early shots and gobbled up offensive rebounds that led to points. They controlled the tempo and held a two-point lead at the half.
The second half began with a three-point shot by the Warriors, giving Lee Scott a lead that quickly mushroomed to 10 points.
“In the second half they picked up their defensive intensity and did a very good job,” Ponder said. “We didn’t make many shots in the second half, but the biggest difference in the first half was when we missed our shots we were able to tip them back out and get second chance points. They eliminated those in the second half.”
The lack of second chance points for the Patriots and strong shooting by the Warriors proved too much to overcome.
“They knocked down some big shots,” Ponder said. “They had a couple of guys get hot from the outside. They knocked down a couple of big three-point shots.”
Marquese Christian led the Patriots in scoring with 20.
The loss for the Patriots brings Ponder’s first basketball season to a close.
“We came a long way as a team,” Ponder said. “We played really good basketball right as we came back from Christmas. We hit a little streak at the end of the season where we would play good in spurts. I am very proud of all the effort we gave all season long.”
“I am very proud of the seniors,” Ponder said. “We had a very large senior class. … Those guys stepped up if it hadn’t been for their effort we wouldn’t have had anywhere near as good of a season as we did.”