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Patriots advance to round two

The Pike Patriots survived and advanced in the Class 3A Region 2 Tournament with a 40-39 win over Hooper on Thursday afternoon.

The win for the Patriots secures a spot for them in next week’s Elite Eight Tournament in Montgomery.

“It’s good to win because we get to play again tomorrow,” said Patriots head coach Alan Ponder. “We needed to win one game in order to play next week. We just didn’t show up well enough to play today. We were very lucky at the end of the game to get some breaks, but we didn’t deserve it today.”

The Patriots found themselves down by one with a minute remaining in the fourth quarter when Hunter Jones picked up a rebound on a missed layup and made what would be the winning basket.

“They doubled us up on rebounds today,” Ponder said. “We were down one and we got a steal and ran down and missed a layup and Hunter tipped it in. That was the one time all day that we did a good job following and getting the offensive boards. We picked the right time to do it.”

Jones led the Patriots with 14 points, while Randon Rigby finished with nine.

With the win the Patriots advance to take on Morgan beginning a 4:30 p.m.

“We just want to come out with the same intensity that we finished with,” Ponder said. “I think if we do that then we have a good chance of moving on. If we come out and play today then we are going to have another battle on our hands.”