Moving on: Patriots finish in top three in regional tournament
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Both the Pike boys and girls basketball finished in the top three on Saturday in the Class AAA Region 2 Tournament in Greenville.
The Lady Patriots began the day with a 44-37 win over Northside Methodist to claim third place. Although the boys came up a bit short, losing to Northisde 72-63 in the finals, they claimed second place in the tournament.
“We came out slow,” said Patriots head coach Allen Ponder. “We couldn’t hit any shots in the first half … When the shots aren’t falling you have to play defense and we didn’t do a good job of doing that.”
The Patriots fell behind early and went into the second quarter trailing 30-11. Northside’s lead mushroomed to 21 entering halftime at 44-23.
“We dug ourselves a deep hole,” Ponder said. “Not only because we couldn’t hit shots, but because our bad performance on the offensive end translated on the defensive end.”
The Patriots made some needed adjustments at halftime and went into the fourth quarter trailing 57-44. The Patriots cut the deficit down to four late in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t quite get over the hump.
“Our effort in the second half is the type of effort we need to have for four quarters,” Ponder said. “If we can do that, then we have a chance of winning any game that we play.”
Patrick O’Brian led the Patriots with 17 points, while Reed Jinright had 16.
After losing to Lakeside in round two on Friday, the Lady Patriots righted the ship by earning a seven-point win to claim third place.
The Patriots went into halftime leading 17-16 and pushed their lead to 32-28 heading into the fourth quarter.
Lauren Johnson picked up a double-double to the lead the Patriots on Saturday. She finished with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Susie Stell had nine points while Mya Terry had five.
The Patriots not only had success as a team in the tournament, they also had some individual success. The Patriots had four players named to all tournament teams for their performance last week. Lauren Johnson represented the Lady Patriots, while Hunter Jones and Randon Rigby represented the boys.
“Hunter has performed all year long,” Ponder said. “We have been sitting around waiting for Randon to come out of his shell because he has all the potential in the world. In those three games in the tournament he did a tremendous job of that.”
Both teams punched their ticket to the state playoffs, which are scheduled to begin on Thursday. The teams will take on Lee Scott beginning with boys at 1:30. The girls will follow with their game scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.