Down to the wire: Patriots fall to Mustangs 72-67 in overtime

Published 9:47 pm Monday, January 14, 2019

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots boys’ basketball team pushed Success Unlimited to overtime before ultimately falling to the Mustangs 72-67 On Monday night in Troy.

Javon Christian buried a three-pointer with 2.4 seconds remaining to push the game into overtime. The Patriots were outscored 12-7 in the extra session.

“It was a great game,” said head coach Allen Ponder. “There was a lot of physicality in the game. Both teams played extremely hard. We just didn’t have some shots and things go our way. I am very proud of the kids for how they came out and how they played.”

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The Patriots were forced to go up against a taller Mustang squad. Despite the height difference, the Patriots set out to control the boards.

“We were undersized at every single position,” Ponder said. “We wanted to keep them off the boards and we did a great job of that. We had a couple of let downs on the defensive end and gave them some easy buckets. When you’re undersized it’s very important to get on the boards, especially when we are missing one of our key rebounders.”

The Patriots led for the majority of the first half and the game on Monday night. Thanks to six early points by Jade Sikes, the Patriots carried a 19-15 lead into the second quarter.

Their lead grew to as many as six points in the second quarter and it wasn’t until the 1:15 mark of the second quarter that the Mustangs earned their first lead of the game.

Christian nailed his first buzzer-beater of the contest when he nailed a three-pointer as time expired, sending the game into halftime with the Patriots holding a 28-26 lead.

“When you’re able to make some big shots, that gets you excited for down the road and playing in close games,” Ponder said. “Having those guys take some big shots and make them, that gives us confidence down the road in the playoffs when it’s going to be a close game.”

The Patriots led throughout the third quarter. Christian knocked down six more points and the Patriots went into the fourth quarter leading 44-40.

The two teams traded baskets through the first half of the fourth quarter until the Mustangs finally caught the Patriots and tied the game at 52.

The Mustangs extended their lead to as many as four points with 1:28 remaining. Drew Nelson got the Patriots back to within one with a long three-pointer with 1:10 remaining.

After the Mustangs converted two free throws, Christian nailed the game-tying shot, sending the game into overtime.

Nelson and Sikes led the way for the Patriots with 17 points, while Christian finished with 14 points. Ty Singleton finished with seven.

The Patriots have just seven games remaining on their schedule, starting with Macon East in Montgomery on Thursday.

“We are going to have to continue to work and get better,” Ponder said. “These guys are hungry. They work hard every single day in practice. We feel like we are going to have a shot going down the stretch.