With the start of holiday break roughly a week away, the freshman basketball Fighting Scots have much to celebrate heading into the new year.
After a 36-34 victory over conference-rival Hoke County Dec. 12 which was decided in the final seconds of regulation, the freshman Scots have officially moved to a 2-1 record.
And more importantly, they have laid the groundwork for a solid second half of their season which begins in 2013.
“We play hard man-to-man defense every night in games and in practice, which has helped us be successful,” said coach Robert Brown. “Over the holiday break we will work on some things, particularly on offense, but overall I’m really pleased with where our team is at right now.”
Scotland’s first regular season game saw the Scots defeat Purnell Swett 53-31 in a game that Brown called a “solid defense performance for this team.” Though the leading scorer on the night was Willie Douglas with 10 points, it was Michael Yancy who logged the most impressive defensive outing for his team, collecting 12 rebounds and five blocks as Scotland shut down the Rams on offense.
The second game on their schedule saw the Scots suffer a four-point heart breaker to Pinecrest on the road, a contest that Scotland kept close throughout its’ entirety. According to Brown, the key factor in Scotland’s only loss this season was a poor performance from the free-throw line, which came at the most critical stretch of the fourth quarter.
Ironically, it would be a lack of free throws that worked in favor of the Scots three days later in their game against Hoke.
Two new faces made their presence felt for Scotland against the Bucks Dec. 12: Randy Leak and Jordan Ratliffe, who normally suit up for the JV Fighting Scots. Leak and Ratliffe finished the game with 14 and seven points, respectively, in a low-scoring game where points came at a premium. The Scots had opened a five-point lead heading into the final 12 seconds of the game before Hoke made a key three-pointer to climb within a basket.
Scotland would subsequently foul on the next Hoke possession, and two missed free-throws later, the Scots secured the game-ending rebound as time expired.
During their three game stretch, the Scots have averaged 46 points while holding opponents to just 39 points.
The freshman Fighting Scots’ next game will be at home Jan. 7 against Lumberton.