A flash of the undeniable athleticism lying at the heart of the Scotland varsity basketball squad came midway through the third quarter against conference-foe Pinecrest.
Scotland senior Tra’Shawn Gregory found forward Tyricus Love in full stride heading towards the basket, and Love would make the most of his scoring opportunity by posterizing a Pinecrest defender with a rim-rattling dunk that electrified those in attendance at the Scotland High School gym. Love would have 10 points in the game as well, with seven of those coming in the third quarter.
But it was merely a flash, and the Fighting Scots couldn’t recreate enough of these moments to catapult themselves back into a game where Scotland once again got down early. Scotland fell to Pinecrest 55-43 and continued their downhill slide.
“It was the same old story for us,” said Scotland coach Jackie Amos after his team’s 15th loss of the season. “We couldn’t score in the first quarter, and our guys’ legs were tired from having to work twice as hard to get back into it. It was too much, too early.”
After a scoring draught which lasted nearly six minutes into the first quarter, Scotland guard Darius Jones intercepted a Pinecrest pass and took it to the length of the court for an uncontested layup. It would be Scotland’s only basket of an atrocious three-point first quarter (on 1-of-11 shooting) that saw the Scots fall behind 13-3 and turn the game into an uphill battle.
Yet, the Scots didn’t shy away from the challenge which Pinecrest poised, cutting the Patriots’ lead to six points during a stretch which saw Scotland outscore Pinecrest 12-5. Scotland power forward Jorod Amos helped breath new life into the Scots in the second quarter by scoring four points off the bench, while senior Artemis Robinson chipped in six of his team-high 12 points in the quarter as well.
However, as Pinecrest guard Justin Ray attempted a buzzer-beating three point shot from half court, Scotland was flagged for a goal-tending call which turned a six-point Pinecrest lead into nine to end Scotland’s half in disappointing fashion down 29-20 to the Patriots.
Even then, the Scots managed to make one final push at the come-from-behind victory as a three-pointer from Gregory (who was held scoreless in the first half) cut the Patriots’ lead to six at the onset of the third quarter.
Yet, as has been the case all season long for Scotland, defensive lapses were converted into Pinecrest points as Pinecrest guard Adam Cummings (who scored 25 Tuesday night including 11 in the second quarter) responded to Gregory’s basket with an easy transition layup of his own to kill any momentum Scotland had built.
Pinecrest’s lead grew to double-digits yet again at the start of the fourth quarter, and the Patriots were never truly threatened by Scotland again in the contest.