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Petty’s 3’s help Patriots down Vance-Granville 72-67

January 13, 2016

By: CHRIS PRIDE

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Ta’vion Petty is a shooter that doesn’t need many attempts to be effective. He’s also proven to be pretty clutch at the same time.

The freshman guard from Halifax County High School hit a pair of critical 3-pointers inside the final minute and a half of regulation as the 13th ranked Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) men’s basketball team escaped Stone Hall with a 72-67 win over Region X foe Vance-Granville on Wednesday.

Petty knocked down four 3-pointers in the second half and finished with a team-high 15 points. Petty’s former Halifax teammate and fellow freshman, Keyshawn Johnson, finished with 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. PHCC sophomore Jerel Jennings was the only other Patriots scorer in double figures, finishing with 10 points.

After watching a 16-point lead evaporate in the middle stages of the second half, the Patriots stayed poised down the stretch and were able earn an important home conference win. PHCC closed the final three minutes on a 10-4 run spurred by Petty’s heroics from behind the arc.

With a 1:30 left in regulation, the freshman guard tied the game at 67 with a 3 from the corner, and then gave the home team its most important lead of the game with a 3-pointer from the left wing on the next possession. Patriots coach Kenny Wade said he had faith in Petty during the stretch run even if he hadn’t attempted many shots prior to his flurry of buckets late.

“I can’t get the ball unless my teammates set me up in the perfect position. They close down the gaps, collapse the defense and kick it out to me,” Petty said. “It’s all about being prepared, spotting up and shooting the ball, and tonight, I hit my shots.”

Wade said it was a bit troublesome to see his team pushed to the brink after controlling the game for the better part of 30 minutes. It was a similar situation, he said, to how the game played out the first time the teams met Nov. 18 in North Carolina – a 68-64 win by the Patriots. Regardless, the coach said he was still pleased with how his team stayed composed and didn’t wilt under Vance-Granville’s intense pressure during the second half.

Joseph Avery got Vance-Granville to within 10 points for the first time since 3:15 remaining in the first half with his 3-pointer with 11 minutes to play. The shot help spur a 13-1 run, which cut the PHCC lead to four after Raekwon Hall’s 3 forced Wade to take a timeout. Avery’s transition bucket minutes later put the visitors up for the first time at 54-53 before Petty’s first 3-pointer helped the Patriots retake the lead.

Ty’Quon Reid’s 3 with 5:20 left gave the lead back to Vance-Granville, setting up a wild finish thanks to a number of missed free throws – eight in the second half – by the Patriots. Reid scored all 13 of his points in the second half while Avery finished with a trio of 3-pointers to finish with 19 points. Hall added 17 points to round out VG’s top scorers.

Wade attributed his team’s troubles defensively to the zone it switched to and the space it allowed Vance-Granville’s shooters.

“I think zones make you stagnant sometimes but you have to play them,” Wade said. “Our guys need to understand that they have to stay aggressive whether it’s a zone or it’s a man defense. Just because they go into a zone doesn’t mean they can step back and get lazy, they have to stay aggressive in all the defenses that we play.”

The first half featured some of the best basketball the Patriots have played in a single half, said Wade. The Patriots opened up a 22-5 lead over the first 10 minutes of the game and featured good rotation on offense, ultimately leading to 16 assists on 21 made field goals for the game. PHCC responded to the visitors’ first big run of the game with an 11-0 run to close the half after seeing a near 20-point lead get shaved to seven with 3:15 to play in the half.

“The first five minutes of the half and the last five minutes of a half are critical. All the momentum can change in each one of those segments,” Wade said.

The win pushed the Patriots record to 11-2 overall and 4-1 in Region X. They’ll travel to Lenoir Community College and Pitt Community College this weekend before returning home to play 10th ranked Louisburg Jan. 20.

Filed under: Men's Basketball

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