Patriots mature in win over Pitt CC

February 10, 2014

The Patrick Henry Community College men’s basketball team saw its nine-point halftime lead Saturday get trimmed to one point with under two minutes left in regulation.150236_710637698967852_202732420_n

But in a sign of maturity, PHCC guard Josh Beck drove the lane, made the winning bucket while getting fouled, and sank the ensuing free throw to give the Patriots a 66-65 win over Pitt Community College at Stone Hall in Martinsville.

“That’s what we’re looking for, them to keep their composure,” PHCC head coach Kenny Wade said. “It used to be if a team got up on us like that, we’d stop playing and that’s how we’d end up losing. But now they stay together, and that’s one of the things we need to build on.”

In the second half, the Bulldogs (14-8, 9-5 Region X) kept cutting into the Patriots’ (13-7, 7-5 Region X) lead, but couldn’t tie or take the lead until Josh Cox hit a layup and was fouled with 1:50 left. Cox hit the ensuing free throw to take a 62-61 lead, and on the next possession, Patriots coach Kenny Wade told his team to calm down and to take their time.

After moving the ball around, Beck ended up with the ball and cut straight down the middle of the lane to make the layup.

The Bulldogs had one more chance to win the game, but the Patriots held strong in the paint, forcing the Bulldogs to take a contested shot that bounced off the iron. Patriots forward Jashad Jamison came down with the ball and threw it across the court to Daquan Kermin to seal the victory.

Bulldogs head coach Darrick Mullins knew the game would be a tough one, and wasn’t surprised that the game came down to one possession. However, it was the possession defensively on the winning play he said that bothered him most.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow, Mullins said. “But, it’s a typical Pitt-PHCC game, it’s going to be hard fought and close. (Tonight) we came up on the short end of the stick. One play there that we didn’t execute on defense was the difference in the game.”

In the first half, both teams started out slow until the Patriots went on a 9-1 run to gain a 20-9 advantage. They forced turnovers to open up their transition game as well as adding a few 3-pointers to the mix to gain a 29-20 halftime lead.

“Pretty hard fought game on both sides,” Wade said. “In the first half we came out and executed. In the second half, we were a little flat and we let them come back into the game. We missed a couple 50-50 balls, but down the stretch we made the plays we needed to at the end.”

Mustafa Ali and Jamison led the Patriots in scoring in the first half, but 29 of the team’s points came as a result of everyone getting involved. Eight guys scored including reserves Joseph Serrano and Daniel Ginsberg.

Wade congratulated his reserves after the game for their hard effort.

“They’ve played hard and I wanted to get some of them in there in the second half, but the flow of the game didn’t allow that,” Wade said. “I wanted to get some of these guys in there. In a perfect world there’d be no drop-off when I sub in, but that’s only in a perfect world.”

Jamison scored a game-high 13 points and added eleven rebounds. Daquan Kermin added a few key baskets in the second half on his way to 12 points, while Ali added eleven points.

Cox and Demarkus Forbes led the Bulldogs with 12 points apiece, and Jaquan Blount and Chris Huey added 10 points each.

Although Wade was happy with the win, he said his team needs to learn to play hard for 40 minutes and not just 20.

“One of the things we need to improve on is finishing in the second half. We need to continue to play hard like in the first half and play a complete 40 minutes.” Wade said.

Filed under: Men's Basketball