Petty sends off sophomores with winning 3

February 25, 2016

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) men’s basketball coach Kenny Wade considers former Halifax County High School and current Patriot freshman teammates Keyshawn Johnson and Ta’vion Petty more like sophomores at this point of the season.

So it was only fitting that the duo teamed up to send the current sophomore class out in style for its final home game in Stone Hall.

Johnson found an open Petty in the left corner for the winning 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left in regulation as the Patriots clipped Region X rival Catawba Valley 73-70 Wednesday (Feb. 24). PHCC capped the regular season with four straight wins at home and will enter the Region X/District VI tournament hosted by Richard Bland College and Sandhills Community College as the No. 2 seed.

The Patriots had a chance to hit a 3 for the win in a 66-64 loss Feb. 10 in the first meeting in North Carolina. PHCC will have a bye into the quarterfinals Sunday (Feb. 28) against an opponent to be determined while finishing at 8-1 at home in conference play this season.

“We’re going into the tournament with a positive attitude knowing we can beat anybody,” Wade said.

Sophomores Shawn Duhon (Fenton, La.) and Ethan Adams (Hardy, Va.) each left their impacts in their final games on Wingett Court. Duhon was strong on the glass with a team-high seven rebounds to go with 13 points. Adams scored 10 points and added four boards — three on the offensive end — to help establish a tough interior presence. The Patriots finished with 30 rebounds, and did a better job corralling long rebounds on a plethora of Catawba Valley 3-point attempts.

Petty was 5-for-6 from from behind-the-arc to finish with 16 points and had a career high for 3-pointers made. He partnered with sophomore Jerel Jennings (Richmond, Va.) to knock down a season-high eight 3-pointers as a team. Jennings hit three in the first half before suffering a shoulder injury that kept him out for the rest of the game.

The Patriots (21-5, 14-4) let a 70-63 lead go by the wayside with 3:33 left in regulation. Red Hawks sophomore JaQueaz Jackson hit the final of his two 3s to make it a 70-68 game. With CVCC a chance to tie or take the lead with under a minute and a half to play, PHCC sophomore Henry Butler (Culpeper, Va.) got a tip and outraced for a loose ball down the court for a timeout. Johnson looked to have a driving layup out of the timeout and a four-point lead, but Duhon was whistled for basket interference on a tip attempt as the ball rolled around the rim.

CVCC freshman Matthew Powell then hit a pullup jump shot from 18 feet for the tie with 20 seconds remaining. With a chance to take the final shot, Wade said he wanted to get the ball in the paint and a high-percentage shot. Petty said that on several possessions prior he was being left open in the corner with space. Johnson was able to get around a double-team through a ball screen above the right wing and get down toward the baseline before connecting with Petty on a long cross-court pass. Petty hit nothing but net.

“It’s an honor to send the sophomores out like this,” Petty said of the winning shot. “It’s just the end of the regular season and we still have work to do, but to send them out in their final home game is an honor. It’s always fun to play with Keyshawn, he’s a heck of a point guard. He can make things happen when you don’t think he can make it happen.”

Johnson was limited on the scoresheet but was effective in controlling the offense and pressing high on the Catawba Valley perimeter on defense. In fact all three of the point guard’s assists were to Petty.

“Having two guys that can play like that and have that relationship is huge,” Wade said. “I told them though after Christmas break that they aren’t freshmen anymore, they’re sophomores.”

The Patriots took their first lead of the second half with under 17 minutes remaining, and neither team led by more than two possessions until a 12-3 PHCC run gave the Patriots a 68-59 lead with 4:40 left. The lead was the largest for either team and there were six ties and 12 lead changes in the final 20 minutes.

PHCC had an 8-0 and 7-0 run fail to create full separation in the first half. Catawba Valley had a 9-2 run force the first tie of the game and then used a first-half closing 13-1 spurt to lead 37-32 at the half. There were two ties and six lead changes in the first half.

Turnovers continuously allowed the Red Hawks to work themselves back into the game at several junctures as the Patriots finished with 26 turnovers.

It made up for the loose ball control with a 52 percent effort from the field.

Wade said the defensive strategy was to force Catawba Valley to win by hitting 3-pointers. The Red Hawks managed to hit seven 3s but connected on less than 35 percent of their attempts. Wade said the only way the strategy worked was they were able contest shots and rebound defensively.

PHCC earned the No. 2 seed in the region tournament, edging CVCC on a tiebreaker by beating a top common opponent, Pitt CC, twice. The pair could meet up for a third time in another week in the semifinals hosted by Sandhills CC in Pinehurst, N.C.


Filed under: Men's Basketball