Pine Tree

Needing a win to keep their playoff fires burning, the Pine Tree Pirates got 16 points from Daryus Gray, leading to a 58-50 victory over the Jacksonville Indians here Tuesday at the Pirate Center.

Gray was joined in double figures by Jasiah Wright’s 12 points and 10 more from Kenny Bradshaw. Jacksonville got a game high 21 points from Vito High in the losing effort.

Alexis Calderon poured in 18 points, while Grace Abercrombie netted 12 and Tamia Tucker 11, pacing the Jacksonville Maidens to a decisive 62-18 win over the Pine Tree Lady Pirates in preliminary play. The game was actually called with 1:46 left in regulation after an on-court altercation led to early termination by administration.

The Maidens, ranked 15th in state, wrap up a perfect 14-0 District 16-5A slate and prepare for playoff action. The Lady Pirates, led by senior Kameron Polk’s five points, see their season come to an end as they finish 3-11 in league play.

The Pirates snap a two-game slide and improve to 4-8 in district with two games still to play. Pine Tree hosts Whitehouse Friday night in another do-or-die situation. The game will be played in old Pirate Gymnasium due to a powerlifting meet taking place at the Pirate Center

Pine Tree shot well from the floor the opening three quarters. Connecting on 18 of 28 field goal efforts, the Pirates were able to build a 47-37 lead going to the fourth.

“We came out and started slow, but we turned it on defensively the middle of the first quarter. Once we play defense and play the way we know how to play defense, we can play with anybody in our district,” said a pleased Pirate coach Brandon Shaver.

“We just have to realize what we can do and come out and execute it. If we play to our ability we can play with anybody. We’ve given ourselves an opportunity and that’s really all we can ask for.”

The Pirates spotted Jacksonville an early 7-2 lead in the first three minutes. Wright’s triple at 5:07 set in motion a 10-7 run to close the opening quarter. Gray dropped a dime on a nice assist from J.D. Rockwell and Bradshaw converted an old-fashioned trey after a steal and assist from Wright at 3:13 for the first Pirate lead.

Pine Tree would not relinquish its lead the remainder of the evening. Kaleb George’s layup at 6:52 of the second jump-started what turned into a 10-0 run to begin the period. Trey Mumphrey dialed up a couple threes, while Wright sandwiched in a crafty back-door oop-pass from Bradshaw.

The Pirates lead grew to 13 when Bradshaw and Mumphrey canned consecutive trifectas on successive trips down the floor. Mumphrey, who took a feed from George, swished a corner money ball to make it 32-19 with 1:28 before the break.

Follow George Whitley on Twitter: @GPigskinprof