Eagles' Rally Comes Up Short

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, December 16, 2010

FARMVILLE – It was one of those two-steps forward, one step back nights for the Prince Edward County High School boys basketball team in their Southside District opener against Park View on Wednesday night. But they learned an important lesson. Keep with it.

The Eagles lost 63-58, but PECHS head coach James Scott wasn't all that disappointed. That's because of how the game started.

The two teams played through a physical first quarter to an 8-8 tie, and Prince Edward held a 14-10 lead on a Darius Ford lay-up with 5:35 remaining in the half, but the Dragons closed the half with a 19-4 run to take a 27-16 lead at the break.

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“You don't truly learn about the character of your team until you go through a stretch like we did in the second and third quarters,” said Scott. “We played hard, and fought to the end. Regardless of the situation, they continued to fight, and I really liked that.”

Park View began the third quarter on a 10-4 run to lead 37-20 with 4:35 left in the third, but PE started to claw back, and closed the quarter with an 11-5 run to cut the PV lead to 42-31 at the end of the period.

The Eagles continued to chip away at the Dragons' lead, but still trailed by 12 points with 5:38 left in the game. A three-pointer by Stephone Evans with 3:57 left, cut PV's advantage to 52-45. A three-point play by Ford with 2:14 cut the deficit to four points at 54-50. Ford pulled PE to its closest margin since midway through the second quarter with a steal and lay-up to pull PE to within three at 55-52.

Park View answered with a slam dunk on the other end, which put a stop to the Eagles' furious rally. That, and several key rebounds by the Dragons kept PE from getting any closer.

“Rebounding,” said Scott. “They beat us on the boards. We just didn't get good position underneath. Twice, they missed the front ends of one-and-one foul shots, and came away with the rebound.”

Park View was led in scoring by Jamar Alexander, who had 16 points, while Harold Bennett and Keith Haskins scored 15 points apiece. The Dragons were 10-16 (63 percent) from the foul line. Ford led the Eagles in scoring with 17 points, while Raheem Smith scored 14. Evans added 13, while Djuan Wilburn scored nine. The Eagles were 19-28 (68 percent) from the foul line.

“We could've just let them run away and hide, but we turned up the pressure, and started to play better on defense, and kept with it. We lost, but I really liked what I saw. We didn't fold up, but we kept playing, and that almost paid off for us with a win.”