Locklear, Taylor lead Patriots to victory

Stephanie King

The last time Providence Grove and Southwestern Randolph met, the game came down to the wire with the Patriots pulling out a 77-73 win on the road in the final minutes. The two teams met again on Tuesday and put on another show. The first win pushed the Patriots to 3-1 on the season and they hoped to use that momentum in Tuesday’s game against the Cougars. Southwestern Randolph came in 0-4 on the season and hoped a win over the Patriots could jump-start the Cougars.

Southwestern Randolph won the tip-off but after a missed bucket by the Cougars, Evan Taylor put the Patriots on the board with a jumper. Brighton Long knocked down a pair at the line to give the Cougars their first points of the night. Taylor drained another jumper as Providence Grove took a 4-2 lead, but a drive from Parker LaPlant tied the game at 4 all. Dawson Lee put his name in the scoring column with a jumper to give the Patriots a 6-4 lead, but the Cougars tied the game once more. Daylin Locklear scored on a drive followed by a putback from Jonathon Foust to give the Patriots a 10-6 lead.

Southwestern Randolph cut the lead to two with a bucket from Tanner Ferguson, but Taylor answered with a strong drive to the hoop to extend the Patriots’ lead back to four. Long picked up his second bucket of the night to cut the lead back to two for the Cougars. Taylor continued to shoot the ball well for the Patriots as he drained a three from the top of the key to push the Patriots’ lead to five. The Patriots would take a six-point lead off a free throw from Locklear before a drive and score from Elijah Reza cut the lead to four. A three from the left corner by Questin Overman extended the Patriots’ lead to seven. Providence Grove outscored the Cougars 4-2 during the final minutes of the quarter to lead 23-14.

Locklear opened the second quarter with three points the old-fashioned way after getting fouled on a strong drive to the hoop.  Back to back buckets from Long cut the lead to eight for the Cougars. Another bucket from the Cougars would cut the lead to six before Taylor knocked down a pair at the charity stripe for the Patriots. A steal and score from Locklear gave the Patriots a ten point lead early in the quarter. Southwestern Randolph cut the lead to six on back to back buckets, but a three from Locklear extended the lead back to nine. From that point on the two teams traded baskets until the Cougars knocked down back to back threes to cut the lead to four. Locklear scored the final six points of the quarter as the Patriots took a 44-34 lead into the half.

The Cougars went straight to Ferguson at the start of the third quarter and he drew foul on a three-point shot attempt. Ferguson knocked down all three free throws as the Cougars cut the lead to seven. Both teams scored to keep the lead at seven, but the Patriots followed it with a good sequence of offense and defense. Taylor went one of two at the line, then Locklear drew a charge on the other end before Foust went one for two at the stripe. Providence Grove held a 48-39 lead until Ferguson drained a three from the right elbow to cut the lead down to six. A pull-up jumper from Overman brought the lead back to eight for the Patriots and a putback score from Taylor extended it out to ten. The Cougars got the lead back down into single digits, but a three from the Patriots extended the lead to eleven. The teams traded buckets for the remainder of the quarter as the Patriots led 62-52.

Jordan Hodges opened the final quarter of play with back to back buckets to put the Patriots in control 66-52. Ferguson went off for the Cougars as he scored eight points in a row including back to back threes to cut the lead to six. Southwestern Randolph cut the lead to six twice more before the Patriots surged ahead for a commanding lead. Long drained a three from the corner to cut the lead to seven and that would be as close as the Cougars could get the rest of the game. After a bucket with under three minutes to play, the rest of the Patriots points would come from the foul line. Providence Grove defeated Southwestern Randolph 84-73 behind 32 points from Daylin Locklear and 21 points from Evan Taylor.

Questin Overman added 16 points for the Patriots, while Jordan Hodges chipped in 8. Tanner Ferguson led the Cougars with 27 points, while Bright Long notched 23. Parker LaPlant finished with 7. The Patriots will travel to Asheboro on Wednesday, while Southwestern Randolph will host the Randleman Tigers.

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