Patriots narrowly defeat Cougars

Stephanie King

The Providence Grove Patriots have started the season strong with dominant wins on the road at East Davidson and Chatham Central. Their lone loss came at the hands of the Asheboro Blue Comets on their home floor. The Patriot came ready to bring home their third win of the season as they traveled to Southwestern Randolph. The Cougars have had a slow start to the season losing all three of their games so far.

Senior Daylin Locklear got the scoring party started for the Patriots with a drive and score for a 2-0 Patriot lead. They made it 4-0 with a bucket from Jonathon Foust. Adam Callahan proved to be a force in the paint early for the Cougars as he scored and convert the and one opportunity to cut the lead to one for the Cougars. Dawson Lee got the board as he pushed the Patriots lead to 6-3. Callahan muscled his way to the hoop for the Cougars as they cut the lead back to one. Senior Evan Taylor got going with back to back buckets to give the Patriot a five-point lead over the Cougars midway through the first quarter. Callahan scored inside once more followed by a fast break bucket from Tanner Ferguson as the Cougars cut the lead to one once again. Southwestern Randolph took their first and only lead of the first half on a putback bucket from Callahan. It would be Providence Grove the rest of the way as they outscored the Cougars 12-3 behind ten points from Locklear. Locklear would finish the quarter with 12 points as the Patriots led 22-13.

Providence Grove opened the second quarter with a three from Lee as they took a 25-13 lead over the Cougars. Foust added two more as the Patriots lead grew to fourteen. Parker LaPlant got on the board for the Cougars with a bucket in the paint to cut the lead to twelve. Providence Grove rattled off twelve straight points behind three straight threes from Locklear and Kamden Haithcock. Brighton Long broke the run by the Patriots with a rebound and putback to cut the lead to 22. A three from the left elbow by Ferguson cut the lead to 19 for the Cougars midway through the quarter. The Patriots outscored the Cougars 9-5 during the final minutes of the quarter behind five points from Taylor. At the half, Providence Grove led 48-25.

Southwestern Randolph was the first to score in the third quarter as Long scored on a pull-up jumper to cut the lead to 22. Providence Grove picked up right where they left off as Taylor scored on a left-handed layup and Foust knocked down two at the charity stripe. Callahan continued to find success in the post for the Cougars as he scored once again.  Southwestern Randolph cut the lead to 22 off a three from LaPlant, but Locklear answered with a three of his own for the Patriots. Callahan picked up three points the old fashioned way as he scored down low. A tip-in from Ferguson cut the Patriots’ lead down to 20 midway through the quarter. Providence Grove continued to maintain their lead, but the Cougars continued to try and chip away. The Patriots were leading 66-45 when Ferguson drained a three at the buzzer to cut the lead to 66-48.

The three by Ferguson at the end of the end of the third provided a spark for the Cougars as they began to chip away at the Patriots’ lead in the fourth quarter. Ferguson nailed another three and scored in the paint at the start of the quarter to cut the lead to 66-53. A bucket from Noah White cut the lead to eleven for the Cougars before Haithcock extended the lead back to thirteen for the Patriots. Ferguson continued to shoot the ball well as he scored off an assist from White to bring the Cougars back within eleven. Michael Fee drained a three from the corner to push the Patriots lead to fourteen before the Cougars began to rally.

With under four minutes left in the game, Southwestern Randolph locked down on defense and held the Patriots scoreless for about two minutes. During that time, the Cougars would cut the lead to two. Ferguson drained back to back threes to kickstart 12-0 run by the Cougars. Providence Grove ended the run on a bucket by Taylor, but the Cougars would not back down. The Patriots extended the lead to six after a pair of free throws from Questin Overman, but a putback from LaPlant cut the lead back to four for the Cougars. Southwestern Randolph began to foul to try and extend the game, but the Patriots made them pay at the line. Jordan Hodges drained two at the line to give the Patriots a 77-71 lead. Garner would score a bucket at the buzzer for the Cougars, but it would be the Patriots who got the win 77-73.

Evan Taylor led the Patriots with 24 points and Daylin Locklear added 23. Jonathon Foust chipped in 9 for the Patriots. Tanner Ferguson led all scorers and the Cougars with 26 points, while Adam Callahan notched 18. Parker LaPlant finished with 10.

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