Pirates keep playoff hopes alive

Staff report

February 18, 2014

SOUTHERN PINES — The Lumberton boys basketball team entered this week needing three wins in three games to keep the Pirates’ playoff hopes alive.

They got their first on Tuesday, fending off Pinecrest 65-64.

The Pirates (11-10, 4-4) led the entire game and led by double figures late, but the Patriots’ (6-14, 3-6) long-distance shooting kept it close.

“We never could close them out,” said Lumberton coach Mackie Register.

The decisive shots came from Xavier Grissett, who had 13 points and hit two free throws with seven seconds left to put the game out of Pinecrest’s reach.

“Those were big time,” Register said.

Demetri Sheridan led Lumberton with a double-double, including 19 points. Justice Sampson had three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points.

It sets up a matchup tonight between Scotland and Lumberton that will have playoff implications. The two are third and fourth in the Southeastern Conference Standings. A win for Scotland would end Lumberton’s shot at the postseason.

“This game’s huge. This is what we’ve been working for all season, ” Register said. “If we win tonight, we are in.”

In other SEC action, Kendrick Purdie’s big night wasn’t enough for Purnell Swett in a 77-63 loss to SEC-leading Hoke. Purdie scored 25 points for the Rams (3-15, 1-8) but got limited support. Nobody else on his team scored more than seven points.

In Three Rivers Conference play, Whiteville beat South Robeson 106-41, East Columbus beat St. Pauls 64-49 and Red Springs beat West Columbus.

Penia lead Red Springs vs. West Columbus

Rocio Penia had a career night as Red Springs beat West Columbus.

Penia had 26 points and went 6-for-11 from 3-point range to keep the Red Devils (11-11, 9-4) in the running for second place in the Three Rivers Conference. Robyn McPhaul also had 18 points with seven steals, six rebounds and four assists.

In other TRC play, Whiteville beat South Robeson 54-34 and East Columbus beat St. Pauls 53-16. In SEC girls action, Hoke beat Purnell Swett 59-49 and Lumberton lost 39-34 to Pinecrest.

UNCP wrestling upsets No. 3 Newberry

The No. 17 University of North Carolina at Pembroke wrestling team rallied back from a late pin with wins in the final two matches to record its biggest win in school history as the Braves upset No. 3 Newberry 18-15 on Tuesday in their final home match of the year.

The victory helped UNCP (12-4) snap an eight-match losing streak in the series, giving the Braves their first victory over the Wolves since the 2004-05 campaign. It was the second loss of the season for Newberry (17-2).

“It feels wonderful. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys on our team and our coaching staff,” said UNCP coach Othello “O.T.” Johnson. “I am very proud that the guys were able to pull together and stay together this year to put us in a position for this historic win.”

UNCP got a 14-4 major decision from Blaze Shade at 184 pounds to take its largest lead of the match, 12-9 before Newberry fought back. 184-pounder Holliday registered a second-period pin of Brach Walker to give the Wolves a 15-12 lead, which set up the final two matches.

UNCP’s Stuart Nadeau had a late 3-point near fall in the 197-pound bout to go ahead. The Braves secured the win when eighth-ranked Chris Giddens upset second-ranked Matt Wade in a 4-2 decision in the heavyweight bout.