Back on top: Fairmont defense beats tired Pirates 70-50
Scott Schlaufman Sports Editor
FAIRMONT — The first time that the Lumberton and Fairmont basketball teams met up this year, Shemar Barfield didn’t leave the court especially happy.
The Golden Tornadoes’ senior guard missed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that would have won the game, then went to his bench and pulled his jersey over his head. It didn’t sit well.
Friday night, Fairmont got back in the position it wanted, going ahead early and never letting Lumberton catch up in a 70-50 win.
“We didn’t want to lose,” Barfield said.
The Golden Tornadoes (2-1) were free from the first-game jitters and looked more in basketball shape as they put a high-pressure man defense on Lumberton (4-3) from the start, utilizing it for steals and fastbreaks at the other end.
Barfield had 11 points in the first quarter as Fairmont jumped out to a 21-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, never letting it get much closer.
“We knew we just had to keep the pressure on them,” said Fairmont coach Michael Baker. “No matter the outcome, we were going to press them the whole game.”
And they did, playing tight as the Pirates brought the ball up the court. Once in the half court, the man-to-man coverage limited the Pirates’ opportunities to move the ball inside, forcing longer shots that were off the mark.
“We didn’t have it tonight,” said Lumberton coach Mackie Register. “We didn’t shoot very well. We looked a step low. It was our third game in four days and it looked like it.”
Lumberton’s offense struggled to find consistent output. Forward Demetri Sheridan, who had a 20-point game earlier this week, was limited to 11 points under a constant guard from Alshquan Williams, who both got in the pass lanes and challenged him on the boards.
Travis Suggs led the Pirates with 13 points.
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Fairmont broke away, leading by 10 or 11 points after the first three quarters. In the finale, Barfield and Dwyane Green each picked up six points as the Tornadoes outscored Lumberton 24-13.
Barfield finished with 20 points. Williams had 11 and Malik Milton had 13.
Pirate girls top Fairmont
The Lumberton girls (5-2) found their shot frequently during a 68-37 win against Fairmont.
The Pirates drained seven 3-pointers and never allowed more than 10 points in a quarter to beat the Golden Tornadoes (0-3) for the second straight time.
“I thought we had a good team effort,” said Lumberton coach Danny Graham. “We didn’t shoot the ball as well as I’d like but we had a great fourth quarter. This team is in the process of getting better and better and better and our young players are starting to come around.”
Mariah Locklear led Lumberton with 15 points, including three 3-pointers. Azaya Graham had 12 and Randi Bullard had 11.
NaJewel Ingram led Fairmont with 14 points, including two 3-pointers. Marsha Clewis added nine.
Purnell Swett splits with South Robeson
South Robeson edged out Purnell Swett 85-81.
Reggie Scippio put up 31 points and Derrick Worley had 18 in the Mustangs’ (1-0) season opener, which had been delayed due to the school’s football playoff run.
Purnell Swett (1-3) led 31-29 at halftime in the close game.
Kendrick Purdie led the Rams with 20 points.
The Purnell Swett girls (3-1) won 70-60 against South Robeson (0-1) behind 25 points from Mikala Lowry and 12 from Taylor Locklear.
Fairmont 70, Lumberton 50
Lumberton 11 12 12 13 — 50
Fairmont 21 13 11 24 — 70
LUMBERTON —Travis Suggs 13, Demetri Sheridan 11, Gaddy 8, Grissett 6, Brock 4, Edwards 3, Johnson 2, Cromartie 2, Sampson 1.
FAIRMONT — Shemar Barfield 20, Malik Milton 13, Alshquan Williams 11, Neal 8, Green 6, Leonard 5, NcNair 4, Ransom 3.
3-Point Goals — LHS: Gaddy. FMT: Milton 2, Barfield, Ransom.
Records — Lumberton 4-3, Fairmont 2-1.
Lumberton 68, Fairmont 37
Lumberton 20 11 16 21 — 68
Fairmont 8 10 9 10 — 37
LUMBERTON — Mariah Locklear 15, Azaya Graham 12, Randi Bullard 11, McBride 8, McKay 6, Leach 4, Grant 4, Singletary 3.
FAIRMONT — NaJewel Ingram 14, Clewis 9, Mitchell 7, McCormick 4, Lesane 3.
3-Point Goals — LHS: Locklear 3, Bullard 2, Graham 2. FMT: Ingram 2, Mitchell, Lesane.
Records — Lumberton 5-2, Fairmont 0-3.
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