Losing a pair in the Robeson County Shootout only makes matters worse.
The usually mild-mannered veteran coach who has been at Red Springs since the early 1990s scolded his team after Thursday night’s 55-47 home loss to Purnell Swett, the Red Devils’ seventh straight defeat and eighth in nine games.
Red Springs led the majority of three quarters before squandering a chance to play Saturday at UNCP in the final frame with several turnovers and ill-advised shots in the last three minutes. Tied at 47 with 1:21 left to play, the Rams scored the final eight points — on free throws and second-chance buckets — to advance to the Shootout’s fifth-place game and avenge a previous loss this season to Red Springs.
“We don’t have enough fight in us and I don’t know what to do,” Patterson said. “If our defense doesn’t improve, we won’t win another game. Our guys are playing with no patience and are doing what they want to do out there. That’s not winning basketball.”
Swett took its first lead of the game with 6:08 to play in the fourth quarter after James Chavis stole an inbounds pass for an uncontested layup. The lead would change five times the rest of the way before the Rams netted the eventual game-winner on Mitchell Hill’s putback with just under a minute remaining.
Swett outscored Red Springs 20-9 in the fourth and held the Red Devils to three field goals.
“We don’t have a point guard or a guy that can get the ball in the right places,” Patterson said. “Until we find that or find some leaders, we’re in for a long season. We can’t beat anyone making the same decisions we’re making.”
In a reserve role, Hill scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Swett. It was the first time in weeks the senior forward played off the bench.
“I think coach tried to jump-start me by not letting me start,” Hill said. “I didn’t play 100 percent last night (against West Bladen) so it kind of got me going.”
Chavis delivered a 3-point dagger for the Rams with 50 seconds left after coming off a screen set by Michael Pipkin. Chavis’ swish put Swett up by five and helped Jeremy Sampson’s team avoid an 0-2 effort in this year’s Shootout.
“I think it was important to win this one and get to UNCP even if we’re playing for fifth,” Sampson said. “Our kids are pretty excited to be playing at the college.”
Saturday’s boys game between Swett and Fairmont tips off at noon.
Lady Bulldogs erase double-digit deficit in fourth
St. Pauls’ girls basketball outscored Purnell Swett 22-5 in the fourth quarter Thursday night and downed the Lady Rams, 38-31, in a loser’s bracket game of the Robeson County Shootout at Red Springs High.
Junior guard Alexis Roberson poured in a game-high 23 points and hit eight free throws in the final frame to lead a furious comeback. Kristen Locklear’s putback with 48 seconds left in the game broke a tie and proved to be the game-winner.
St. Pauls will play in Saturday’s fifth-place game at UNCP at 10 a.m. Colleen Chavis and Faith Locklear each hit double figures for the Lady Rams with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
BOYS Swett 55, Red Springs 47
PS 10 11 14 20 — 55; RS 14 12 12 9 — 47
Purnell Swett — James Chavis 16, Mitchell Hill 13, Jacobs 6, Gillespie 6, Maynor 6, Purdie 6, Pipkin 2. Red Springs — Corey Okonkwo 16, Quinn Lowery 13, Baker 7, McGeachey 5, McClean 4, Fairley 2. 3-Point Goals — PS: Chavis 2. RS: Baker. Records — Red Springs 1-8, Purnell Swett 2-6.
GIRLS St. Pauls 38, Swett 31
SP 4 5 7 22 — 38; PS 10 6 10 5 — 31
St. Pauls — Alexis Roberson 23, D. Locklear 9, K. Locklear 5, Lesane 1. Purnell Swett — Colleen Chavis 13, Faith Lockear 10, Scott 7, B. Locklear 1. 3-Point Goals — SP: Roberson. PS: F. Locklear 2. Technicals — SP: D. Locklear. Fouled Out — PS: F. Locklear. Records — Purnell Swett 1-6, St. Pauls 3-4.