The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Sports

February 18, 2013

MT Patriots topple Pirates 62-54

FAYETTEVILLE — Some nights, Curtis Miller has seen his team play solid defense.

Other nights, not so much.

Midland Trail’s 62-54 defeat of rival Fayetteville Saturday at the Fayette County Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building fell into the latter category.

Labeling the Patriot win “very ugly,” Miller said his team’s defensive play was unacceptable. “One game we’ll play our best effort defensively, and the next game we’ll have absolutely no effort. This was the worst defensive effort we’ve had all year.”

The Patriots, though, did enough to keep the Pirates on the ropes most of the night. An inbound 3-point goal by Jake Grimmett pushed the Midland Trail lead to 54-40 with 3:35 left, but Fayetteville stayed in the fight. A pair of 3-pointers by Aaron Krise in the closing minutes pulled the Pirates back to within single digits, but they could get no closer than eight points.

“Midland Trail played hard,” said Fayetteville coach Todd Mann. “We took a lot of good shots, but we just couldn’t get the shots to fall.

“We just have to be able to finish.”

The Patriots utilized a 12-0 spurt spanning the end of the first period and the beginning of the second to break open an 8-8 game. The lead stood at 34-24 midway through the third stanza on a Tyler Skaggs drive, but the Pirates crept to within 40-32 at the end of the quarter on a Tyler McVey deuce with 0:23 to go.

Midland Trail, which won the first meeting between the two teams 69-44, placed five players in double figures in the scoring column Saturday. Rickie Carter led the way with 16 points, Collin Carte provided 13, and Grimmett, Skaggs and Austin Burdette scored 10 apiece.

Krise and Zach Semple netted 14 points each to power the Pirates. McVey and L.J. White chipped in eight each.

“In the first half, we stayed on the 3 line,” said Miller, who also said his squad, which made nine of 18 attempts at the charity stripe, must shoot free throws better. “In the second half, we started penetrating to the basket (and got higher-percentage field goal attempts).

“Tyler Skaggs played a great game penetrating and getting the ball to the bigs, Rickie Carter hit the boards hard, and Austin Burdette played hard. I was just disappointed with our defense.”

Mann, who also lamented his team’s free throw shooting (3 for 12), said the Pirates were able to keep Midland Trail in sight, but “we just couldn’t get over the hump.”

Midland Trail (8-11) entertains Class A No. 7 Greater Beckley Christian tonight. The Patriots dropped a 72-62 decision to the Crusaders early last week.

Fayetteville (5-15) is slated to host Meadow Bridge Thursday.

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