Pine nearly makes big comeback

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, January 10, 2018

COVINGTON — Moral victories are not usually what teams look for in games, but they can be a step in the right direction.
That was the case for Pine on Friday night in a 45-43 loss to Northlake Christian School on the road in District 9-2A play.
The Raiders were down 38-23 early in the fourth quarter, but had a chance to win it at the end.
“In all honesty, this entire season, I’ve been preaching, we’ve been kind of allowing ourselves to get punched in the mouth and when we get punched in the mouth, we don’t overcome it, we drop back,” Pine coach Drew Meyerchick said. “Tonight, we had an opportunity to just really give up. The ability to come back and fight hard the way we did … that’s all I’ve really been asking.”
“In my eyes, I understand that moral victories aren’t always the best things in the world, but right now we’ve been at least needing a moral victory. Having that is going to be able to show us that we have the ability and we always present the capability to win games and overcome adversity.”
Down by as many as 15 points at 38-23, the Raiders mounted a comeback. They trimmed the lead to 40-27 with 5:27 left.
Jordan Anderson hit for two with 5:05 on the clock to trim the deficit to 11. Kaz Warren brought it inside of double digits when his 3-pointer found the bottom of the net at the 4:53 mark, but Warren wasn’t done. He made a backcourt steal and passed to Anderson for the layup just seven seconds later. It was 40-34.
Northlake Christian’s Nathan Newberry made it a three-possession game with two free throws to begin a 5-0 run. Trenton Reimonena split from the line and then hit a pair of free throws to make it an 11-point game at 45-34 with 2:40 to go.
It looked like that could essentially end it, but the Raiders did not go away quietly. Anderson hit a layup with 2:04 on the clock. Markell Cotton got fouled and hit a pair of free throws at the 1:09 mark. Karson Voth drained a 3-pointer with 43 seconds to go and a two at the 22-second mark.
At that point, Pine was down just 45-43.
Northlake Christian, which struggled at the line, going 11-for-22 for the game and 5-of-11 in the fourth quarter, had a chance to essentially end the game, but missed two free throws with 12.3 seconds left.
Pine called timeout with 5.5 seconds to go, but the game-winning 3-point attempt was short in the 45-43 contest.
Warren led Pine with 18 points, which included four 3-pointers.
Anderson posted eight points while Voth tallied seven, Cotton posted six and Elzie added four. Voth hit a 3-pointer.
Newberry led all scorers with 20 points and he drained a pair of 3-pointers.
Blain Gros had eight while Reimonena recorded seven, Kyle Lazaroe tallied six and Kobe Square added four.
In a statistical quirk, Friday’s game was the fourth-straight contest in which Pine scored exactly 43 points.

Pine’s Markell Cotton goes strong to the bucket during the first half of Friday’s road game against Northlake Christian School. Cotton tallied six points during the contest.