First Posted: 1/15/2009
LUMBERTON - Despite an explosive second quarter from the Lumberton offense, the Pirates dropped their first game of the Robeson County Shootout on Wednesday to Scotland County, 60-54.
Lumberton outscored the Fighting Scots 21-12 in the second quarter to build a 32-28 halftime lead, but a strong second half from the Scotland County defense, led by center Stephon Platt, held Lumberton to just 22 second-half points and sent the Pirates to the Shootout's consolation bracket.
“The second half, I thought we lost intensity and confidence,” Lumberton coach Ted Gaskins said. “I thought we were intimidated on quite a few inside shots, and then we made poor decisions when we had opportunities to tie the game or take the lead.”
Things looked bleak for the Pirates when Scotland stretched its lead to 50-40 with 6:32 left in the fourth quarter. Lumberton managed an 8-0 run to trim the deficit to two points, but senior Matt Taylor missed a 3-pointer that would have given the Pirates a lead and Scotland regained control of the game.
Taylor led Lumberton with 21 points, 10 rebounds and four steals - but 15 of his points and nine rebounds came in the first half.
“We went straight zone in the second half, and they missed some jump shots and we rebounded when they missed,” said Scotland County coach Shane Compton. “We've been in the spot all year where we found a way to lose in the fourth quarter, but tonight we found a way to win.”
Gaskins said it was his team's intimidation than affected the offense rather than the Fighting Scots' defense.
“When you're intimidated, you lose that intensity because you become timid,” Gaskins said. “You lose that confidence because you're afraid your shot's going to get blocked. I thought we started rushing shots, taking herky-jerky shots and missing shots. I thought that was the difference in the game.”
Scotland County used a balanced attack to beat the Pirates with four players scoring in double figures, including Platt with 13, Antwon Morrisey with 11 and Maurice Mason and Justin McLean with 10 each.
James Floyd was second on the Pirates with 10 points.
Lumberton also struggled shooting from the outside and the foul line. The Pirates finished 0-9 from 3-point range and 2-7 from the free throw line.
Gaskins said before the Shootout started that he was more concerned about gaining experience for his young team than winning a Shootout championship, and he felt the same after Wednesday's loss.
“They're still Carnation Milk kids, so we'll just continue to practice, win or lose,” Gaskins said.
Lumberton falls to 5-3 with the loss and will host Red Springs today at 4 p.m. Scotland County improves to 4-5 and will face Hoke County today at 8 p.m. at Lumberton.