First Posted: 1/15/2009
McEachern powers Pirates past South Robeson
Brad Harrison-Staff writer
LUMBERTON-The Robeson County Shootout, in its 19th year, may not impact the Lumberton High Pirates in the conference standings, but that doesn't diminish their drive to take home the title.
The Pirates, 6-2, who take on St. Pauls tonight in a 9 p.m. semifinal on their home floor, scored the first 11 points of the third quarter Thursday against South Robeson on the way to a 68-51 first-round victory.
St. Pauls beat Red Springs 50-36 Thursday to advance.
“We came out and the kids weren't playing with intensity. It wasn't about x's and o's. It was about intensity,” said Pirates' head coach Ted Gaskins. “In the third quarter we came out and played with more intensity.”
The scoring blitz blew open a close game after a 7-0 run by the Mustangs to close the first half narrowed the Pirates' lead to 32-28 at the break.
South Robeson, 3-3, will try to climb back over the .500 watermark with this afternoon's consolation semifinal against Red Springs. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. at Lumberton.
Down by as many as eight points in the first quarter, South Robeson used its perimeter game to get back in contention.
A 6-2 run to close the first combined with back-to-back three pointers by junior guard Bradley Strickland and junior forward Titus Samuel put the Mustangs up 18-15 in the opening stages of the second quarter.
But the spark that rejuvenated South Robeson to start the second quarter slipped out the back door and never returned in the second half.
Bolstered by senior post Chris McEachern's 23 points and 18 rebounds, the Pirates took control of the offensive interior as four different Pirates having a part in the 11-0 run to begin the third quarter.
“I thought they had the momentum in the last three or four minutes of the half and I felt like they were going to come out in the third quarter feeling real good about themselves,” Gaskins said. “So we had to match that good feeling that they had with focus and intensity.”
The Mustangs, meanwhile, struggled on both ends of the floor, netting just eight points in the third quarter while Lumberton was scoring 21. South Rob was also outrebounded, 53-35, for the game.
Brandon Bethea scored 15 points for South Robeson.
Lady Pirates win
With parts of his starting lineup struggling, Lady Pirates' head coach Danny Graham looked to his bench for some help.
A trio of super-subs more than chipped in, as junior forward Shanice Dalton's 11 points coming off the bench combined with the seven of sophomore forward Joyden McIver and junior center Tiffany Lamb keyed the win for the Pirates, who pulled out a 72-53 win after holding a five-point margin with less than five minutes to play.
Lumberton takes on Red Springs in today's 7 p.m. semifinal with South Robeson taking on St. Pauls in a 3 p.m. consolation semifinal.
Both games will be played at Lumberton High.
While senior guards Christy Freeman and Jennifer Parks scored 22 and 17 points, respectively, for Lumberton, LHS's other three starters combined for three points.
“I thought our bench played pretty good,” Graham said. “I was disappointed in our starters. We didn't play very well.”
South Robeson was led by senior Shante Williams' 14 points and junior Leah Goins' 1 points.