LUMBERTON — The last thing Scotland’s boys basketball team wants is for its opponent to stay content.
“How we try to do that — we don’t always do it — is we play fast to make change completely how you play, and then we play big and slow because we want you to adjust to our size,” said Scotland coach Michael Malpass. “We try, in the course of the game by doing that, to disrupt flow. That’s the point. You’re never going to stop someone from having good spurts and moments, but we want to disrupt flow.”
The strategy seemed to stop Lumberton in its place at times on Friday night as the Scots went ahead early and cruised past the Pirates, 64-44.
Lumberton (8-8, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) held an early lead before Scotland seized control for good with 2:33 remaining in the first quarter. Jeremias Easterling’s offensive rebound and ensuing putback gave the Scots (3-10, 2-2) an 11-10 lead they would never relinquis.
“I think that was the worst effort we’ve given all year,” Lumberton coach Mackie Register said. “I don’t mind if you lose a game, because they shot the lights out. It seemed like every shot they got hit the back of the rim and bounced in, but our effort tonight was terrible, it really was.”
Though Scotland’s lead didn’t get out of hand until the closing minutes, Lumberton’s offense struggled to find consistency.
Justice Sampson provided an early boost from deep, hitting three of his four 3-pointers in the first half, but finished with only 14 points after scoring 11 in the first two quarters. No other Pirate scored more than seven points.
Register said his team’s shooters struggled, but also blamed it partially on an inability to get defensive stops.
“It all starts with defense,” Register said. “The open three in transition is where we’re better at and we didn’t do that tonight. We let them sit in that zone and we’d pass it around. We didn’t try to go inside out.”
Not only did Lumberton miss shots, but Scotland corralled rebounds and snagged errant passes, getting it to a variety of sources. Jordan Ratliffe led the way with 16. Easterling and Travis Miles had 14 each. Jaylend Ratliffe finished the game a point short of double digits with nine.
Once Scotland took the lead late in the first quarter, the game never got completely out of hand for Lumberton until the closing minutes.
Lumberton scored its final basket on a runner by Travis Suggs with 2:54 left to make it 54-44. Scotland then went on a 10-0 run to end it.
Scotland girls stay undefeated in SEC play
The Scotland girls basketball team lacked much offense in the second half of Friday’s 41-36 win against Lumberton, but got just enough to stay undefeated in Southeastern Conference play.
After being tied 28-28 at halftime, the two teams struggled to finish shots and combined for only 21 points in the second half.
“Our girls let them control the tempo and just weren’t executing and running our offense, so we struggled a bit,” said Scotland coach Janie Hodger. “Luckily we were able to pull it out and be victorious.”
Scotland (6-7, 4-0 SEC) was led by Destiny Campbell, who nearly had a trouple double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks, but it was play by Khasiya Sellers that made the difference. Sellers finished with 10 points, including five in the fourth quarter that put Scotland up 39-34.
Lumberton (10-6, 1-2 SEC) had early success from the 3-point line, hitting five shots from beyond the arc in the first half, but went cold in the second, hitting only three shots from the floor and one layup for eight points.
“We just didn’t make the plays down the stretch,” said Lumberton coach Danny Graham. “They made the plays down the stretch and we didn’t.”
Mariah Locklear led Lumberton with 15 points and Asaya Graham had eight.
Scott Schlaufman can be reached at 910-272-6111 or on Twitter @ScottySchlauf.
Scotland 64, Lumberton 44
Scotland 16 13 21 14 — 64
Lumberton 10 15 11 8 — 44
SCOTLAND — Jordan Ratliffe 16, Jeremias Easterling 14, Travis Miles 14, Ja. Ratliffe 9, McCoy 6, Graham 2, McKeithan 2, Elliot 1.
LUMBERTON — Justice Sampson 14, Edwards 7, Johnson 7, Suggs 8, Sheridan 6, Grissett 2.
3-Point Goals — S: Jo. Ratliffe 2, Miles 2, McCoy 2; LHS: Sampson 4, Johnson 1.
Records — Scotland 3-10, 2-2; Lumberton 8-8, 1-2.
Scotland 41, Lumberton 36
Scotland 15 13 4 9 — 41
Lumberton 8 20 5 3 — 36
SCOTLAND — Destiny Campbell 15, Khasiya Sellers 10, Dial 6, Stanta 5, Williams 3, Everette 2
LUMBERTON — Mariah Locklear 15, Graham 8, Singletary 7, McBride 2, Bullard 2, Andrews 2
3-Point Goals — S: Stanta; LHS: Locklear 4, Graham 2.
Records — Scotland 6-7, 4-0; LHS 10-6, 1-2.