Page Girls beat Smith 32-42
The first basket of the game between the Page Pirates (10-4/3-0) and the Smith Golden Eagles (7-10/1-2) didn’t come until Smith’s DJ Jackson hit a 3-pointer with 5:30 left in the first quarter. Smith head coach Ed Johnson’s plan was to limit Page’s touches, and they passed the ball around for much of the first half. It wasn’t until the Lady Pirates started defending and stealing the ball that the Golden Eagles began to speed the game up.
Once the game sped up, it was apparent why coach Johnson wanted to slow things down. Page outscored Smith 16-3 in the second quarter and went into halftime leading 21-8.
Coach Johnson’s Golden Eagles came out gunning in the third quarter. His team was running with Page, and outscored them by 3 in the third. The only quarter that his team had the scoring advantage.
Coach Debbie Jones took the approach that Johnson took at the beginning of the game in the fourth quarter. Each team scored only eight points and the Lady Pirates hung on for the win.
The Pirates were once again led in scoring by Bailey Kargo, who was also the game’s leading scorer, with 18 points. Emily Casper added 11 for Page.
DJ Jackson scored 16 points to lead all Smith scorers.
“It was an atypical game, literally,” Jones said. “We weren’t prepared for the slow down at the beginning of the game. Initially, (the Pirates) were worried about them slowing the game down, and I told them to worry about things that you can control, that’s each possession. Take it one possession at a time and we’ll be fine.”
Symphony Jackson-3 pts.
Harmony Fletcher-4 pts.
Destiny McCollough-6 pts.
DJ Jackson-16 pts.
Bailey Kargo-18 pts.
Emma Heard-7 pts.
Roxanne Pfenning-4 pts.
Emily Casper-11 pts.
Ava Casper-2 pts.
Raymond Pratt Leads Smith to a Double Overtime Win Against Page
The fans that showed up to Mac Morris Gymnasium on the campus of Page High School on Friday night had no idea that they were in for such an exciting game. A game that featured a standout performance by one young man from the visiting Golden Eagles of Smith High School.
The game started off slow, and both teams struggled to make the first basket. It wasn’t until Raymond Pratt was fouled and went to the free throw line with 5:23 left in the first quarter that the goose-eggs on the scoreboard changed. Pratt made one of the two free throws to begin the scoring, giving the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead. Page then went on a 7-0 run, and the game was off and running. The first quarter ended with a one point Page lead— 13-12.
Raymond Pratt scored 10 of the first 12 points for the Golden Eagles, and he definitely wasn’t finished there. He put on an absolute show.
Smith battled back in the last minute and a half of the second quarter to regain the lead and led the Pirates 35-32 at halftime.
The two teams exchanged leads and played hard throughout the second half.
It wasn’t until the last minute of the fourth quarter that things got interesting. With 54.9 left in regulation, the Golden Eagles had a five point lead that they couldn’t hang on to. An untimely foul and two made free throws cut the Smith lead to three. With 3.3 seconds left in regulation, Page’s Jahlen King drained a fade away three pointer to tie the game at 67, as the crowd erupted. Smith attempted a last-minute play, but the Pirates held on, and the game went to overtime.
“That was a big shot that kid hit,” Smith head coach Derrick Partee said of the King three pointer.
Page was leading in overtime 77-71, when Raymond Pratt played spoiler.
Pratt made a lay-in basket with 15 seconds left in the extra frame. On the ensuing inbounds pass from Page, Pratt stole the ball and attempted a three point shot that went in as he was fouled by Page’s Jordan Smith. The way the night was going for Pratt, who seemed to make every basket he shot, there was no way he was going to miss his the free throw to tie the score at with seven seconds left.
Pratt made the free throw to tie the game at 77, and Page had seven seconds to get the ball down court to score to win the game.
The Pirates were unsuccessful, and the game went into a second overtime.
The Golden Eagles dominated the deflated Pirates in the games second extra frame. They outscored the Pirates 13-6 in the final four minutes of the game. The final score was 90-83.
The hero of the game, Raymond Pratt, scored 46 points for the Golden Eagles, and credited experience and hard work in practice to his career best game.
“This game I knew was going to be special,” Pratt said. “I knew I had to put the team on my back and lead the team to victory. In practice this week I was working on keeping my stamina was up, and taking everything serious when I was trying to get myself and my teammates ready for this game.”
Brandon Talton was the leading scorer for the Page Pirates. With two starting teammates missing the game, one with a mother ill in the hospital and another on an official visit to Clemson University for a football scholarship, he knew he had to step up his game.
“I think that if we had hit more of our free throws we would’ve won the game,” Talton said. “We wanted to go out and play at a high level because we knew we had teammates who weren’t here, so I knew I had to go out there and play my heart out.”
Pirates coach Matthew Harder echoed the fact that the team played as hard as they could.
“Effort-wise I thought that we left everything on the court tonight,” Harder said. “Our kids got after it as much as they could. They played their hearts out. The kids’ effort, and the way they fought, I was proud of them. Really, really proud of them.”
Smith coach Derrick Partee added “I think Pratt has been one of the best players in the city all year. He’s the only senior, so you expect guys like that to step up and play.”
And step up he did. Without the efforts of Pratt, the Golden Eagles would’ve been a completely different team, and Page would’ve dominated.
Raymond Pratt-46 pts.
Isaiah Bigelow-15 pts.
Jacob Crutchfield-9 pts.
Cameron Dargan-9 pts.
Jaylan Gainey-8 pts.
Chris Fuller-2 pts.
Na’Jae McClendon- 1 pt.
Brandon Talton-24 pts.
Jahlen King- 18 pts.
Kevin Westlake-10 pts.
Elijah Short-10 pts.
Bryant McGowan-10 pts.
Jordan Smith-7 pts.
Matthew Audilet-2 pts.