Pirates continue rolling, win streak reaches 13

Another week, another two wins for the Drew Central senior boys.
Despite having to play without leading scorer Montiel Daniels for much of the time (the senior did see action in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s game), the Pirates extended their win streak to 13 with an 89-74 victory at Lake Village Lakeside last Friday and a 61-49 thrashing of Smackover Tuesday at Drew Central Gymnasium.
DC is now 18-1 overall, 12-0 in th Arkansas Activities Association’s “blended” Class 3A-4A, District 12 and—more importantly—4-0 in 8-3A. The Pirates remain the top-ranked team in MaxPreps.com’s 3A playoff predictions rankings but face their stiffest test on the road Friday at arch-rival McGehee, ranked fourth in that same MaxPreps.com list.
All DC’s remaining regular-season games have greater significance because the outcomes will determine seedings fo the upcoming 8-3A district tournament. The way the brackets are structured, if the Pirates win out, they will be assured of a trip to Fordyce fo the 3A Region 4 Tournament the following week. One win in the district tournament, beginning Feb. 12 at Drew Central, will achieve the sam result if DC is not the top seed.
One victory in the regionals will send Drew Central into the 3A State Championships, the early rounds of which will be contested on the Pirates’ home floor. But Drew Central head boys’ basketball coach C.J. Watson is fond of reminding his players that anything can happen on a given night.
Indeed, the next two games will prove DC’s mettle. Following the trip to McGehee, Drew Central will host Junction City, which is ranked No. 15 by MaxPreps.com. The Pirates then must play both McGehee and Junction City again during their regular-season stretch run.
DC will actually have three games in seven days. The Fordyce contest that was snowed out last week has been rescheduled for next Wednesday. That game will be played at FBT Redbug Arena in Fordyce.
Tuesday, after a tight first quarter, the Pirates blew the game wide open with a 20-8 run in the second period. The Buckroos made a brief attempt at a comeback after intermission, outscoring DC 18-12 in the third quarter but the Pirates nailed down the win with a five-point advantage in the final stanza.
Juniors Nicky Barnard and Zeb Trantham paced Drwe Central in scoring against Smackover, netting 12 and 11 points, respectively. Senior Wooda Bell chipped in with 10 as 10 DC players found the bottom of the net for at lest two points.
Friday at Lake Village, the Pirates played with th injured Daniels altogether but his team proved it can win without one of its leaders. Fellow seniors Gary Lucas and Jalen Williams more than filled the void left by Daniels’ injury.
Lucas and Williams scored 22 points apiece, and led Drew Central at the free-throw line, too. Lucas was 11-for-13 from the charity stripe against the Beavers while Williams netted seven of his eight free-throw opportunities. Sophomore Travarus Shead also reached double figures, adding 13 to the Pirates’ season-high point total.
Drew Central led in every quarter except the last at Lake Village but it took an 18-9 third-quarter explosion to separate DC from a pesky Lakeside bunch.

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