Pirates hold off Redbugs 67-63
The Drew Central Pirates traveled to Fordyce Tuesday, January 22 to face the Fordyce Redbugs in a 3A-8 Conference match-up.
Coming into the game with a conference record of 2-1, the Pirates struggled defensively through most of the game as Fordyce was able to keep things close throughout with big three-points shots at key moments and took advantage of opportunities that placed the Redbugs in contention throughout the contest.
Fordyce struck first in the first quarter from beyond the three-point line when De’Vonte Moore connected with his first of four three-point shots in the game to go up 3-0.
The quarter went back and forth as both teams match each other shot for shot exchanging the lead three times in the period.
At 2:23 remaining in the period, Dilly Binns, who had missed three straight games with an injury, returned to the lineup and with 55 seconds remaining in the period, Binns connected on his first three-point attempt to give the Pirates a 15-12 advantage.
Fordyce tied the game at 15 after De’Vonte Moore connected once again from behind the three-point arc with 33 seconds remaining in the period.
Binns commented on his return to the lineup after the game.
“It feels good, because when I was off I was really sad to be honest, because I always want to play basketball for my team,” stated Binns. ‘They need me in a way, and I am not saying that because I am the best player or anything like that, I just want to help the team and it does not feel good sitting on the bench watching.”
The second period was almost identical to the first with the exception that both teams were able to create four point leads, but at the end of the half things were even once again as the teams went into the locker room tied at 31.
The third quarter was much the same, but it was Fordyce that failed to capitalize on an opportunity with 1:02 remaining in the period as Fordyce’s Marcus Smith drew a foul after one official initially called Smith for a charge, but was overturned by another official that called the foul as a blocking foul. Pirate head coach CJ Watson attempted to plead his case with the official, but as he turned to walk back to the bench was called for a technical foul giving Fordyce four chances at the charity stripe.
Smith hit the first two foul shots, but Gary Cross missed both technical shots, and after receiving the ball, Fordyce turned it over to Drew Central with a backcourt violation by the Redbugs.
Drew Central ended the period with a two-point, 47-45 lead heading into the fourth period.
The fourth period of play was also even throughout as neither team led by more than one to two points until the final minute of play.
Leading 60-56 with 40 seconds remaining in the contest, Fordyce’s Moore connected on another three-point shot to bring the Redbugs within one point, 60-59.
Fordyce fouled Jerelle Binns with 28 seconds remaining and after connecting on both free shots, brother Dilly Binns stole the ball and picked up a foul with 18 seconds remaining. Dilly Binns hit both shots from the line to give the Pirates a 63-59 lead.
From that point on, Fordyce scored just one more field goal, but was forced into a fouling situation where Drew Central put the game out of reach and after Fordyce connected on a pair of free shots at the end of regulation the Pirates was able to hold off the Redbugs 67-63.
The Pirates was led in scoring by Jerelle Binns and Demarius Thomas with 14 points. Thomas went to the line seven times in the final period connecting on six. He had missed his first three free-throw attempts before closing the game with six straight connects.
“I had to slow down and concentrate and they started to fall,” stated Thomas. “Everybody got frustrated, our heads started to get down, but I told them to pick their heads up and everybody came out playing hard for us to get this win. Everyone did their part and we came through, that is what really matters. As a team we overcame the everything that was happening and got the win.”
Jerelle Binns also commented on how the game was played.
“I am proud of our coach because it is his first year and to come here and win at Fordyce is great for the team,“ states Binns. “I am proud we got this win especially the way the game was going, but I think everybody came in and did their part on offense and defense. We went out and worked hard for this win.”
Edmund Hunter scored 11 to be the third Pirate to score in double-digits. Tremaine Newton and Dilly Binns added eight, Bay Chaffin finished with four, and Colten Davis and AJ Simpson rounded out the Pirate scoring with two.
After the game, Dilly Binns commented on his play in the fourth quarter.
“It made me feel good, because to be honest I was scared to go up,” said Binns, “because every time there is a foul I thought I could hurt my knee, but I just realized that I have to keep on playing especially on defense because my offense was not on.”
With the win, the Pirates improve to 15-8 overall and 3-1 in 3A-8 Conference play.