Pirates finish third in holiday tourney
Competing in the Commercial Bank Southeast Arkansas Holiday Basketball Tournament, the Drew Central Pirates faced off with the Fordyce Redbugs last Thursday in their opening-round game.
The Pirates cruised to an early 16-7 advantage in the first quarter of play being led by Zeb Trantham’s seven points in the period. Drew Central outscored Fordyce again in the second quarter of play as Trantham scored seven more
points in the quarter to help edge the Redbugs 15-13. The Pirates were able to take a 31-20 advantage into the half.
Fordyce roared back in the third quarter of play, outscoring Drew Central 20-14 in the quarter to pull within five points at 50-45. Fordyce was led by Darius Edwards’ 12 points in the quarter. Drew Central was led by Nicky Barnard with nine third-quarter points.
But the Pirates were able to double up Fordyce in the fourth and final quarter 16-8 to advance to the semifinal game. The Pirates defeated to Redbugs 61-48.
Leading the way for Drew Central was Zeb Trantham with 19 points. Barnard scored 17 points followed by Trenton Eubanks with 12. Travarus Shead scored eight points, Kevin Stain three and Markalen Jacobs rounded out the scoring with two points.
For Fordyce, Edwards led the way with 13 points followed by Dee Sledge with eight. Montrel Neal added seven, Gary Lewis six and Damon Rice five. Jalen Parham scored four, with Jahiem Brown rounding out the scoring with two.
Facing Dermott in the semifinal round, the Pirates would have an opportunity to avenge an earlier season two-point, 58-56, loss.
Playing evenly in the first quarter, Drew Central found themselves down by a single point heading into the second 16-15. Helped by a nine-point performance in the second quarter by Shead, the Pirates were able to overtake the Rams, outscoring them 19-12 in the stanza, to head into halftime with a 34-28 lead.
Drew Central could not keep the momentum going in the third quarter, though, as Dermott’s Isaiah McAlister connected on a trio of three-pointers to help the Rams score 23 third-quarter points compared to Drew Central’s nine.
The Pirates had a better performance in the final quarter of play, but Dermott was still able to outscore Drew Central 21-16 to win 72-59. Barnard led the Pirates in the quarter with nine points.
Barnard and Shead ended the game with 13 points each, with Eubanks finishing the contest with 11. Zeb Trantham and Kaleb Williams ended the game with seven points apie
ce, with Markalen Jacobs and Amir Chavis each adding four.
For Dermott, which won the overall boys’ title, McAlister led the Rams with 15, followed by Xavier Hall’s 14, Dwayln Jones’ 13 and Michael Brown’s 12. Fred Coleman added nine, Zamar Ford finished with eight and Javon Jones rounded out the scoring with one point.
Forced into the tournament’s third-place game against Lake Village Lakeside Lakeside, Drew Central took out its frustations in an 82-72 win against Lakeside.
Zeb Trantham paced the Pirates in scoring against the Beavers with 23 points. Shead added 18, Jacobs scored 15, Barnard neeted 12 and Williams chipped in with 11.
Drew Central will return to action next Tuesday, traveling to McGehee to face off against the Pirates’ Class 3A, District 8 arch-rival Owls. Tipoff for the senior boys’ game is scheduled for about 8 p.m.