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Pirates shipwreck Cougars, 56-36

March 09, 2011
After getting down early to the Pirates of Charlestown, the North Harrison Cougars fought back to make a game of it at the Class 3A boys' basketball sectional at Salem last Wednesday night only to see Charlestown pull away late for a 56-36 win to end the Cougars' season. The early minutes proved to be the difference in the end.

North Harrison’s Josh Wenning flies by a Charlestown defender in the first half, but the Pirates came out on top, 56-36. Photo by Wade Bell
"We kind of hung around," North Harrison coach Greg Walters said. "We just couldn't close that gap that we spotted them at the start. You've got to hand it to Charlestown. They're a good team and have a good record for a reason."

The Pirates came flying out of the box while the Cougars struggled with their shooting early. Charlestown hit 6 of 11 field-goal attempts, while North Harrison just got two shots to fall, both coming from Lincoln Jones midway through the period.

In the second quarter, the Pirates hit three of four free throws to lead 20-5. Two more field goals pushed their lead to 24-5, but the Cougars started to make a slow comeback to get back in the game. Dylan Janes got a single then Jones got two inside. Cory Smith later added a three, and the Cougars' deficit was 28-13.

"We started the game out and was a little fidgety at the start and made some mistakes and dug ourselves a hole," Walters said. "They're a good team that saw maybe we were a little sluggish at the start. They took advantage of it."

Anthony Lloyd started the second half with a big, two-handed dunk then added two free throws to push the Pirates' lead to 32-13. Kendall Thompson added a deuce for Charlestown, but the Cougars had another run in them, with Jones scoring inside then drilling a pair from behind the arc to close the gap to 37-24. Lloyd, however, scored inside again, and the Pirates took a 39-24 lead into the fourth quarter.

Charlestown began the final period with an 8-2 burst. Janes got a pair of deuces, but the Cougars' hole was just too deep. The Pirates went on to get the 20-point win and move on to the semi-final.

"They kept after it," Walters said. "That's kind of been our motto all year. No matter what happened, we were going to go down fighting and not try to be an easy out for anyone. The score may look that way, but we tried to get into them and give them our best effort."

Jones led the North Harrison scoring with 19 points. The Cougars hit 12 of 43 field-goal attempts (28 percent) and 8 of 13 free throws. North Harrison made 13 turnovers for the night.

"(Jones) shot the ball real well," Walters said. "We got beat pretty bad on the rebounds. They rebounded the ball real well and got a lot of second-chance points.

"We had some looks, a layup here or there or a shot here or there where we could have changed things a little bit or got some momentum. We just weren't able to cash in tonight."

Kyle Hayes led Charlestown with 12 points, and Thompson finished with 10. The Pirates were 18 of 46 (39 percent) from the field and 19 of 26 from the free-throw line. Charlestown committed nine turnovers.

The Cougars graduate three seniors, but Walters said his team has a good group of youngsters returning next season.

"We do and this experience, obviously, we would have liked the season to have a different outcome and the sectional game to have a different outcome, but they got a lot of experience," the Cougar coach said. "We had two freshmen put in the game playing pretty big minutes tonight. It's a big deal being in the sectional, so that's under their belts. That's some experience they can draw upon."

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