Pineville found themselves in another close battle on Wednesday when they hosted South Floyd in the opening day of the Pine Mountain Classic. Despite turnovers with less than 30 seconds remaining, the Raiders were able to hold on for a 68-65 victory over the Mountain Lions
Pineville trailed 65-59 with 56 seconds remaining in the game. Free throws from Trent Lefevers cut the deficit to 65-61 with 31.6 seconds remaining. Pineville forced several turnovers in the final moments but couldn’t capitalize.
“It was a heck of a ballgame. South Floyd is a good team, and they’ve beaten some good teams,” said Pineville coach JD Strange. “I thought our kids fought extremely hard late. It wasn’t enough. We didn’t have enough time.”
“Like our kids said in the locker room, we can’t pick our spots to play. We got to play the entire game. I thought we had too many spots where we didn’t play well. If we had that energy the whole game that we had the last nine minutes, then we would’ve been a lot better.”
Cody Carnes, who has been recovering from an injury, led the Mountain Lions in points with 23 on nine baskets from the field and 5-of-6 from the charity strip. Lefevers was held to 13 points on the night.
Tucker Woolum finished in double figures with 10 points, while Will Adams added eight points to the scoreboard. Chris Saylor scored six points off the bench.
It was a two man show for South Floyd during the game. Roger Tackett and Brady Conn combined for 44 points on the night. Tackett finished with a game-high 24 points. Conn ended the game with 20 points.
Jacob Collins added another 13 points for the Raiders.
It was a big second quarter that helped propel South Floyd over the Mountain Lions. Trailing 14-12, the Raiders outscored Pineville 19-9 with eight points coming from Conn. That allowed South Floyd to take a 31-23 lead into halftime.
The Mountain Lions battled back with a 19-point third quarter to close the gap to 43-42 heading into the fourth. From that point, it was a shootout with the Raiders barely outscoring Pineville 25-23 to claim the three-point victory.
“We will bounce back. Our kids are strong-minded kids who have strong will and strong desire,” said Strange. “I’m still proud of them. Sometimes you learn lessons the hard way.”
“It’s a busy week. We got to turn around and play tomorrow against Jackson City. We got Berea, who’s a much improved team, on Friday. So, no time to lick your wounds. That’s the thing about life. You’ve got to get up the next day and go at it.”
Pineville (9-2) will host Jackson City (4-7) at 7 p.m. on Thursday in the second day of the Pine Mountain Classic.
South Floyd (6-4) will battle McCreary Central (7-3) at 2:30 p.m. at Pineville.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN