Pottsville 54, Episcopal Collegiate 38
It was one of those games for the Pottsville Apaches (11-3) which was understandable considering the hard-fought game they had in their semi-final loss to Baptist Prep on Friday night. Pottsville just seemed to lack energy against the Wildcats, but still had enough in the tank to take down the Wildcats (4-12).
The Wildcats, coached by former Arkansas Tech standout Brandon Friedel, are better than their record shows, but still not quite on the level of the Apaches. Pottsville got off to a slow start but were still able to distance themselves from the Wildcats getting out to a 20-9 advantage midway through the second quarter. The Wildcats were able to pick the pace of the game up which played to their advantage. The Wildcats finished the second quarter on a 13-2 run going into the half and were able to tie the game up at 22.
The Pottsville locker room was probably not a fun place to be at the half and the Apaches responded during the third quarter. The Apaches overall energy picked up on both ends of the floor. The Pottsville defense was especially good in the third quarter—they only allowed five points. Coach Shane Thurman said, “I am proud of the boys for buckling down in the second half and finding a way to pull out the win. We played really well in the third quarter, and that was the difference in the game.” The Apaches were able to parlay their defense to a 54-38 victory.
Carter Horton was a steady force down low for the Apaches he had 16 points. Wesley Heikes and Blake Andrews added 14 and 10 points respectively. Sophomore Trey Thurman and senior Carter Horton cleaned up the glass with nine rebounds each. Next up for the Apaches is a trip to Harrison for a non-conference tilt with the Goblins on Friday January 4.
Pottsville 62, Two Rivers 56
The Pottsville Lady Apaches (8-6) also took third place in the Hoops for Hunger Tournament, but it was not without a fight from the Two Rivers Lady Gators (10-5). After dropping five of their first eight games of the season the Lady Apaches have now won five of their last six games.
Two Rivers jumped on Pottsville early with an eight to four advantage. The Lady Apaches scored the final five of the first quarter to take a one-point advantage into the second quarter. Then Pottsville carried that momentum into the second quarter with a 17-0 run to make the score 21-8. Pottsville did a great job of keeping the pressure on Two Rivers with their drive and kick offense. The Lady Apaches were driving the lane and setting up the three-pointer which lead to 22 second quarter points. Pottsville took a 31-22 advantage into halftime.
The third quarter belonged to the Lady Gators as they clawed their way back into the game mostly on the back of Kaitlin Hunnicutt and her three-pointers. The Hoops for Hunger Tournament is a shot clock event which caused some confusion at the end of the third quarter. The Lady Gators were down only one point when the shot clock expired from the previous possession and at that point the players stopped which caused the third quarter to expire. The officials gathered and decided to put .7 seconds back on the clock and give the Lady Gators the ball. That was just enough time for Two Rivers to take advantage. Kaitlin Hunnicutt took the in-bounds pass turned and banked in a long three-pointer to put the Lady Gators back in front for the first time since the first quarter at 44-42.
To the credit of coach Drew Siebenmorgan he did not allow that change in momentum to defeat the Lady Apaches. In fact, the opposite was true. After Sophia Hampton’s three-pointer, which were the first points of the fourth quarter, the Lady Apaches never trailed again. Game MVP, Abby James, iced the Apache victory at the free throw line giving the Lady Apaches a hard-fought 62-56 victory. Abby James lead the Apaches with 13. Sophia Hampton had 11 including three three-pointers and Emma Tedder also had 11 points. Kaitlin Hunnicutt lead the Lady Gators with 31 points and Claragrace Prater added 13. The Lady Apaches travel to Harrison Friday January 4.