Women’s Game- Porter Ridge 16, Independence 68
The number-3 seeded Lady Patriots opened the first round of the Southwestern 4A Basketball Tournament against the number-6 seeded Porter Ridge Lady Pirates.
Averie DiBenedetto and Trinity Thompson led the Lady Patriots to a 68-16 blowout win over the Porter Ridge Lady Pirates.
Junior Averie DiBenedetto posted a double-double scoring 18 points and making 12 steals. She also had 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Junior Gracie Breckenridge also posted a double-double by scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. She also had 1 assist, 2 steals, and 8 blocked shots.
Senior Trinity Thompson poured in 18 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, had 3 assists, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot. Braylyn Milton scored 9 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. She had 7 assists, 7 steals, and 3 blocked shots. Ayanna Anderson, coming back from an ankle injury, scored 3 points, had 5 rebounds and 1 steal. Alex Barrino had 3 points and 3 rebounds. Kalyn Perry had 2 points, 1 rebound, and 1 steal. Trinity Benjamin scored 2 points, had 1 rebound and 2 steals. Laura Flynn had 2 points, pulled down 6 rebounds, had 2 assists and 4 steals. Azuria Barrino finished the night with 1 point, 1 assist and 3 steals.
Porter Ridge opened the game with a 4-0 led, but that was soon erased by Braylyn Milton hitting three foul shots. Averie DiBenedetto hit a baseline 3-pointer followed by a Trinity Thompson forced a turnover and a basket to put the Lady Patriots in the lead 8-4 with 3:30 left in the first period.
With 1:36 remaining in the quarter, Averie DiBenedetto nailed a 3-pointer to make the score 15-6 with Indy in the lead. After a Porter Ridge basket and with 43 seconds left on the clock, a technical foul was called against the Pirates bench for having too many players on the floor. With ten seconds left in the period, an intentional foul was whistled against the Lady Pirates. After the successful foul shots, Indy led 17-8 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Lady Patriots opened with a Braylyn Milton defensive rebound and a full-court pass to Trinity Thompson to make the score 19-8. After a Porter Ridge basket, the Lady Patriots went on an 8-0 run. Both teams managed only one more basket before the end of the half to give Indy a 29-12 halftime lead.
The Lady Patriots came out in the second half, went on a 17-0 run and held Porter Ridge to only two third-quarter points to take a 54-12 lead.
The final period wasn’t much better for the Lady Pirates as they could score only 2-points while the Lady Patriots poured in 14 fourth-quarter points to take the tournament victory 68-16.
The win moved the Lady Patriots to the semi-final round where they will face the number-2 seeded Myers Park Lady Mustangs.
Porter Ridge 8 4 2 2 – 16
Independence 17 12 25 14 – 68
Men’s Game- East Mecklenburg 29, Independence 75
On the men’s side of the tournament, the number-2 seeded Independence Patriots took on the number-7 seeded East Mecklenburg Eagles.
After East Meck took the opening tip and posted its only lead of the night, Indy went on an 8-0 run. Indy’s De’Drick Givens tied the score on a strong drive to the basket followed by Omarion Bodrick scoring an old fashioned 3-point play. Anthony Allen finished the run by daring a 3-point basket to make the score 8-2 at the 5:25 mark.
East Meck answered with a 3-pointer cutting the score to 8-5. Anthony Allen scored on two quick baskets. Then Indy went on a 5-0 run. Divine Allah scored on a baseline drive followed by an Anthony Allen alley-oop pass to Omarion Bodrick to make the score 16-9. Tachai Miller finished off the run on a 3-point basket giving Indy a 19-9 lead. However, with four seconds left in the quarter Indy was called for a foul. East Meck made the front end of its free throws but missed the second shot. The Eagles outrebounded the Patriots and scored at the buzzer to make the first quarter score 19-12 in favor of the Patriots.
Indy’s Jalen Hinton started the second quarter by scoring five quick points. Jalen hit two free throws and then nailed a 3-point jumper giving the Patriots a 23-12 lead with 6:23 left in the first half.
After East Meck scored off of an offensive rebound, the Patriots started putting the game out of reach for the Eagles. With 5:31 showing on the clock, Anthony Allen forced an East Meck turnover and passed to Omarion Bodrick for the score. Allen scored on a little runner followed by a Lee Harrington baseline drive. At the 1:58 Mark Allen hit a 3-point basket to make the score 32-16. In the final 1:19 De’Drick Givens scored in the lane and Allen finished the first half with a baseline 3-pointer to make the halftime score 37-18 in favor of the Patriots.
After East Meck started the second half with a field goal, Anthony Allen answered with a 3-point basket followed by a Divine Allah drive down the middle of the lane to make the score 42-20.
East Meck scored on back-to-back baskets but those would be last points the Eagles would score in the third quarter.
The Patriots went on a 16-0 run. Anthony Allen started the run with a 3-pointer. Omarion Bodrick and Camren Little each made two free throws. With two minutes left in the quarter, Jalen Hinton drained a 3-pointer, and Reggie Smith scored off an offensive rebound. With 34 seconds left, Camren Little scored on a drive down the middle of the lane. With four seconds left, Lee Harrington scored a field goal to make the score 58-24 after three-quarters of play.
Indy’s Lee Harrington started the final stanza with a 3-point basket. Jalen Hinton scored on a steal and then hit a short jumper to make the score 65-24. Hinton hit another 3-pointer before finishing the night. Harrington scored with two minutes left to play to make the score 70-27.
Zaire May finished Indy’s scoring on a rebound and a stick back. He followed up with a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left to play to give the Patriots a 75-29 first-round victory.
Anthony Allen led the Patriots with 21 points. He had 2 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Jalen Hinton poured in 14 points, had 2 rebounds and 2 steals. Omarion Bodrick added 9 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, had 3 assists, 1 steal, and 5 blocked shots. Lee Harrington scored 9 points, pulled down 4 rebounds, had 1 steal and 1 blocked shot. Zaire May score 5 points and had 2 rebounds. Camren Little had 4 points, gave out 6 assists and had 1 steal. Divine Allah added 4 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, 1 assist and had 2 steals. De’Drick Givens had 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 blocked shot. Reggie Smith scored 2 points, had 2 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 blocked shot.
Senior Nygell Verdier started the game but was injured in the early minutes of the first quarter. He attempted to come back but left the game after a short period.
The Patriots will face the number-3 seeded Myers Park Mustangs in the second round. This will be the third meeting for these teas. They split during the regular season, with Myers Park winning at Indy and Indy winning at Myers Park.
East Mecklenburg 12 6 6 5 – 29
Independence 19 18 21 17 – 75