Hot Shooting Edwards, Double-Doubles By Pollack, Harris Lead Pirates To Upset Of Top 10 Cougars
By Jay Henry
December 8, 2018
GREAT BEND, Kan. – Following a hard-fought victory that went down to the wire, the Independence Pirates set sail for another tough contest against the #9 Barton Cougars. The battle was tough and long, but the Pirates found a way to prevail for the upset, 86-78. The Pirates had four players with double figures led by Ricky Edwards with 20 points, 14 points each from Sean Pollack and Jibril Harris and 13 points for Tonje Durham. Pollack picked up a double-double with 11 rebounds for his fifth of the season as did Harris with 13 rebounds for his third.
"I thought we played very well tonight, stuck to our game plan and were fortunate enough to come out with a win"' coach Tony Turner said. Barton is a very good program, so to get this win says a lot about the progress of the team."
"Wednesday we have Pratt at home and we have to play a lot of heavy defense, because they like to take a lot of outside shots to score."
In the first half, Barton scored first with a three-pointer by Diovante Caldwell and a dunk by Mavrick Gildyard made the lead 5-0. A 7-0 run capped by a three-pointer from Ricky Edwards put the Pirates ahead, but another three from Caldwell gave Barton a one-point advantage.
"Tonight it just felt good that we could execute our game plan," said Edwards. We stuck to it through the whole game and locked down on defense to come out victorious."
"Coming up, we have Pratt coming to town and they're a very good transition team so the next few practices will be heavily focused on transition defense. We'll stick to the game plan again and by doing that should go into the break with a three-game win streak.
Independence regained the lead after a bucket from Sean Pollack but a free throw from Akeem white tied the game just before a jumper by Edwards. The Cougars regained the lead with a long shot by Martin Vogts and a dunk from Caldwell pushed it to three at the 13:08 mark.
A 4-0 run capped by a three-pointer from Dallas Bryson gave the Cougars an 18-11, but the Pirates found Kevin Charles for a layup to cut the lead to five. Another three from Bryson pushed the lead to seven and a hard foul sent Edwards to make two shots from the line just before Caldwell found the basket again for a 22-15 advantage.
A bucket by Tonje Durham cut the lead to five at the 9:14 mark and two free throws from Alex Torres had the score at 22-19. One free throw was answered by a layup from Pollack followed by Anquaevious Pollard who tied the game at 23-23 with one of his own.
A floater by Torres gave Independence a 25-23 lead at the 7:15 mark, but a foul sent Leondre Washington to the line to tie the game with two free throws. A 6-2 run capped by a three from Washington was answered by a three-point bucket from Durham making the score 30-29, but free throws from Washington pushed the lead back to three.
A bucket from Mamady Djikine cut the lead to one and free throws by Edwards gave Independence the lead at 33-32 and a 3-1 run off a three-point play from Charles had the Pirates leading 36-33 at the 2:20 mark.
A 5-2 run capped by a long shot by Washington tied the game at 38-38 and a three-point play by John Williams gave Barton a 41-38 lead with 38 seconds left in the half, but a bucket from Pollard cut the lead to one before a three-point shot at the buzzer by Williams and the Pirates trailed 44-40 at the break.
The second half began with a bucket by Durham cutting the lead to two but Vogts answered right back with one to make the score 46-42 with 18:42 remaining. A 5-2 run for Barton had the score at 51-44, but a bucket by Jibril Harris cut the lead down to five with 17:03 remaining.
Another buck from Harris cut the lead down to three and another from the sophomore had the Pirates within one before a bucket by Gildyard. Harris continued to find the basket with another bucket and a jumper from Pollack gave the Pirates a 54-53 advantage with 14:46 remaining.
A layup by Pollack pushed the lead to three, but a bucket for Gildyard cut the lead to one before a layup by Tyreece Berry made it 58-55 Independence with 13:30 remaining. A bucket followed by a free throw from John Williams tied the game at 58-58, but the Pirates responded with big buckets from Pollard and Harris for a four-point lead.
An outside shot by Edwards answered a pair of free throws, but a bucket from Caldwell had the Cougars within three with 10 minutes remaining. The teams traded blows for a while, but after a bucket by Harris the Pirates led 69-64 with 9:31 left to play.
A bucket from Washington cut the Pirates' lead down to three points, but Pollack came up with a huge layup to put the score at 71-66. Three free throws from Washington after a foul got Barton back within two and free throws by Gildyard tied the game at 71-71.
A bucket by Durham gave Independence a two-point lead and a three-pointer followed by a layup from the freshman had Independence on a 7-1 run leading 78-72 with 4:20 remaining. A long three-pointer by Caldwell cut the lead down to three, but Edwards torched the net yet again putting the score at 81-75.
A three-point play from Williams cut the lead back to three and Independence found an answer with a quick bucket from Pollack with 1:45 remaining. Another bucket by Harris had the Pirates leading 85-78 and a free throw by Edwards put the score out of reaach for the huge top-10 victory.
Independence (8-5, 3-1) returns home Wednesday December 12 hosting the Pratt Beavers with tip-off set for 8 pm.