Trusting The Process Propels Pirates To Three-Game Win Streak

Indy freshman forward, Anquaevious Pollard(15). Photo by Nick Dailey
Indy freshman forward, Anquaevious Pollard(15). Photo by Nick Dailey

Trusting The Process Propels Pirates To Three-Game Win Streak 

By Jay Henry 

December 12, 2018 

INDEPENDENCE, Kan. - With the holiday break just around the corner, the Independence Pirates returned home against the Pratt Beavers for the final game of the semester. The evening was a nail-biter but the Pirates grinded it out for a 78-74 victory and took a three-game win streak into the holiday break.  

The Pirates had three players in double figures with 18 points from Anquaevious Pollard, 16 from Ricky Edwards and 11 from Tonje Durham. 

"We were down by 13 at one, point but hard work and perseverance brought us back," coach Tony Turner said. All of our guys did amazingly tonight, but I'm very pleased with the way that Djikine played. He came off the bench in the second half and earned his minutes." 

"After the break, we go to Garden City but the time off should give us an opportunity to be successful." 

In the first half, the Pirates scored first with a bucket from Tonje Durham, but a foul on the other end sent Charles Brown to the line to make two shots for the tie. A bucket by Drew Maschoff gave Pratt a two-point advantage and with a foul sending him to the line for free throws, the score was 6-2 at the 17:00 mark. 

Four straight points for Blake Furcron pushed the lead to eight and a breakaway layup by Tyvon Taylor made it 12-2, before a huge three-pointer by Anquaevious Pollard. Pollard found another long shot to cut the Beavers' lead down to four, and he scored a quick bucket inside after a free throw to make score 13-10 at the 12:00 mark. 

Furcron found a basket to push the lead to five, but a layup from Sean Pollack had the Pirates within three. Furcron was sent to the line and made two shots after a foul just before a floater from Alex Torres, but the lead was back to five after a bucket from Jerome Bivins. 

Kori Guest torched the net from outside to match a three-pointer and after a long-range jumper from Ricky Edwards, the Pirates were back within two. A 5-0 run after a three-pointer from Bivins had the Pirates down by seven, but a put back from JIbril Harris followed by a bucket from Guest made the score 27-24 at the 4:00 mark. 

Free throws by Pollard responded to a 3-0 Pratt run and cut the lead to four and a steal and score led to a dunk from Pollack making it 30-28 with 1:15 remaining. The lead went back to four after a bucket from Taylor and grew to six at halftime with the Pirates trailing 34-28. 

The second half began with no points in the first minute, but the Pirates found Durham wide open for three points to cut the lead in half. Durham quickly split the defenders, cutting the lead to one, but it was back to four quickly after a long three-pointer by Taylor. 

A 4-1 run by Independence had the lead back at one after free throws from Durham and Pollack, and the Pirates took the lead shortly after as Durham found a quick bucket. Taylor's basket was matched by one from Edwards, but Pratt would regain the lead after a layup on the other end at 42-41 with 15:00 remaining. 

"This game just came down to our heart," said Edwards. "We were down, but we dug deep and listened to our coaches to get the win.' 

"After the break, we play Garden City and we just have to continue to trust the process and have success."  

A three-pointer by Maschoff pushed the lead to four, but a bank shot inside by Pollard had the score at 45-43 just before a three by Taylor. Edwards responded with a three of his own, but another three for Pratt this one by Bivins gave the Beavers a 51-45 lead with 12:30 remaining. 

A three-poin0t play from Taylor was answered by Harris who did the same, but Taylor again with a three pushed it to 57-48 with 11:00 remaining. A jumper by Maschoff put the Beavers up by eleven and a quick layup pushed it to thirteen, but a three-pointer by Edwards made the score 61-51 with 8:38 remaining. 

A 4-1 run led by Guest and Mamady Djikine had the Pirates within seven, but a foul sent Tyler Bourne to the line to make two shots for a nine-point lead. Free throws from Edwards cut the lead back to seven and a bank shot by Guest made it 64-59 with 6:08 remaining. 

Free throws from Taylor pushed the lead back to seven and Djikine found a bucket to make it 66-61 with 5:00 remaining. A run of 5-4 had the Pirates within four after a bucket by Edwards and a floater from Pollack made it 70-68 with 2:30 remaining. 

A three-pointer from Djikine gave the Pirates a 71-70 advantage, but a Maschoff free throw tied the game just before free throws by Pollard made it 73-71 Pirates with 1:00 remaining. A bucket by Edwards pushed the lead to four, but a three by Furcron brought the Beavers back within one with 29 seconds remaining. One free throw from Tyreece Berry pushed the lead to two and a foul sent Pollard to the line where he made two for a four-point advantage which was all the Pirates needed for the victory.   

Independence (9-5, 4-1) is on the road after the break January 5 against the Garden City Broncbusters with a 4 pm tipoff.