Pine Forest pulled away late for a 64-52 win at Triton in an All American 3-A/4-A Conference varsity boys basketball game Tuesday night.
“I love the way our kids fought and competed,” said Triton coach T.J. Morrison. “Pine Forest is a really good team. I think they’ve got just two losses this year. So, we knew going in that it was going to be a battle. I love the way our guys fought and competed and they’re getting better. They’re always working and they’re staying together. When play a team like that and you’re 6-7 and 1-3 in conference and you lose a game, it’s hard for people, and even them, to see improvement. But I know they’re improving and they’re working.”
Junior Jalen Evans had 16 points, five rebounds and five assists and junior Will Heard had 14 points and five rebounds to lead the Hawks (6-7, 1-3 AAC).
Romello Pegues had eight points. James Shaw had six points and six rebounds. Quashaun Williams had four points. Sabine Wheeler and Carter Daughtry had two points apiece.
Senior Tristin Harkins had 18 points, junior Jordan Jones had 15 points and junior Mekhi Johnson had 14 points to pace the Trojans (8-2, 3-0).
With the score tied 15-15, Pegues scored in the waning seconds to give Triton a 17-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
With Triton leading 22-18 in the second quarter, a Harkins three-pointer sparked a 14-0 run to put the Trojans in front. Triton finished the quarter on a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 34-29 at halftime.
The third quarter was fairly closely contested, with Pine Forest holding a 50-44 lead heading into the fourth.
A 6-3 Triton run cut the lead to just three early in the fourth quarter. But Pine Forest ended the game on a 9-4 run.
There was no varsity girls game due to Pine Forest’s varsity girls quarantining for COVID-19.
Pine Forest is at conference opponent Harnett Central and Triton travels to conference and Harnett County rival Overhills on Friday.
“We’ve got two hours (of practice) tomorrow night and then an hour-and-a-half Thursday,” Morrison said. “And then we’ve got a really tough game at Overhills on Friday. We know Overhills is going to be good. They beat the brakes off of us the first time (99-65 in the Bennie Pollock Memorial Harnett County Tipoff Tournament on Nov. 22). I just hope we’re a different team than we were in November when we played them the first time.”