Pirates Buckle Down In Second Half To Defeat Neosho 

Pirates Buckle Down In Second Half To Defeat Neosho 

January 14, 2019 

CHANUTE, Kan. - After dropping the last two contests, the Independence Pirates hit the road Monday looking to get back in the swing of things against the Neosho County Panthers. The tempo was rough, but the Pirates duked it out for the win, 56-51. 

The Pirates were led in scoring by Anquaevious Pollard who posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. 

"Anytime you win on the road in the KJCCC is a great feeling," coach Tony Turner said. "We just have to keep working and getting better with the season progressing. I have to give props to Quae who does a great job and has tons of high energy to keep the tempo going." 

"Saturday, we play Butler and they're a team that will get after you defensively, so we'll have to work hard against them."  

In the first half, the Pirates scored first with a put back from Anquaevious Pollard, but Neosho took the lead with a three-pointer by Jae-Min Yang. Another score from Yang pushed the Panthers' lead to three and a dunk by Brian Tolefree made the score 7-2 at the 15:09 mark. 

A put back from Chol Adup pushed the Neosho lead to seven, but free throws by Tyler Williams made the score 9-4 at the 14:00 mark. A long three by Tolefree pushed the lead to eight and Yang delivered a basket pushing it to 10 points, before a basket from Williams followed by a free throw at the 9:16 mark.  

A floater from Sean Pollack made the score 14-9 and a score by Kevin Charles had the Pirates within three before a three-pointer by Kori Guest tied the contest and also scored the he go-ahead three as well to put the Pirates up 17-14 at the 6:30 mark. 

Neosho made two free throws, but Guest attacked again with another three before a layup by Davion Benton made the score 20-18. Free throws from James Taylor tied the contest, but two shots from the lie by Kofi Maze put the Pirates back on top at the 1:00 mark. The Pirates lead grew to four as Maze hit a quick floater, but a quick score from Benton cut the lead to two going into the locker room with the Pirates leading 24-22. 

The second half began with a tip-back from Mamady Djikine to push the lead to four before a layup from Arkel Williams brought Neosho back within two. Another score from Djikine extended the lead, but a three-point play by Tolefree made it 28-27 with 17:30 remaining. 

A bank shot from Pollard and a three from Tolefree tied the game at 30-30, but Pollard delivered a layup and then threw it up to Djikine off the steal for a dunk on the next possession for a four-point advantage with 15:45 left to play.  

"After the last game, coach said the bigs needed to show up and get rebounds," said Pollard. "I took that as kind of an insult to come in and help my team win the game."  

"Saturday, we're going to keep the same energy, trust the process and hope for the best." 

Free throws from Djikine made the score 36-30 for the Pirates, but a foul sent Jay McMiller to the line to make only one shot before layups by Benton and Tolefree cut the lead to one. Free throws by Pollack pushed the lead back to three and a foul sent the sophomore to the line to make one more for a 39-35 lead. 

A three by Ricky Edwards pushed the lead to seven, but a steal turned into points for Benton bringing it back to a five-point lead. A big bucket by Pollard pushed the lead back to seven and a floater from Pollack made the score 46-37 with 7:32 remaining. 

Two free throws by Tyreece Berry pushed the lead to 10, but a bucket from Tolefree plus a free throw had the score at 48-40 with 5:00 remaining before a basket from Taylor. Free throws from Edwards made it 50-44, but a free throw followed by Taylor scoring a quick layup to cut the Pirates' lead down to three. 

A huge three-pointer by Guest and put back from Pollack made the score 52-47 before a basket from Yang, but a basket from Guest had the score at 54-49 and it grew to a seven-point lead after two free throws from Pollard. Neosho converted two free throws from Taylor to end the game and the Pirates walked away with a close victory. 

Independence (11-7, 6-3) travels again Saturday January 19 to face the Butler Grizzlies with tipoff set for 3 pm.