Big Game For Pollard, Harris Propels Pirates To Victory
By Jay Henry
January 19, 2019
EL DORADO, Kan. - Looking to keep everything in positive fashion, the Independence Pirates hit the road traveling to face the Butler Grizzlies. Early on, the Pirates looked as if they were on the edge, but teamwork along with perseverance and communication prevailed as they claimed victory, 85-77.
"I thought we utilized our bigs well today and took advantage of getting inside," coach Tony Turner said. "We had some guys make some big outside shots, but we pressed hard on their wings and really impacted the game."
"Going into the Coffeyville game, we have to guard them very well along with hitting some shots and playing defense. That's the combination of things we need to win and I definitely like our chances."
In the first half, the game was scoreless for the first couple of minutes but a three-pointer by Mamady Djikine put the Pirates on the board before a layup from Kamron Brice. A score for Immanuel Allen along with a free throw gave Butler a two-point lead and another score from Brice made the score 7-3 at the 14:00 mark.
A bucket and free throw by Jibril Harris got the Pirates within one, but a 4-0 run put Butler up 11-7 after a three by Daviyon Dennis. A jumper from Alex Torres cut the lead to two, but Tyrone Coley pushed it to three after a free throw at the 10:45 mark.
A score by Allen along with a free throw pushed the lead to six and a 4-0 run after a bucket and free throw from Allen made it 19-9 before a three-pointer by Ricky Edwards. A bucket from Sam Ward pushed the score to 21-12 and a jumper by Juwan White had the Grizzlies up by eleven at the 7:30 mark.
A 4-0 run following a three from Tyreece Berry cut the lead down to seven and a bucket from Kori Guest had the Pirates within five before a bucket by Ward. A jumper from Anquaevious Pollard made it 25-20 and a three by Berry had Independence within two at the 4:23 mark.
"Today was a great win, but the next game is our focus now" said Pollard "We just have to keep paying attention and focus on our coaches' instructions, because Coffeyville has some very good players, so we'll have to lock down hard on defense for that game."
A jumper by Sean Pollack tied the game at 25-25, but Butler regained the lead with a three by Jon'il Fugett before another bucket by Pollack. Free throws from Dennis pushed the lead back to three, but a 3-0 run capped by a score from Pollard tied it at 30-30 at the 25 second mark. A hook jumper by Pollard put Independence ahead and the Pirates led 32-30 at the break.
The second half began with a basket from Fugett to tie it at 32-32 and a layup from Jalin Thorne put Butler ahead before a bucket by Pollard. Jumpers by White and Allen compiled a 6-0 run for Butler, but a quick score for Harris made it 40-36 with 17:00 remaining.
"Butler was a tough competition and it was a lot of little things that got us behind early," said Harris. However, we were able to get it together and knock down our free throws to pick up this huge win."
"Before we can worry about Coffeyville on Wednesday, we first need to work out the kinks so that we can prepare accordingly."
Another bucket by Harris brought the Pirates within two and a put back by Guest tied the game at 40-40 just before a foul sent Pollack to the line to make one shot for the lead. Butler retook the lead with a three by White, but Pollack quickly tied it at 43-43 with 14:25 remaining after a layup.
Free throws by Chiddy Golden put the Grizzlies up by two just before a put back for Harris, but Dennis answered with one of his own for a two-point advantage. Free throws for Harris tied the game, but Allen was there again with a put back along with a free throw for the 50-47 lead.
Free throws by Pollard cut the lead to one and a three by Berry gave Independence a two-point lead before a pair of free throws from Coley. A 3-0 run gave Butler a three-point lead but a bucket by Edwards cut it to one.
Edwards answered a Grizzly basket with a score of his own to make the score 57-56 and a basket by Tyler Williams followed by a free throw put the Pirates up by two. A score by Williams after a free throw for Butler put the lead to three and a three from Guest had the lead at 64-58 with 6:45 remaining.
A bucket by White cut the lead to four and free throws by Dennis had the Grizzlies within two, but shots from the line by Berry made the lead 66-62. A basket by Pollack pushed the lead to six, but a three from Brice and a three-point play for Dennis tied the game at 68-68nwith 4:45 remaining.
A basket by Pollard gave Independence another lead, but it was quickly tied after a dunk from Coley. The Pirates took a three-point advantage with a basket and free throw by Pollard and a score from Harris after a Butler free throw made it 75-72, but another dunk from Coley cut the lead to one before a basket by Pollard with 2:10 remaining.
A three-point play by White tied the game, but free throws from Pollard gave Independence the advantage and it would extend after a bucket from Guest to 81-77. Free throws from Harris and Pollack pushed the lead to eight and that was all the Pirates needed to lock up the victory.
Independence (12-7, 7-3) returns home Wednesday January 23 hosting rival, the #5 Coffeyville Red Ravens with tipoff set for 8 pm.