Pirates’ Home Skid Continues In Loss To Panthers

Pirates' Home Skid Continues In Loss To Panthers 

January 6, 2019 

INDEPENDENCE, Kan. - Tired of being on the short end of the stick and needing a win, the Independence Pirates geared up for the Neosho County Panthers at home. The game was back and forth all night long, but unfortunately all the preparation wasn't enough as the Pirates dropped the contest, 72-69. 

"We just can't win at home right now as we continue to make the same mental mistakes," coach Tony Turner said. "We just have to try and get over the hump and stop the mistakes to finish the game and come Monday if we don't get better it'll be just like tonight."  

In the first half, a trip to the line for Jibril Harris gave Independence a one-point lead before a three-pointer from Magic Reliford, but a three for Tyreece Berry claimed the lead for the Pirates before a three by Jay McMiller. Another three for Berry put the Pirates back in the lead before a bucket from Harris and a three from Tonje Durham, but a three for Brian Tolefree made the score 12-9 at the 14:22 mark.  

A trip to the line for Tyler Williams pushed the lead to five before another long jumper by Tolefree and another free throw for Williams followed by a layup for Mamady Djikine gave Independence a five-point advantage. A basket by Williams pushed the lead to seven before a free throw from Reliford and a three by Jae-Min Yang followed by a Tolefree three-pointer to tie the score a 19-19 at the 9:00 mark. 

A three from Jack Taliaferro put Neosho in the lead before a basket by Harris cut it to one, but the sophomore cashed in a free throw to tie the game at 22-22, but back to back layups by Davion Benton reclaimed the lead for the Panthers. 

A 5-4 run after a three-point play by Williams had the Pirates leading by one before another three from Berry, but a long shot by Sai Fisher cut the Independence lead to one. Technical foul shots from Williams pushed the lead to three before a three from Yang, but a layup by Harris gave Independence a 34-32 lead to go into the half. 

The second half began with a pair of free throws by Reliford before a basket by Harris, but a free throw by McMIller had the Panthers within one before a bucket from Anquaevious Pollard. A layup by Durham pushed the lead to five before a three by Taliaferro, but another bucket from Harris brought the score to 42-38 with 16:25 remaining. 

A three from Berry put Independence up by seven before a bucket by Harris, but a basket from Fisher cut the Pirates' lead to seven before a bucket from Ricky Edwards. Free throws from McMiller cut the lead back to seven before a layup by Alex Torres, but a basket from Tolefree made it 51-44 with 11:43 remaining. 

Free throws for Williams pushed the lead to nine before he made two technical shots, but free throws from Tolefree and a basket for Reliford had the lead down to seven before another Tolefree basket brought the Panthers within five. Two free throws for Reliford cut the lead to three before a free throw by McMiller who shortly after made a three before a three by Berry had the Pirates up 58-56 with 7:00 remaining. 

Another three for McMiller gave Neosho a one-point lead before a free throw from Taliaferro followed by a three for Reliford to put the Panthers up by five, but a three by Durham brought Independence back within two, trailing 63-61. One shot from the line by Tolefree pushed the lead to three before a floater by Sean Pollack, but a layup from Benton put it back to three before a bucket by Edwards made the score 66-65 with 1:45 remaining. 

Free throws by McMiller pushed the lead back to three before a pair of free throws from Durham cut it to one, but a layup from McMiller had the score at 70-67 Neosho before a quick layup from Edwards cut the lead to one with 4 seconds remaining. Two free throws for McMiller pushed the lead to three and it was enough for the Panthers as the Pirates dropped another nail biter at home.    

Independence (13-11, 8-7) returns to ICC Field House Monday February 11 hosting the Butler Grizzlies with tipoff set for 8 pm.