PLAS continues to win,

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 9, 1999

sweeps a couple from Dixie

By STEVEN G. WATSON

Sports Editor

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It didn’t take the Pike Liberal Arts girls varsity team that long to match their win total from last season.

After pulling out a 41-38 nail-biter against rival Dixie Tuesday night, the Lady Patriots find themselves in the midst of a four-game winning streak and sporting a nice 5-3 overall record (1-0 in region play). This sudden spurt of success has the team playing harder and excited about what the season could bring.

"I’m very excited about this team," PLAS head coach Jim Ryan said. "They’ve come a long way from last year and we could very easily be 6-2 if we hadn’t dropped an overtime game earlier in the year. It was good to win on the opposition’s home court and in a hostile environment."

The Dixie girls came out in a half-court trap to start the game causing some sluggish play by the Lady Patriots who battled to only a two-point lead at the half 16-14, but Ryan put his girls in a triangle-and-two defense to shut down Dixie’s two best players and the scheme paid huge dividends.

The PLAS defense held Dixie’s two main scorers under double figures and helped them pull out the three-point victory.

"We wanted to make the girls besides those two beat us," Ryan said. "We rotated Pamela Floyd, Jessica Brooks, Senthy Rachel and Kayla Petrey on them and they all did an outstanding job limiting them especially in the second half.

"Kayla is our defensive specialist and whenever we want to shut someone down we put her on them," Ryan continued. "She had probably her best game for us Tuesday."

Petrey was big on the offensive side as well as the defensive, sinking some key buckets at times when PLAS needed them most. She hit two big treys in the second and third quarters that kept the Lady Patriots in the game at key moments, then, sunk two free throws down the stretch run to help close the door on Dixie.

Petrey finished with eight points on the night with Sabrina Swindle leading the team with 13 and Shaunna Wheeler finishing with 12. Rachel had four for PLAS after hitting her first 3-pointer of the year.

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In the Pike Liberal Arts boys’ game the Patriots defeated the defending Class 2A state champs 57-37 to improve to 7-1 (1-0 in region play) on the year.

The night saw four PLAS players score in double figures and broke a chain of games when Ryan felt his team wasn’t competing to the best of its ability offensively.

"Our offense looked a lot better Tuesday and we still played outstanding defense," Ryan said. "If we can keep on playing great defense and continue to iron out our problems on offense I really think we will be okay.

"I was really impressed with some of the play off the bench against Dixie," he added. "We had three guys out that usually play off the bench and the guys that were left did a great job taking up the slack. Jarad Waldrop really played well and took advantage of some limited playing time."

Waldrop finished with six rebounds and some big assists down the stretch while Nick Paul led the team with 16 points, Clint Wallace had 13, B.J. Powell finished with 11 and Justin Law notched 10 to round out the Patriots double-digit scoring.

Next up for the two Pike Liberal Arts teams will be a very important road trip to Glenwood. It will be both team’s second region game of the season. The boys’ team will attempt to be the first team to defeat Glenwood all season while the girls will try and extend their winning streak to five games. Tipoff for the first game is at Noon.