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Area champs: Pike Liberal Arts Patriots down Northside to claim area championship

The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots used a strong second quarter to knock off Northside Methodist 73-48 to claim the area championship on Thursday night.

The win for the Patriots gives them an overall record of 15-5 and gives them an area record of 3-0.

“That is a quality basketball team over at Northside,” Ponder said. “They are well-coached. I am very proud of the energy, the toughness and the physicality that we came out with early in the game. We knocked down some big shots and played a four-quarter basketball game.”

Freshman Drew Nelson led the way with 16 points, while Ty Singleton finished with 15 points. Javon Christian finished with 11 points, while Levi Sikes also finished in double figures with 10.

In all, eight Patriot players got on the scoreboard.

The Patriots earned the early advantage when they went on an 11-1 run to end the first quarter with a 19-9 lead.

After the Knights scored the first six points of the second quarter, the Patriots closed out the half on a 22-4 run, giving them a 41-19 lead at halftime.

The Patriots pushed their lead out to as many as 27 points in the third quarter before taking a 62-36 lead into the game’s final quarter.

The Patriots emptied their bench in the final five minutes of the contest. While Singleton and and Levi Sikes got the majority of the points in the quarter, the final basket of the night came from Avery Ernsberger, getting the packed crowd to their feet.

The Lady Patriots were also in action on Thursday night. They fell to the Knights 68-40.

The loss drops their record on the season to 11-13.

Shelby Renfroe led the Patriots with 23 points, while Tiffany Johnson had eight and Ansley Adams had seven.

The Patriots will be back in action on Monday when they travel to take on Fort Dale in Greenville.

The Patriots will take on Macon East on January 31 to close out area play.