Pleasant Grove’s basketball game with Mount Pleasant took a dramatic turn Monday afternoon after 6-6 Landon Jackson went down with an ankle injury. Seconds later 6-7 Torey Phillips fouled out of the game.
Still, the Hawks and Mount Pleasant were deadlocked at 48-48 with 3:01 on the clock. Pleasant Grove (7-7) would not score again, and the Tigers (19-2) pulled away for a 57-48 win at Texas A&M University-Texarkana’s Patterson Student Center.
“We turned the ball over late, those are very fixable mistakes,” said Pleasant Grove coach Dwight McCowan. “Mount Pleasant is a good team that is coached well, and really gets after it. They’re relentless! I felt we handled the pressure for the most part pretty good. We just succumbed to it at the end.
“Mount Pleasant did a great job of double-teaming T’Vondrick (Henry) and taking the ball out of his hands. That’s when somebody else has got to make a play. I thought for most of the game we were evenly matched. Especially since we’ve only played five games with everyone, while they’ve played more than twenty.”
Mount Pleasant’s speed a key factor
The game did match two evenly talented young teams, but contrasting styles of play. Mount Pleasant couldn’t match the Hawks’ size, but more than made up for that with its quickness and leaping ability. Both teams played above the rim, but only the Tigers had an outside scoring threat on this day.
Mount Pleasant’s pressure caused several early turnovers as the Tigers quickly built an 11-2 cushion in the first quarter. The Hawks rallied within four points by the end of the quarter with juniors Marcus Burris and Torey Phillips combining for nine points.
Phillips and 6-6 Layton Jackson dominated inside during the second quarter, and PG led 28-27 at intermission. Junior Brock Cooper poured in nine points in the first two quarters for Mount Pleasant.
Pleasant Grove scored the first six points in the second half, eventual building a 42-33 lead in the final seconds of the third quarter. The Hawks led 44-35 entering the final eight minutes. That’s when 6-4 senior Jamarion Brown took over offensively for the Tigers. He scored 12 of his game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Hawks couldn’t match MP’s outside shooting
The Tigers outscored Pleasant Grove 22-4 in the final quarter. Mount Pleasant did sink five 3-pointers, while the Hawks’ only trey of the game was by Phillips in the first quarter.
“We missed a lot of layups today. I didn’t remember us making a three-pointer,” said McCowan. “If we’re going to get to Commerce or San Antonio, we’ve got to be able to shoot in gyms like this that are wide open. This is one reason we played here (Texas A&M-Texarkana) today.”
Layton Jackson and T’Vondrick Henry led PG’s offense with 12 points each, while Phillips added 10.
The Hawks’ next game will be Friday at Carthage. They play at Center next Monday.