The South Pike boys knew they had a tough task ahead of them as they played their first district road game Friday against Raymond. And despite getting 44 points from leading scorer Jaborri McGhee, he couldn’t get much help otherwise as the Eagles fell to the Cowboys 77-60.
“We got open looks, but we just did not score the ball,” South Pike head coach Hilton Harrell said. “My two and three spots that we normally get points from, we didn’t get any baskets from those spots.”
While McGhee shined for the Eagles (8-4, 1-1), the Rangers also got a big game from their junior in Jabarie Robinson, who had 36 points.
Things got quickly out of hand for South Pike who struggled to get its offense going against a tough Raymond defense. The Eagles were limited to 10 first quarter points with eight of those coming from McGhee. On the other end, the Rangers put up 22 points to take the early advantage.
A heavy dose of Robinson was administered in the second quarter as he scored 15 of the Rangers’ 20 points. The Eagles tried to counter with a surge led by McGhee, who had 10, however the only other points came via a free throw from LaJarion Martin.
Even though McGhee came out firing in the third quarter with another 17 points and 9 in the fourth, the Eagles could not get into rhythm to compliment the junior.
The only other significant scoring efforts were five point efforts from Tamarian White in the third and Martin in the fourth.
“We have to get more focused in big games,” Harrell said. “We have to get more relaxed and approach the game with the same mindset that you can compete with these teams. It is mental.”
S. Pike girls fall to Raymond
Like the boys, the South Pike girls were hoping to get off on the right foot in their first road 6-4A test Friday night against Raymond, however the Rangers had other ideas handing the short-handed Eagles a 40-27 loss.
The Eagles were without team leader in junior Shayla Johnson who Harrell said suffered a non-basketball-related injury.
“We were short-handed, Shayla didn’t play,” Harrell said. “We had some people out of position and we were up but we didn’t have that point guard to help us out with the pressure that they put on our guards.
“I thought that we did pretty good in spurts but it is hard to get to get a team to gel when you have your leader out.”