PEMBROKE — There’s a new champion in Robeson County basketball and the Lumberton Pirates unseated a perennial power to do so.
Travis Suggs’ two free throws with eight seconds left Saturday night lifted Lumberton to a 64-63 victory in the championship game of the Robeson County Shootout at UNCP, the Pirates’ sixth overall and first since 2008.
“I just did what I was taught to do,” Suggs said after giving the Pirates their first lead of the game. “I wanted to be in that situation.”
Trailing by a point, the top-seeded Golden Tornadoes raced down the floor and got to the line after three-year starter Jarrod Neal was fouled on a drive by Demetri Sheridan. Neal missed both shots from the charity stripe and Shemar Barfield’s long-distance jumper after an offensive rebound fell short as time expired causing a jubilant eruption and clearing from the Lumberton bench.
A Fairmont senior class that’s won multiple conference championships along with the program’s first regional berth in two decades couldn’t keep the lead in crunch time.
“They made their free throws and we didn’t,” Fairmont coach Michael Baker said. “Our defense let us down. We let one get away from us and Lumberton was able to get to the rim.”
Fairmont’s bid for a fifth championship in the holiday tournament was turned back by faulty execution and a misguided jumper in the final minute from Alshaquan Williams when Baker was pleading with the sophomore to hold the basketball.
“We didn’t make enough plays and those guys did,” Baker said.
When the Golden Tornadoes (6-2) needed a bucket down the stretch, coach Michael Baker called on Neal and Barfield to facilitate, veterans with much experience in high-pressure situations. Barfield scored 10 total points in his first two tournament games before erupting for 14 in the final.
Neal’s ninth assist to a cutting Williams with 2:01 remaining put Fairmont ahead by nine but the Pirates (7-5) clawed to within two after Xavier Grissett’s knifed his way into the paint for a layup with 40 seconds left.
Lumberton gathered in a miss on the ensuing possession before Suggs’ heroic drive and foul.
“I super happy for our players and our coaching staff,” Lumberton coach Mackie Register said. “Our guys were resilient and it showed late in the game. I told Travis after he had a few early turnovers that we were going to need him to win the game.”
The Golden Tornadoes scored 17 of the game’s first 19 points before the Pirates cut it to eight at halftime after going on a 7-0 run in the final minute of the second quarter. Lumberton trimmed it to six after Colby Johnson’s running jumper at the 3:49 mark of the third before Neal answered with a pull-up 3, forcing Register into a timeout.
“We came out a little sluggish and had to stay the course,” Register said.
Dillon 78, Richmond 74
Seventy-seven points, 41 rebounds and 19 blocks.
Dillon sophomore Jaquan Knowlin had quite a showing in this year’s Shootout.
Knowlin’s turnaround over the outstretched hand of Richmond’s Sidney Neely with 12 seconds left Saturday proved the difference in the boys’ third-place game, a 78-74 win for the Wildcats.
T.J. Watkins drained two free throws to give the Raiders a 73-72 lead with 29 seconds left before Dillon isolated Knowlin on the ensuing possession down low. He notched three double-doubles and averaged 25.6 points per game during the Shootout.
Dillon’s Julius Saunders pitched in with 20 including a 6-of-8 tally from 3 after netting 17 in Friday’s semifinal loss at Lumberton. The evenly-matched teams traded baskets throughout the contest and the margin never pushed past five points.
Watkins, Richmond’s all-tournament member, finished with a team-high 21.
Red Springs 75, South Robeson 52
In the fifth-place boys game, Red Springs’ 1-3-1 press forced 16 first-half turnovers as the Red Devils cruised to a 75-52 win over South Robeson in Saturday’s fifth-place game.
The Red Devils (6-4) have now won six of their last seven games since starting the season 0-3.
The first field goal for South Robeson (2-5) didn’t come until 5:50 left in the first half when Alex Jones followed a Kadaufei Worley miss for the deuce. By that junction, Red Springs guard Jared Foster had already slammed home an alley off a feed from CJ McGeachy following back-to-back triples from Jameson Baker.
Baker finished with 21 points while Foster’s 18-point, eight-assist effort earned him all-tournament honors.
South Robeson’s Reggie Scippio, the area’s leading scorer at over 20 points per game, scored a team-high 16 after erupting for 37 two nights earlier in the Mustangs’ win over Purnell Swett.
Dillon wins girls title
PEMBROKE — It was only fitting after knocking off the two-time defending champions the previous night that Dillon’s girls basketball team would capture its own Shootout title by turning up the heat again defensively on Saturday at UNCP.
Throughout the tournament, the Lady Wildcats’ best offense was their pressure at the other end of the floor which was especially effective during Dillon’s 59-39 win over Richmond in the finals.
Tyshanna Lester’s relentless pursuit of the basketball caused headaches for Richmond’s backcourt which struggled with its rhythm offensively resulting in a slew of turnovers and points in transition. By intermission, Lester had outscored Richmond by herself, 18-11.
She finished with 24 points, 10 steals and was the tournament’s unanimous most valuable player. Richmond’s loss snapped the Lady Raiders’ four-game winning streak and marked Dillon’s third straight win over an opponent from the 4A Southeastern Conference.
The Lady Wildcats are now 7-0 this season.
Lumberton 38, Red Springs 30
Lumberton put the clamps on Red Springs late during a 38-30 win for third place, snuffing out the Lady Red Devils’ comeback attempt after forcing four turnovers over the final two minutes.
Red Springs (3-7) cut a 14-point deficit to just six at 34-28 with 2:41 remaining, but couldn’t get any closer against the two-time defending Shootout champions.
Both teams struggled mightily from the floor and missed a number of free throws during a lackluster afternoon effort. The Lady Pirates (8-4) executed enough down the stretch to win their eighth game of the season.
St. Pauls 61, Swett 57
Fueled by a season-high 27 points from senior Alexis Roberson, St. Pauls held on to beat Purnell Swett, 61-57, in overtime in Saturday’s morning game at UNCP.
The Lady Bulldogs (4-7) got a late steal in the extra session from Tamara Glover to seal the win. Swett (4-5) was led by Mikayla Lowry who received an all-tournament nod after scoring 21 points.
Reach staff writer Brad Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MrPalmettoSDS.
Purnell Swett — Tyler Maynor
St. Pauls — Malik Livingston
South Robeson — Reggie Scippio
Red Springs — Jared Foster
Dillon — Jaquan Knowlin
Richmond — Sidney Neely
Fairmont — Jarrod Neal, Shemar Barfield
Lumberton — Justice Sampson, Demetri Sheridan, Travis Suggs (MVP)
Lumberton 64, Fairmont 63
Fairmont22 13 14 14 — 63
Lumberton11 16 12 25 — 64
Fairmont — Shemar Barfield 14, Jarrod Neal 11, Leonard 9, Milton 9, McNair 5, Williams 7, Green 6, Watson 2.
Lumberton — Travis Suggs 16, Sheridan 11, Cromartie 7, Everette 6, Brock 6, Grissett 6, Sampson 5, Johnson 5, Gaddy 2.
3-Point Goals — LHS: Everette 2, Sampson, Johnson. FMT: Neal 2.
Records — Fairmont 6-2, Lumberton 7-5.
Dillon 78, Richmond 74
Dillon24 14 19 21 — 78
Richmond 22 14 22 16 — 74
Richmond — T.J. Watkins 21, Greg Patterson 19, Sidney Neely 10, O. Patterson 9, Davis 8, Pettigrew 7.
Dillon — Jaquan Knowlin 23, Julius Saunders 20, Anthony Blue 11, Crouch 9, Hayes 6, McCallister 4, Salmon 3, Manning 2.
3-Point Goals — RC: Patterson 3, Watkins 3, O. Patterson 3. DHS: Saunders 6, Blue.
Record — Dillon 6-2.
Red Springs 75, S. Robeson 52
South Robeson520 12 15 — 52
Red Springs 18 19 22 16 — 75
Red Springs — Jamison Baker 21, Jared Foster 18, Markeiss Blue 12, Atkinson 8, McGeachy 4, S. McLaurin 4, Tucker 4, J. McLaurin 3, Bounds 1.
South Robeson — Reggie Scippio 16, A. Jones 8, Clark 5, M. Smith 5, Stanley 4, Sinclair 4, McDuffie 3, Banks 3, Richardson 2, D. Smith 2.
3-Point Goals — SR: Scippio, Jones. RS: Baker 3.
Technicals — SR: M. Smith. RS: McGeachy.
Records — South Robeson 2-5, Red Springs 6-4.
South Robeson — A’terria Quick
Fairmont — Carrington Mitchell
Purnell Swett — Mikala Lowry
St. Pauls — Alexis Roberson
Red Springs — Shantanna Norris
Lumberton — Randi Bullard
Richmond — Shaquail Wall, Jade Evans
Dillon — Briana Lee, Da’Kerhia Samuel, Tyshanna Lester (MVP)
Dillon 59, Richmond 39
Richmond 2 9 10 18 — 39
Dillon 14 16 17 12 — 59
Richmond — Shaquail Wall 12, Douglas 7, Evans 6, LaGrand 4, Ellerbe 3, Griffin 2, Smith 2, B. Everett 2, Maske 2.
Dillon — Tyshanna Lester 24, Briana Lee 11, Khamele Manning 10, D. Samuels 7, Campbell 3, S. Samuels, McLoud 2.
3-Point Goals — DHS: Manning, Lester 2, Lee 2. RC: Ellerbe, Douglas, Wall 2.
Fouled Out — DHS: D. Samuel, Campbell. RC: Keane.
Record — Richmond 5-2, Dillon 7-0.
Lumberton 38, Red Springs 30
Red Springs 3 15 4 8 — 30
Lumberton 10 16 7 5 — 38
Red Springs — Robyn McPhaul 10, Leach 9, Pecina 7, Norris 2, Smith 2.
Lumberton — Maya McKoy 10, Mariah Locklear 10, Bullard 9, Graham 6, Singletary 1.
3-Point Goals — RS: McPhaul. LHS: Graham 6, Bullard, Locklear.
Fouled Out — RS: Pecina.
Records — Lumberton 8-4, Red Springs 3-7.
St. Pauls 61, Swett 57 OT
Swett14 11 14 12 6 — 57
St. Pauls 9 16 11 15 10 — 61
Swett — Mikala Lowry 21, T. Locklear 9, B. Locklear 8, Hunt 7, Epps 5, Troy 4, Chavis 2, Smith 1.
St. Pauls — Alexis Roberson 27, Tia Glover 10, Ta. Glover 8, Mitchell 5, Davis 3, Lewis 3, Lesane 3, White 2.
3-Point Goals — STP: Roberson. PS: T. Locklear.
Fouled Out — PS: Lowry, Epps, Hunt. STP: Lewis, Lesane.
Records — St. Pauls 4-7, Swett 4-5.