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The Big Pine Warriors basketball squad lived up to its name Monday night in a down-to-the-wire, 42-39 win over the Mammoth Huskies.
Big Pine went 3 points ahead of Mammoth off two free throws from Ryan Carrington. With eight seconds left in the game and three Huskies capable of hitting 3-pointers, the Warriorsâ€™ defense held the line.
What made the win that much sweeter is the fact Big Pine had just enough athletes to take the court, 5, competing against the 9-man Mammoth team.
â€śWe started slow,â€ť said coach Darren Chirrick. â€śWe didnâ€™t play very aggressively to keep out of foul problems.â€ť
If the Warriors were tentative in the first quarter, so were the Huskies. The first points on the board came with 5:37 on the clock from foul shots by Mammoth. Big Pine answered with back-to-back baskets but was then plagued by turnovers, giving Mammoth a 10-4 lead.
Baskets by Suma Davis and Carrington and two more free throws from Jesse Chirrick tied the score 10-10 at the quarter buzzer.
Big Pine took over in the second quarter with 6 unanswered points. The Huskiesâ€™ Cole Presson, aptly number 3, hit a 3-pointer to narrow the Warriorsâ€™ lead, but Big Pine held the Huskies to just one more basket in the quarter, going into half-time with a 21-15 lead.
Mammoth played to its strengths in the third quarter. With nearly twice the players, the Huskies set up a full-court press to wear down the Warrior players for whom there were no subs.
â€śMammoth shot 3-pointers exceptionally well,â€ť said Chirrick, â€śand we struggled to cover the perimeter.â€ť
In all, the Huskies shot five 3-pointers in the third quarter to narrow the lead 34-32. The Warriors stepped up their defense, literally fighting for each possession
The Huskies pulled ahead 34-35 off their final 3-pointer of the game. Mammothâ€™s 3-point Muse was chased from the gym by the Warriorsâ€™ defense. â€śWe gave up Huskiesâ€™ lay-up to hold off the 3-pointers,â€ť said Chirrick.
Davis put Big Pine ahead by 1 and the Warriors held onto that 1-point margin through the last minutes of the game. Carrington hit his free throws, for an almost comfortable 3-point lead. The Warriorsâ€™ defense cemented the win.
Jesse Chirrick: 16 pts., 5 rebs., 4 steals, 4 assists
Suma Davis: 12 pts., 9 rebs., 6 assists, 4 assists
Ryan Carrington: 12 pts., 12 rebs., 4 steals, 3 assists
Parker Bear: 8 rebs., 4 steals
Micah Bacock: 7 rebs.