LENOIR — The Patton varsity girls basketball team seems to be hitting its stride. On Tuesday, the Lady Panthers were striding up and down the court en route to their third consecutive win, an 85-47 road rout of Hibriten.
In the first quarter, the Panthers (4-2) rode the hot hand of senior Breann Tallent as she connected on all four of her 3-point attempts to account for half of Patton’s opening-quarter output.
Junior Taylor Chapman added a pair of her own from behind the arc to lead the visitors to a 24-21 advantage at the end of the frame.
The second quarter saw Patton begin to attack the basket and stretch its lead to double digits. Six different players scored for the Lady Panthers, while Hibriten (0-2) missed all of its field goals, notching all four of its points in the period from the line. At halftime, the score was 48-25 in favor of Patton.
The third quarter was quite similar to the previous eight minutes, as the Lady Panthers received eight points from senior Chantal Lewis and six from freshman Ansley Rooks to give them a 70-33 lead heading into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, Patton began to work the clock, but still outscored Hibriten 15-14 en route to a 38-point final margin. Tallent, Lewis and Lindsey Adams notched 14 points apiece for Patton, while Rooks poured in 13. Keisha Corpening was the only player in double figures for Hibriten, as she finished with 20.
Patton is averaging 79.0 points over the three-game win streak.
“I think we scored 24 points in the first quarter and 24 points in the second quarter,” Patton coach Chip Lewis said. “I think a little bit of that was because of our style of play. Hibriten got in a little bit of foul trouble and they got a little bit tired, and it made it look like we were doing a little better than what we were doing. … We’re playing pretty good right now.”
Hibriten 63, Patton 56
There have been times this season when Patton has shown flashes of brilliance. Unfortunately, those flashes have been too few and far between.
The Panthers (1-5) fell down 17-10 after one and 28-21 at halftime but fought back in the third quarter. Trailing 30-22 early in the frame, freshman Dax Bostian drilled a deep 3-pointer to cut the deficit to five. Patton then reeled off nine more points in a row to take its first lead of the game, 34-30.
The advantage was short-lived, however, as Hibriten (1-1) tallied 16 of the quarter’s final 18 points to build a 46-36 lead at the end of the period. Kel Berry had eight points in the quarter for the hosts and teammate Charles Benfield added six.
Hibriten’s lead ballooned to as much as 14 in the fourth, but the pesky Panthers just wouldn’t go away, as they turned up the defense and pushed the ball on every possession. Patton got as close as four following a free throw by junior Jevon Morris with just under a minute to play, but Hibriten was able to hold on for a seven-point victory.
Berry had 19 points for Hibriten, while Mike Davis added 13. For Patton, Morris registered 15 and Josh Espinoza provided a spark off the bench with eight. Patton was just 26 of 46 from the free throw line, a stat that ultimately did the guests in.
“Unfortunately it was the same old song and dance for us,” Patton coach Dennis Brittain said. “It's starting to sound like a broken record. Turnovers and missed opportunities did us in. We did a very good job of getting to the free throw line, but we have to make them when we get there.
“Our kids fought back and never gave up. We have to eliminate the things we are doing to get ourselves in these holes. I believe we have the ability to do that.”
Patton traveled to Fred T. Foard late Wednesday.