The Independence Patriots basketball team moved one step closer to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state tournament last Monday night, with a narrow first-round playoff win against the RJ Reynolds High School Demons.

The game was close and hard-fought the entire time, with the final seconds deciding the outcome, 74-73 in the Patriots’ favor.

RJ Reynolds (12-15) came into the game averaging less than 60 points per game, compared to Independence’s (23-5) Southwestern 4A Conference title season and scoring average of 66.5.

Independence won the tip-off, and strong defense on both sides made scoring difficult in the first quarter, but Independence held on to the early lead, ending the quarter with a score of 21-15, in Indy’s favor.

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