Indy Back To .500 With Conference Win Over Wildcats 48-26

Patriots Ralph Johnson drives for two points. (All photos by Ron Morris)
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MINT HILL, NC – The Independence Patriots basketball team is having a good week. They played two consecutive road games and beat Providence Tuesday night 62-54, and followed up with a solid win over the Wildcats 48-26. They have another big conference home game coming up Friday night against the Eagles from East Mecklenburg. The Patriots are now 10-10 on the season overall, and 4-5 in their conference.

In the game against the Wildcats at Garinger, senior Sabastian Taylor had the game of the season to put in his scrap book. The power forward scored 18 points, hauled down 13 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. He also added 1 block, 1 assist, and 1 steal in the contest.

Kameron Jasper taking a jump shot.

Indy had a sluggish first period scoring only 4 points and were down 8-4 early on in this game. However, the Patriots took control with a 12-0 run adding up to a 14-2 outburst in the second period to lead at the intermission 18-10.

In the second half, the Patriots dominated outscoring the Wildcats 30-16 to take home the conference victory. Independence controlled the boards, played their traditional aggressive defense, and shot 56% from the free throw line.

With Taylor having his breakout game scoring 18 points, Bryce Brooks contributed 10, and Dyshawn Taylor 7 from their guard positions giving Indy the balance they need to be successful.

Indy Defeats Panthers 62-54 

In their first game of the week the Patriots travelled to the Providence Panthers for another conference matchup. The Patriots came out on top mainly on the performance of senior guard Dyshawn Taylor who scored 18 points. Sabastian Taylor contributed 11, Bryce Brooks 9, Ralph Johnson 9, and Jordan Appling 7 to lead the Patriots charge offensively. The team shot 48% from the floor which gives them the opportunity to win games. However, this team needs to improve their free throw shooting, ultimately 8-21 or 38% down the stretch is not going to win the close games.

Indy started this basketball game on a 9-0 run before Providence was able to tally their first points. The Patriots drilled three 3-pointers in the opening period two by Dyshawn Taylor and the other by Sabastian Taylor. They led 18-14 after the initial 8 minutes into the contest.

In the second stanza Indy outscored the Panthers 17-8. Sparked by a play turning the momentum in favor of the Patriots. Ralph Johnson at 6:45 on the scoreboard clock made a steal and went the distance coast-to-coast with a finishing lay-up to give Indy a 22-14 advantage. With the score 26-19, Jordan Appling swished a 3-pointer to give the visitors a 10 point 29-19 edge. Then to finish the half with 1.9 seconds remaining, Dyshawn Taylor hit a baseline 3-pointer at the buzzer off an inbounds pass giving Indy a 35-22 lead.

When the teams returned after the intermission Indy stepped up their tempo and kept pace with the Panthers scoring 16 points in the third period to the Panthers 17. Therefore, the Pats still maintained a comfortable 12 point advantage. At the horn, Appling nailed a jump shot to take a bite out of the Panthers.

The final period Providence put more pressure on Indy. They scored 15 points to the Patriots 11. However, they were not able to overcome the first half explosion mounted by the visitor’s. Indy’s solid defensive effort and extra hustle made the difference in the 8 point win over a worthy conference opponent.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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