MINT HILL, NC – The varsity basketball teams of Myers Park and Independence met at the Independence High School Friday night in games that would impact the top of Southwestern 4A Conference standings.
In the women’s game, Indy needed a win over Myers Park to pull into a three-way tie for first place with Myers Park and Hickory Ridge. The loss dropped the Lady Patriots to third place in the conference. The Lady Patriots will hope for an at-large bid in the state playoffs.
On the men’s side, the Patriots’ loss created a tie for first place with Rocky River. However, when to playoff seeds are released Sunday Indy will get the top seed by virtue of having defeated Rocky River on Tuesday night.
The Lady Patriots came into Friday’s game on a five-game win streak, having lost only to Hickory Ridge in the opening game of the season. The Lady Mustangs started the game nailing three three-pointers and led 15-6 at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Mustangs continued their hot shooting streak in the second quarter by making three more three-pointers and took a 24-13 half-time lead. Myers Park started the second half by nailing another 3-pointer to make the score 30-13. After Indy’s Braylyn Milton scored on a baseline jumper, The Lady Mustangs made another 3-pointer making the score 30-15. At this point, the Lady Patriots started making their run when Jessica Timmons made a 3-pointer to make the score 30-18. With 2:15 remaining in the quarter, Tamia Burgess cut the score to ten after grabbing an offensive rebound and scoring on the stick back to make the score 32-22. Braylyn Milton cut Myers Park lead to seven 32-25 on a baseline 3-pointer. But the Lady Mustangs moved back to an eleven-point lead on a free throw and another three-point basket to make the score 36-25 heading into the final quarter. Indy’s Kaylee Carson started the fourth quarter by making two shots from the charity stripe.
Braylyn Milton answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the key. With 4:23 left in the game, Jessica Timmons steals and passed to Kaylee Carson for the score. At the 1:37 mark, Jessica Timmons scored to cut Myers Park’s lead to two 36-34. At this point, Myers Park started playing keep away forcing Indy to foul. Myers Park went to the line with 1:29 remaining and made both free throws. Then with 1:22 showing on the clock, Indy committed a turnover, and Myers Park was back up to a six-point lead 40-34. Indy’s Jessica Timmons cut the score to three 40-37 with an old fashion 3-point play with 1:15 left in the game. With 42.9 seconds left to play Kaylee Carson came up with a steal and scored to make the tally 41-39 with Myers Park in the lead. With 21.4 seconds showing on the clock, Indy had to foul and the Lady Mustangs made both of their free throws. At the 13-second mark, Braylyn Milton went to the line shooting a one-for-one. She made both of her shots making the score 43-41. The Lady Mustangs moved back to a four-point lead 45-41 with seven seconds left in the game. With only 0:0.6 seconds left, Braylyn Milton knocked down two free three throws to make the final score 45-43 in favor of the visiting Lady Mustangs. Jessica Timmons led the Lady Patriots with 18 points, Braylyn Milton 16, Kaylee Carson 4, Gracie Breckenridge 3, Tamia Burgess 2.
Myers Park 15 9 12 9 – 45
Independence 6 7 12 18 – 43
Myers Park started the contest with a three-point lead 5-2, but at the 4:10 mark, the Patriots Landon King hit a baseline 3-pointer to tie the score 5-5. Divine Allah put Indy in the lead 7-5 on a steal and scoring on a layup. Myers Park re-took the lead on two baskets and a 3-pointer to take a 12-7 first-quarter lead. In the second quarter, Myers Park moved out to a nine-point lead 19-10. Indy’s Ralph Johnson scored on an inbounds play. Jalen Hinton drove for a layup and after Landon King scored on two free throws, Indy trailed by three 19-16. With 1:58 left in the half, Divine Allah pulled the Patriots within one 19-18. Jalen Hinton put Indy in the lead 20-19 by sinking two free throws. With 19 seconds left in the first half, Jalen Hinton put Indy in the lead on a 3-pointer to make the score 23-22. But Myers Park led at the half 25-23 on a made foul shot and a rebound and stick back on a missed free throw, Jalen Hinton tied the score 25-25 as the second half got underway. The Mustang jumped out to an eight-point lead 33-25 with 4:53 left in the third quarter. The Patriots cut Myers Park’s lead to five 37-32 on a 3-pointer by Landon King and a layup by Reginald Smith. Indy’s Landon King started the final stanza with a little jumper followed by Ralph Johnson stealing an inbounds pass and scoring in the lane. At the 6:58 mark, Divine Allah put Indy in the lead 38-37. However, Myers Park re-took the lead on a field goal and a 3-pointer to make the score 42-38 with 5:58 left in the game. At the 4:39 mark, Indy’s Isaiah Thomas came up with a steal and a drive to the basket to make the score 44-41 with Myers Park in the lead. Myers Park scored on two quick baskets to lead 48-41 with 3:14 left to play. Landon King cut the lead to four on a 3-pointer with 2:49 remaining in the game. After Myers Park moved out to a 52-44 lead with 1:58 left in the game, Jalen Hinton scored followed by a Landon King basket to make the score 52-48 with 46 seconds left on the clock. Myers Park scored with ten seconds left to make the final score 54-48. The Patriots will be conference co-champions with Rocky River with both teams finishing the season with a 6-1 record.
Myers Park 12 13 12 17 – 54
Independence 7 16 9 16 – 48
Landon King led the Patriots with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal.
Jalen Hinton added 10 points, 1 rebound, and 1 steal.
Divine Allah scored 8 points, 1 rebound, and 5 steals.
Ralph Johnson had 4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal.
Reginald Smith had 2 points and 2 rebounds.
Isaiah Thomas scored 2 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal.
Camren Little finished the night with 1 point, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal.