Sharpshooting SD Downs PM

The Parry McCluer High School girls basketball team suffered a 53-36 loss to sharpshooting Stuarts Draft at the Rock the Ribbon Roundball Shootout on Saturday.

The Fighting Blues (3-6) made strong runs to keep the game close in the first half. Both teams struggled to get going, with Draft (7-2) leading 4-1 after the first quarter, but picking up the tempo after that. The Cougars led 26-18 at halftime.

“I thought we did a good job of giving ourselves a chance,” PM head coach Adam Gilbert said of his injury-riddled team. “In the first half, we played well.”

Draft went on a 15-0 run in the third quarter to take a 41-23 lead into the final quarter. PM cut the lead to 14 points early in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get any closer.

McKinley Fitzgerald led the Cougars with 14 points, sinking four of Draft’s six 3-pointers, while Lyndsay Harris added 13 points and three steals, and Madi Armentrout chipped in 10 points and had four steals.

The Cougars made five of their 3-pointers in the second quarter when they outscored PM 22-17. “Draft played well,” Gilbert said. “I was really impressed with the way they shot the basketball.”

Recently back from injury, Katie Claytor led the Blues with 17 points, sinking all three of PM’s 3-pointers. Grayce Henson added 11 points, going 5-of-7 from the free throw line, and Anna Claytor chipped in six points, going 4-of-6 from the line.

Gilbert was also pleased by the performance of two players who recently moved up from the junior varsity team after three varsity players went out with injuries. “Give Ashley Davis and McKayla Tyree credit. They stepped up in the injury absence that we’ve got.”

PM struggled against Draft’s pressure defense, committing 18 turnovers, while the Cougars had just nine turnovers.

Pleased to have his team playing at Rock the Ribbon, Gilbert praised the event founder and director, Travis Patterson, for keeping it going strong. “Travis and they do a really good job,” Gilbert said. “It’s a neat event. It’s grown and evolved. It’s nice to have the girls be in this event. It’s for a good cause. We enjoy coming over here.”