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Patriots end regular season on a roll

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - Updated: 9:15 AM
Galen Shelton
After a dismal middle of the season stretch, Massac County seems to have found something . . . and at just the right time.
Coming out of the Superman Classic, the Pats stumbled badly for a couple of weeks. But these last couple of weeks have been anything but bad for Massac with the exception of a horrendous Benton game.
With the Friday night win at West Frankfort and a Tuesday night road win over Herrin, the Pats wrapped up their regular season by winning seven of their last eight games.
At West Frankfort, the Pats trailed 26-21 at halftime but got all over the Red Birds in the third quarter by a 17-10 margin to take a 38-36 lead going into the final eight minutes.
As has been the case lately, Massac’s “Big Three” of Miller, Roundtree and Thompson took over in the last quarter and eased the Patriots out to a 57-49 win.
Isaiah Thompson was especially tough in the last quarter scoring eight of his game high 22 points in the last stanza. Massac was also on point from the line hitting seven of nine attempts. Darian Roundtree kicked in with 15 points including a couple of big triples in the fourth quarter. Kris Miller finished with 11 points and Caleb Duckworth added seven.
Tuesday night’s regular season finale at Herrin was a nail-biter as Massac extended Herrin to overtime before prevailing 65-61. And it was just an extension of the last several games as Thompson was a dominant force in the middle but got outstanding help from a handful of players.  In the overtime with Duckworth gone after his fifth foul, Noah Taylor canned 3 of 4 free throw attempts, 5 for 6 overall. Roundtree once again came through with a couple of big treys late. Cade Burgess turned in another very good defensive effort, and it just seemed like one kid after another came through when Massac needed it.
In sweeping Herrin, Massac accomplished a kind of quirky thing as they swept Herrin, Harrisburg and West Frankfort but lost all of their games with Benton and Murphysboro.
At any rate, the Pats are playing some of their best ball of the season as they go into Monday night’s first round regional game against Carterville at Carterville.
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