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Pats break skid with three game streak

Thursday, February 09, 2017 - Updated: 8:44 AM
Galen Shelton
After losing four straight games coming out of the Superman Classic, the Massac County Patriots seem to have righted the ship in ripping off three straight wins.
All three wins have been noteworthy to some degree.
The Pats traveled to LaCenter last Tuesday to meet the Ballard Memorial Bombers, and when the dust settled on the shootout, the Pats came home with an 11-point 63-52 win.
The Bombers wanted an up-tempo, three point shooting contest and the Pats obliged them. Caleb Duckworth hit a three and a two to open the scoring, staking Massac to a 5-0 lead, and Thompson and Darian Roundtree took over from there.
The game was close until the opening of the third quarter when Roundtree canned three quick triples pushing the lead out to 15. Ballard couldn’t close the gap much after the barrage,  and the final margin came out to 11.
Roundtree hit five threes for the night and ended with 28 points. Thompson was big in the paint as well, finishing with 16 points.  
Harrisburg’s Bulldogs came calling on Friday night and Massac broke open a tight one in the fourth quarter behind a big effort from Kris Miller.
Massac’s “Big Three” of Miller, Roundtree and Thompson took care of business in the final eight minutes. An acrobatic drive to the rim from Miller at the 2:00 mark gave Massac a 51-46 lead, and shortly after Miller drove into the paint for a sweet dish to Thompson for a 53-46 Massac lead and that was that.
Massac marched to the foul line after that making eight of 10 to seal things at 61-50.
Roundtree led Massac in scoring with 23 with Thompson right on his heels with 18. Miller’s big fourth quarter netted him 12 for the night.
But lest I weigh the offensive production too heavily, the Pats also got a solid game from Cade Burgess and another high revving defensive effort from the “Duck.”  
The road game at Carterville was a hoot.  We turned it on Saturday evening after watching the granddaughter’s youth league game and caught an 11-7 score and figured it was the end of the first quarter. Not so fast junior!
That was the halftime score. Both teams picked up the pace in the second half, but Massac trailed a great deal of the final 16 minutes.
Matter of fact, a 14-4 late run by Massac put them in a position to have a chance, albeit a very, very slim one, trailing 31-29 with less than two seconds on the clock. To say that the highlight of the game was the very last play would be a HUGE understatement.
Trailing by two, with less than two seconds to go and the length of the floor to cover,  would seem impossible. But Duckworth fired a perfect strike to Miller who had diagonaled the floor to the half court line where he snagged the pass, dribbled once and launched a 45 footer on the run.
It hit nothing but the bottom of the net and Massac had a 32-31 win, and Carterville had a large case of heartburn.
With so little scoring to account for, the scoring totals hardly mattered when the dust settled.
The only one that mattered was “Miller’s Missile” at the buzzer.  
The Pats entertain Herrin at home this Friday night. Herrin turned aside Murphysboro last Friday night.
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