It took two overtimes, but the Mount Pisgah boy’s basketball team finally captured the Region 5-A championship with a 64-54 win over Providence on Saturday night. The Patriots had already locked up their first appearance in the GHSA playoffs earlier in the week, but now will hold a No. 1 seed and host a home game on Saturday, Feb. 25.
Freshman Aaron Winchester led the way for the Pisgah scoring 15 points against Providence. Sophomore John Towne scored 13 points, while senior Kyle Sloter added 12 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Rondy Brownlee finished with nine points.
The Patriots led early taking a 23-19 lead into the locker room at halftime. Pisgah looked in control in the second half, leading by nine at the end of the third quarter (41-32) and 11 with just over six minutes to play in the game. A furious Providence rally tied the score at 48.
The Stars had a chance to win the game, but with the score tied Kareem Adekunle missed two free throws with 1.9 seconds left in the game.
In the first overtime, Providence scored first to take a 50-48 lead. They missed two more free throws that would have likely iced the game, but instead Winchester hit a15 footer at the buzzer to tie the game at 50 and send it into a second overtime.
Winchester fouled out seconds into the second OT, but head coach Marvin Latham wisely inserted Brownlee who took over. After being fouled on a drive to the basket Brownlee fit one of two free throw attempts. Providence tied the score again on a free throw of their own. Brownlee then hit a jumper to give the Patriots a 53-51 lead. After two Quarte Sapp free throws, Brownlee scored on a drive to the basket and later added another free throw to put Pisgah up 58-53.
Senior Joseph Marco would add four free throws and Towne another two free throws to seal the 64-54 win.
Pisgah (19-9) finished fourth in their sub-region, which meant having to win four games last week to win the Region championship. The Patriots cruised by Pinecrest 75-43 on Monday, and then traveled to Holy Innocents on Wednesday, where they upset the Bears 59-55. Friday night the Patriots again traveled into hostile territory, beating host Wesleyan 52-51 in overtime.
The 19 wins posted by the Patriots this season is the most for the program since entering the GHSA. Pisgah finished 23-3 and won the GISA state championship in 2006.
Pisgah will host either Trion (14-13) or W. D. Mohammed (17-8) in the opening round of the state playoffs. Trion (No. 4 from Region 6) and W.D. Mohammed (No. 4 from Region 9), will meet on Tuesday in a play-in game.