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Wallace falls to Pensacola 85-56

Wallace Community College Selma fell to a more physical, more experienced Pensacola Junior College team 85-56 on Wednesday night.

A Joshua Collins layup sparked a 7-0 run for the Pirates, capped by a Terrance Burke steal and layup. The run was part of a 23-3 run that ended with Pensacola ahead 42-17.

That spurt set the stage for the rest of the game.

“What we played tonight was not indicative of basketball in this area of the country or basketball in our community,” said first-year Wallace coach Ronald Lane. “I think our guys were not accustomed to playing that physical style of ball.”

The game seemed even in the early stages as both teams traded shots and miscues. A Michael Acoff layup tied the game at 8 for the Patriots, but the Pirates (2-1) responded with a 7-0 run to take a 15-8 lead.

Wallace (0-2) cut the lead to 19-14 on a Reggie Mann layup with 11:21 left, but would get no closer than 7 points the rest of the first half.

“We came out early and shot the ball well,” said Pensacola coach Paul Swanson. “We started getting some inside and feeding off the press.”

The Patriots outscored the Pirates 8-7 down the stretch in the half, but the Pirates went into the locker room with a 49-25 lead.

Wallace came out fighting in the second half. Schylar Freeman’s layup sparked a 7-0 Patriot run capped by a Reggie Mann layup to close the gap to 53-36. But that was as close as the Patriots would get.

“They did a good job of fighting back,” said Swanson. “They’re young, and they’ve got some good athletes. They’re going to get better.”

Lane was impressed with his team’s fight as well, but was concerned about how long the energy level would last.

“These guys have a lot of determination. They know how to fight and scrap and claw,” said Lane. “We did make that run, but I think after that we had depleted most of our energy.”

The Patriots’ Reginald Carson led all scorers with 12 points. Mann finished with 11. Christopher Clarke and Joshua Collins led the Eagles with 11 points apiece.

But the most telling stat of the night was the 18-6 advantage the Eagles held in steals.

“We have a very young basketball team,” said Lane. “We’ve got to grow from this experience and try to get our kids acclimated to that brand of basketball.”